Closing a Chapter

July 14th, 2014

By Rosanne and Ayed Eid, veteran parents in Jerusalem.

The moment has come, high school graduation. The fourth class in the Hand in Hand bilingual school.

I always thought that the words “bilingual education” do not aptly describe or reflect the reality in this school. While it is bilingual, it is also bi-cultural and represents both peoples, and much more.

Two of our children studied at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem. One was in the first class of the school, and our younger son graduated this year as part of the fourth class. With him, my husband and I are finishing an important chapter in our lives.

Our experience in the bilingual school was an adventure. We built the school together with our children. We have gone through 16 years of school, of special gatherings, interesting friendships, fulfilling and challenging. We went through communal discussions about shared living, about learning Arabic and Hebrew, about accepting the holidays of the other. About equality in our shared lives at school and in general. It was not easy for us to create dialogue the first time we had no one to guide us and we had to pave our own way.

To my dismay, as I finish this chapter of my life, we are in a tense period of time – violent and aggressive – that does not fit with the values that we teach at our school. And despite this, I still think that speaking, discourse, dialogue and cooperation are the keys to everything, no matter who is on the other side. The monster that we build ourselves in our imaginations about the other side can be changed if we succeed in seeing, connecting and speaking to the heart of the other side.

My wish is that there will be many more schools like ours, and many more circles of shared living.

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