Araz is a Kurdish word for “freedom”


But the address is different from Araz, the human … He is a child in Palestine and lives in the Aida refugee camp, north-west of Bethlehem. This camp has a long story. The wall is surrounding the camp from west and north with the height of 12 meters. This wall kills the freedom and forbids to breath. The dark-blue colors do not reflect only the occupation and tyranny. Araz is 11 years old and has so far received basic education in the school of the International Relief Agency in Aida. His mother hails from Kurdish origin (Iraqi Kurdistan) and his father is Palestinian, working as a trader. He makes all his effort to have money for his family living.

On 21st December 2009 Araz’s mother went to Ghirass Center, accompanied and encouraged by her friends, after recognizing that there are problems and difficulties faced by her child in reading, writing and arithmetic. At that time, Araz was in the fourth grade. At Ghirass Center an assessment was done with several aspects of environmental knowledge, which includes the concepts of time, location, trends, social, cognitive and linguistic skills as well as mental processes (attention, cognition, memory, language, thinking) and strategies (thinking comparative, classifications). The assessment also examined the language, which includes awareness of voice, vocabulary, mental processes. The result was that he has good mental capabilities, but it has not been effectively used in intentional teaching. Araz is not impulsive and he has the ability to self-correction as well as a sense of the importance of accuracy.

The main problem with Araz was his low self-esteem, poor self-confidence and distinctive shyness which had a great impact and influences his academical achievements and how he was responding to education, especially in school.

The program at Ghirass Cultural Center focused on breaking down barriers between the teachers and him and to create a good relationship between them. Another aim was to concentrate on the required skills for the fourth grade. In the beginning the improvement was slow. But soon he made ​​a wonderful and remarkable move. The cooperation with his mother and his teachers went very well. Her mother had great faith in the mechanisms of the program and confidence in the teachers. The program first treated his weaknesses and then integrated the treatment curriculum. Through this, the aim was to raise his self esteem and strengthen his relationship with the school. Another goal was to increase his interests in reading. He borrowed books from the Center’s library. This enriched his vocabulary. He also had individual meetings with the social worker at the center.

After six sessions, each session lasts two months and includes two meetings a week, Araz became one of the privileged students in the school who challenges weaknesses and was able to overcome the failure. He discovered that failure doesn’t mean the end of the world and that humans with the will, power and effective support are able to overcome even the biggest obstacles.

Araz improvement in academically, social and emotional aspects was noticed by his family and the school. This success led to encourage many of his relatives and neighbors to come to the Center and register in the programs as well.

After all we decided to meet his mother who did not spare any effort with her son. We talked to her in order to enrich our story more and make them address to every challenge and perseverance.  She started her speech as followed:  “First I thank Ghirass Center because they gave me this opportunity. I also want to thank all the staff for the great effort they invested in my son.  My story with Ghirass started after I discovered that he is facing serious difficulties in reading and writing. This effected the whole situation in his school. I tried to help him but I don’t have any teaching skills I could not help him. This really hurts me. When I felt very bad for my son, I went to visit my friend who is a director of an kindergarten (Director of Ahmed Ibn Hanbal). I told her all my problems and pain that I had.  She advised me to go to Ghirass Center because this is the only organization which is capable to solve my problems. So I immediately went to the center and made an assessment for Araz. Since that time we had hope again. By the follow-up-system in the center, at home and school, Araz has changed. Today he improved in reading, writing and he increased his educational and academical level. After all I want to thank everyone who put his own stamp on Araz’ character. The impact is very positive. I am praying to God to help all …”

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