Judih speaks to Dor Nahum about the Mustache Theatre, 2012!

The Mustache Theatre!


Eshkol Council Youth Theatre has done it again!

“The Newspaper” (העיתון) is this year’s play. I spoke to Dor Nahum, a member of the Mustache Theatre about the play.


Judih: Hi Dor. Could you introduce yourself?

Dor:: My name is Dor Nahum. I’m 16 1/2 years old. I live in Moshav Eshelim (http://www.negev-net.org.il/HTMLs/article.aspx?C2004=12616) in the area of Ramat Negev or Nitzana. My hobbies: I love photography, and bike-riding in the area and, of course, sleeping.

J: Tell me about The Mustache Theatre – (Teatron haSafam) – what is it, how long has it been active?

D: The Mustache Theatre has been active for quite a while – more than a decade. The theatre is for teenagers from Grade 8 till 12. It’s a theatre group for people who love theatre. They come and participate in all kinds of acting exercises, acting, drama play, fooling around and just enjoying themselves. Of course, every so often, we perform a  play

J: Okay. Who are the professionals you work with?
D: We have a director, Yaacov Amsalem. He’s everything for us – our director, someone who makes us laugh, and organizes everything. There’s Arieh, in charge of our finances, and who arranges the logistics of where and when we perform, all the technical details.

J:What play did you do last year?
D: Last year’s play was I am Me, a play that I unfortunately wasn’t a part of.  But it was very successful

J: Where did you perform last year?

D: it was performed in the Bat Yam Theatre Festival, and won Honourable Mention. And this year, I’m in the play.

ImagePart II.

J: Tell me about your current play. How did it begin?

D: This year’s play is called The Newspaper. It’s a play that’s based on all the newspapers for youth – like Ma’ariv leNoar and others that deal with stories about and for teens – funny stories, stories about problems between teens and their parents who try to get close to them.

J: How did you begin work on the script?
D: We worked with a scriptwriter who watched us do warm-ups and exercises in our rehearsals. Then we went to books and took texts from there. If it was Meshkenat Tzedek or Ha Na’an Ve Aru (from India) from the Tea House from the book Cunchiat ha Kesem. (The Magic Shell)

We took all kinds of books and constructed the texts of the play.

J: Who was the scriptwriter?

D: I don’t remember the name. But he sat with Ya’acov our director and chose parts for everyone.

J: I see. Is there anything else you want to add about the process?

D: Actually it was a really short process – from the first read-through of the script till performance. We barely had to time to rehearse or run through the script. And after only 2 weeks, we already went to perform in Bat Yam, at the Festival.

J: Wow

D: And we got another Honourable Mention! From the Directors of the Festival and from the Critics.

J: Excellent.


Part 3

J: Do you have a monologue?  Can you tell me about it?

D: Yes, I have a part. I was Aru, the owner of the Indian Tea House. And I’d verbally abuse a young Indian. Young Indian, Tea House – everything must run perfectly. If within 3 minutes the tea doesn’t get to the client, well then he’ll go to another Tea House. So, all the time I tell him, go there, go over there. I played the “bad guy”.

J: Did you enjoy playing him?

Dor: Yes, but on the other hand no. When I walked around, half the girls came to me crying that I was a bad man, an evil man.

And I’d say, half-cynically,”Okay”….

J: Yes, how did it really feel.

D: It was weird. On one hand, it was wait a minute, I’m not really like that, but on the other hand it was great – it really made them feel something. One friend told me that if people in the audience yelled to me: “Stop getting him crazy, stop sending him from side to side”, then it really meant that you succeeded in being believable.

J: Yes, you really did it! And congratulations

D: Yes, and we performed here in the Eshkol Auditorium, we also managed to get the message across, very well! Rami (Zvilli, Jr. High Principal of Nofei Habsor) said to me that I can take over his job.

J: You succeeded to that extent! Good for you.

J: How did you prepare for your role as Aru?

D:.The truth is that I was myself, as a mean human being,  that I didn’t have to consider him or his needs, but only that he needs to work on schedule and I listened to the Director. Ya’acov gave me very clear directions, to emphasize things, to move in a certain way

J: Okay.  So you brought it from within yourself.

Dor: yes!


J: So tell me more about the play. Is it about the relationship between parents and their children?

D: Yes the whole story is about a couple who go to see the school counselor and he tells them about the problems at school, academic and social and how he doesn’t do anything. He asks where its coming from, if its due to circumstances at home, or some other place. And that the parents have to learn how to communicate. He gives then a paper ‘The Newspaper’ and there they read articles about how to relate to their son.

J: Were there parents who came to you and said that they related to the idea?

D: Yes, someone came up to the director and admitted that it was true

J: Excellent. No doubt there were others who felt the same.

J: Do you think the Mustache Theatre will be doing this play next year?

D: No every year we do a new play, with fresh ideas. If there’s a huge demand, then there’s a chance we would give another performance. It’s a really good play. We have another performance on June 15th at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

J: Okay, now speaking personally, what was your favourite part of the play?

D: To stand in front of the audience, to act, and to see that  they got the message, that they were really attentive and didn’t disrupt us.

Part 4: Future and other Comments
J: What are your plans for next year?

D: I plan to continue with the Mustache Theatre because I really enjoy it there, even though I live quite far. There’s a great atmosphere and the people really enjoy theatre. But even if someone doesn’t think they have a sense for theatre, they can still come. It’s free and whoever comes is welcome. Come, take a look, and if you enjoy it, stay!

J: so you love it!

Dor: I love it. It’s not the first time that I’m involved in theatre. Since the 8th grade I’ve been doing theatre, directing plays for the local council or in Ashkelon with a friend of mine, a scriptwriter, who asked me to direct his play,  That play was well received. We also performed it in Ashdod and we received a lot of good feedback.

Theatre is the one thing that I’d give anything for.

J: Do you see yourself working in theatre in the future?

Dor: Yes, as an actor, or a director.

J: Great. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Dor: I hope that people will see the play, that they’ll come because it’s fun. We laugh and enjoy ourselves. It’s for those with a theatrical sense and even for those who don’t! Come, take a look, and give it a try. It’s fun!

J: Where do you do your rehearsals?

D: For the plays, it’s in Moshav Amioz or in Nir Itzhak in the Little theatre. The workshop is on Mondays here at school (Nofei Habsor Comprehensive), from 4:30 – 6:30. And it’s worth coming.

J: Okay! Good luck to you, Dor.  Thanks so much for talking to me.

 Judih Speaks to Dor Nahum in Hebrew, on youtube!

Social Justice! Israelis continue to live in tent cities round the country

Have you heard about the tent cities in Israel? Since July 2011, young people, students, married couples, families with children, older citizens, all have come to live in the tent cities found around Israel.

Tent city, Rothschild Blvd, Tel Aviv

The media dropped away, but the fight for social justice is very much alive. I had an opportunity to speak to someone active in the movement. Here’s the interview conducted Thursday September 1, 2011.

Conversation with Ayelet Shturman

Since July 2011, citizens of Israel have banded together to protest the rising cost of living. The simple fact is that even working multiple jobs is hardly  able to cover monthly expenses, even the most modest basic needs. Young couples can’t afford housing, and students are desperate for affordable accommodation. The government has done nothing concrete to answer the needs of the people.

To rally together and make sufficient noise to be heard, tent cities around the country have been erected. The largest is in Tel Aviv on Rothschild Boulevard.

tent city, Tel Aviv

Ayelet Shturman, a former pupil of mine (back in the 7th grade) came to the first day of school at Nofei Habsor Comprehensive School and suddenly appeared in the Teachers’ Room, holding posters and a rolled up tent.

After warm greetings, we sat down and spoke. She told me that she’s been living in a tent on Rothschild Bld for the past two months. And I asked her if she still drew (thinking what a wonderful thing to publish – her drawings of the goings on in the tent city.)

She replied that she didn’t really have much time to draw since she’s been busy teaching kids in the tent city. I asked her to explain.

Judih: How do you teach the kids?

Ayelet: I’ve been doing children’s games. Card games like  Quartets for the revolution and Memory games for the revolution, everything designed with many terms and expressions, about the economy, and so on.

Judih: For the kids staying in the tents?

Ayelet: For the kids in the tents and for the kids who come to visit the tent city. Parents want their children to experience it as something good, but more than that, they want their children to understand. They need someone to simplify the concepts so that even their seven-year olds can grasp them and so they’ve asked us to find ways to educate the children.

J: That’s great. You’ve found a way to help them interact with the concept.

A: Yes, and it’s called a School for the Revolution and it’s taking place all over the country. Today, (Thursday, Sept 1) we have a huge tent in front of the Ministry of Education in Jerusalem. Right at this moment they’re starting.

I hope we can do something on Sunday as well. It’s very important that we make a big impression. Today in Nofei Habsor, we’re setting up a tent and inviting students and their teachers from grades 11 and 12, especially Civics classes, to come out and ask questions.  We have thousands of people working on this.

J: Are you working through Facebook or do you have some other network to get out your message?

A: I’m just helping. If they need money, I work to raise it. If they need somebody to set up, I help. If they’re short of water, I help.  The entire thing is run by the efforts of many people. 

J: Who’s in charge? Who’s the head of the School for Revolution?

A: There’s a professor at the Seminar haKibbutzim, who teachers Sociology and Gender Studies and she’s the one who organized us, recruited people, and motivated us to act. But various people are in charge of various responsibilities.

J: So it is a movement run by the people.

A: Yes. For example there is someone in charge of all the social activities and communication. He will organize TV, internet time and radio spots.

J: A total media network.

A: Yes, and he’s in charge of that aspect.  I’m responsible for education. All round Israel there will be tents and I’m responsible for them and for organizing the tent in Jerusalem. I hope to continue doing it  all over the country.

J: It’s a lot of work.

A: Yes, but the media is very tired of it

J: Well, hurricanes upstage you. But people aren’t tired of not having enough money. The people are behind you.

A: Yes, but the problem is that if you don’t live in Tel Aviv, and you don’t have the opportunity to come to Rothschild, the tent city, and see what’s going on for yourself,  if you live in the Kibbutzim like Tze’elim and Gvulot,

J: But there is a tent city in Be’er Sheva

A: Yes, and there is a tent city in Kiryat Shmona or Shlomi  but if you’re not right there, you live by the media. You trust it to tell you what’s going on.  If the media doesn’t air it, it doesn’t exist.

But the media has become really immune to what we’re doing, right now. Three months ago there were 20,000 people going around Tel Aviv, on Rothschild, maybe 30, 000 people. Then there lots of reporters and a lot of media exposure. But now?

J: I was in America visiting with my family. And I was speaking with my Uncle, who’s a Judge and 90 years old and he said:”I wish that the American people would learn from the Israeli people and do what the Israeli people are doing.” And he’s someone with a lot of influence and there are people who think of us overseas. So don’t give up. There may not be a lot of noise right now, but the noise will come back. I’ll do what I can.

A. Einshalla (by the grace of God in Arabic)

J: I’ve got a blog.

A: Yay!

J: and I’ll do what I can. I’ll try.

A. Fabulous. Come out to Tel Aviv on Saturday. Please spread the word. I hope it will be a one million man march.

One million will make a difference. Because that’s their language. That’s what attracts media.  They don’t understand anything but numbers. Half a million. They speak by numbers. Everything else doesn’t make an impression.

J: I hope you get your number.

A: I hope so. Come join us!

Bezalel turns Israel into giant art gallery – Israel Culture, Ynetnews

Bezalel turns Israel into giant art gallery – Israel Culture, Ynetnews.

Bezalel turns Israel into giant art gallery



Leading academy of arts and design presents biggest ever outdoor exhibition in Israel. President ‘hugely proud of wonderful work that our students produce’


Published: 02.16.11, 14:38 / Israel Culture

Bezalel, Israel’s leading academy of art and design, and one of the top art schools in the world, is turning the whole of Israel into an art gallery, from February 16 to 26.

Some 1600 students from all eight of Bezalel’s art and design departments will contribute one piece of artwork to the largest outdoor exhibition ever in Israel. Each piece of art is being reproduced on billboards and they will be distributed and displayed across the country.


It’s win-win on a socially conscious street | social-action



It’s win-win on a socially conscious street | social-action.

Students at Ben-Gurion University working together with businesses to make them socially and environmentally conscious!


Read the article in Virtual Jerusalem.


The Mustache Theatre! Community Youth in performance

This is the poster for ‘I am Who I am’, a performance by the Mustache Theatre.

The last time I saw the community Mustache Theatre perform was during Operation Cast Lead. The performance at that time was based on authentic fears and experiences during a time when we, in this area, were experiencing constant rocket attacks, usually early morning as children boarded their school buses or in the evening when a family was home, without access to a fallout shelter. Those dreadful times bred deep fears that were compounded with every boom.

At that time, the Mustache Theatre offered a forum for kids to pen their anxieties and shape them into skits. With every rehearsal and later every performance,  this drama therapy worked its magic. Talking about fears released the pressure. “Red Alert” (Tzeva Adom) was the resultant play.

Now, two years afterwards, rocket attacks are fewer and other problems have stepped into the foreground. Last night’s performance of  “I Am Who I Am” focused on individual stories of normal everyday kids.

The Mustache Theatre

One was embarrassed because of her Russian roots. She only wanted to be like every other Israeli teenager. Another had an eating disorder. A third coped with a mother with diagnosed schizophrenia. And on it went. Each character had his or her moment to express dilemmas or pain within the environment of a youth camp.

The script, based on the participants’ stories, was edited into final form by Na’ama Goren. Direction was by Ya’acov Amsalem, himself brandishing the mustache for which the troupe was named.

Actors: Yonatan Malchi, Yonatan Segal, Ya’ara Melinski, Liron Malchi, Mor Lavie, Miri Sosnovski, Nisanit Cohen, Idan Hameiri, Shirli Vinogradov and Tom Segal are all students in Nofei Habsor Comprehensive School, ranging in age from 13 – 17.

The backing for this project comes from the heart and soul of one woman, Aliza Ben Yehuda, who works with the Eshkol Regional Council in the Youth Social Services Department. She, in her wisdom, saw that theatre was an immediate remedy for alienation during troubled times, and through her efforts, the theatre group was created ten years ago and has been nurtured ever since by other members of the Youth Social Services branch.

After the performance, the  participants offered thanks to all of the adults who gave them a hand, to one of their fellow actors, Dvir, who acted as Assistant Director.

The show was enthusiastic, clearly a labour of love for all involved. This troupe generally performs in national festivals throughout Israel and I expect they will be on the road with the show in the near future.

– Judih, talking now for Let My People Know

Democracy Week at Nofei Habsor High School

Nofei Habsor (link in Hebrew)

Strange to say that during Democracy Week last week in our Western Negev School, I had little contact with my students. Some were off on a week of pseudo-Army experience, called the ‘Gadna‘. Some were off in Jerusalem in order to sum up their experience of travelling to Poland in August, where they experienced the actual Holocaust location, empty and green as it may be at the moment.

For me, my experience of Democracy Week was grabbing a chance to pursue my right to be a human being despite the incessant calls to create powerpoint learning units and to devise creative ways to stimulate learners to absorb the English language. My human rights were happily exercised as again I interviewed Martina Newberry (soon to be posted here), and entered into that part of my brain that deals with the more bizarre connections of experience, my own and others’.

But enough about me.

This post is to commemorate the ceremony in Nofei Habsor, on Wednesday, October 20th, marking 15 years after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, killed during a public gathering in what was then called the State Square, mid-Tel Aviv. It’s now Rabin Square, and since that mind-boggling night when a citizen named Yigal Amir murdered our Prime Minister because of a difference in point of view, we struggle with what it means to be Democratic.

How far from a Democracy are we, and what can we do to strive to work towards equal rights for all?

I include the clip filmed and edited by our Media Department, and below the jump, you’ll find some photos of the interactive seminar rooms in which students of all grades participated.

The clip, in Hebrew, shows Grade 10 students reading important statements about Democracy from the beginning of the existence of the State of Israel, in 1948 till later days. You’ll hear songs, you’ll see the release of doves as a pledge to search for freedom. Finally, you’ll hear one girl announce that the Student Council initiated a petition pledging students to resolve to work towards freedom and equality for all. After collecting signatures in Nofei Habsor, the student council will circulate the petition to other schools to create a butterfly effect.

Salute to those who search for the way to a Democratic way of living in peace and co-existence.

Soccer camp makes peace look feasible – Israel Activism, Ynetnews

Kids take a break on the field (Photo: Roee Gazit)

Soccer camp makes peace look feasible – Israel Activism, Ynetnews.

Kids from Jenin meet Jewish, Arab-Israeli children for week of summer camp and tough questions

Boaz Fyler

Published: 08.12.10, 08:19 / Israel Activism

In the spirit of the recently concluded Soccer World Cup, 80 Palestinian, Arab-Israeli, and Jewish children graduated from a summer camp recently in which they learned coexistence through the popular sport.

The camp was part of a year-long program called Barkai-Jenin, held by the Maccabim Association. The children in the program, 40 of whom reside in Jenin and 40 of whom reside in Kibbutz Barkai, meet once every two months to share conversations and games. In honor of the World Cup a week-long soccer camp was held.


…………..Please read this article, another journalist’s coverage of positive promotion of cooperative, authentic efforts to open minds.

Hope you’re all enduring a super-hot summer. Round here, in the Negev, it’s a brave soul who ventures out for longer than a few minutes after the sun hits full blast.

Amir and Lotan build a wind-bike, Interview: June 2/09

Amir Florentyn & Lotan Toiw & wind-bike

Amir Florentyn & Lotan Toiw & wind-bike


I got an e-mail from Arieh Schkolnik, from Kibbutz Nir-Itzhak, concerning two Grade 10 students, from Ma’ale Habsor Comprehensive School and from Nir-Itzhak, who put together a wind-bike. He sent me the photos you see below. I knew I had to speak to them, so today I interviewed Amir Florentyn and Lotan Toiw about the project.

Lotan on the wind-bike

Lotan on the wind-bikeanother view of the bikeLotan Toiw



Judih: What do you call your vehicle?

Amir: We call it a wind-bike.

J: When did you start working on it?

Amir, Lotan: During the Purim break – it took us 3 days.

J: What gave you the idea?

Amir: Arieh! (Arieh Schkolnik, who we’ve met before demonstrating how rockets can be powered by water)

Amir: But,there’s a story.

J: Tell me

Amir: You see, Arieh already had a wind-bike and we asked him if we could borrow it. But, the kibbutz safety manager had seen Arieh try it out on the road with kids, and he was concerned that it wasn’t safe enough.

So Arieh, of course, didn’t agree to let us use it. So, we decided, right then and there to build a new one, one of our own.

J: How did you start?

A: We went to the kibbutz bicycle storage area and started to look for parts. We needed wheels and a good seat. We put them together, attaching them to the front part of a bike and built a kind of triangular frame.

After that, we needed more bike parts and pipes and other pieces of iron and steel. We built the steering wheel and the housing for the mast (which we already had). We made the steering wheel from two handlebars (one was already attached and we mounted the other one a little further back.

Finally, we started to build the chair and finished the assembly, and we were ready to experiment.

A: We had to figure out how to attach the sail. At the beginning, we were doing all this on the kibbutz, but we didn’t succeed much. When we went to a more open space outside of the kibbutz, we managed to travel. We were able to catch the wind and it worked.


J: How’d you feel?

Amir: We felt great.

Let me tell you how it works.

To steer the sail, we use our feet on the handlebar. There’s a string on the sail that catches the wind. We usually try for 45 degrees into the wind.

J:How fast can you go?

A: We managed to go about 20km/hour

J: Is that fast?

A: It’s fun. We even managed to crash. At least I did. But the vehicle was fine.

Lotan: There are no brakes.

J: Is that a problem?

A: Yes. The only way to slow down is to free the sail, and then the wind can’t catch it or push us.

J: Do you have plans to make more of these bikes?

A: First we need to work on some form of brakes!

Lotan: We also need to lower it, to make it more stable on the road.

J: Who is Arieh Schkolnik?

A: He works with my father in electronics on the kibbutz. And he has always invented things, including this wind-bike.  A few years ago, Lotan and I found a wind bike that some other kids from school had made. We just needed a sail for it. We went to show Arieh and he got very excited and he built a new sail for it.

Our wind-bike includes parts from my father’s wind-surfboard – the sail and mast.

J: Ah, so you were lucky. Do you have any other projects?

A: Not at the moment.

J: Okay, thanks a lot Lotan and Amir. Good luck!


April 30, 2009 Visit to Jerusalem

So, it’s like this.

I teach a grade 8 English class, in Ma’ale Habsor.  It’s a bunch of lively (lively) kids and we’ve been in touch with a class of 8th graders from Albany, New York, studying in Bet Shraga Hebrew Academy. This is part of the Living Bridge, Partnership 2000,  project connecting young people from Israel and and the Northern U.S. and Mexico. We’ve got ourselves a Facebook site and we’ve exchanged holiday greeting cards, and we knew we’d meet. Yesterday was the day.

On the bus

On the bus

We bused into the Old City of Jerusalem to meet them, and teachers and students from the Kellman Brown Academy, Cherry Hill, N.J.,  at the Western Wall mid-day.img_4179 








We gathered in a shady position to get ourselves in the picture.

First position

First position









Western Wall, women's side

Western Wall, women's side

Then we headed towards the Cotel, the Western Wall, to put in prayer notes, joining people from all over the world in this ritual.Women’s side of the WallWe re-grouped and began making one another’s acquaintance.

introductions via the 'clock'

introductions via the 'clock'

We began to tour the Old City.img_4195
Albany, New Jersey, Negev kids

Albany, New Jersey, Negev kids

End of the day, we ate some outrageously gooey cake and exchanged signatures and final hugs.
mika offers a handmade hamsa

mika offers a handmade hamsa

last gestures of friendship, signing a canvas

last gestures of friendship, signing a canvas








The group guide, Ran, had us bid goodbye by hugging 3 people we hadn’t previously known to say a personal goodbye. And so we separated. Bet Shraga people were off to the airport, New Jersey people were off to their next stop and we were off to our bus to make our way home to the Eshkol region.

It was stimulating! (Jerusalem always is) It was full of dramatic impressions. The kids connected and I learned how it’s impossible to adhere to a previously scripted programme.  Ran, the Jerusalem guide, John, the American group’s guide, Eyal, our Living Bridge Co-ordinator and the other teachers, Rabbi Aaron, and I were switching plans and timing, according to reality.
It was good!
Now it’s time to build on new connections. Geography is nothing without learning face-to-face about others.
As Gloria Steinem says (paraphrased) : “Internet is great but parents don’t bond with their children by e-mail”. And so it’s true. Technology makes for faster preliminaries and in-betweens, but nothing can replace person to person.
Ariel and Tal

Ariel and Tal

Rabbi Aaron Kaplan

Rabbi Aaron Kaplan

Update: Interviewing Ibrahim Amterat, Co-ordinator of the Education & Social Project

Education and Social Project

Education and Social Project


On March 26, 2009, I was able to speak with Ibrahim Amterat, coordinator of the project in the Abu Basma Regional Council  sponsored by the Education and Social Project, an undertaking of Hapoel Tel Aviv. I suggest you go to the Ha’aretz article for background details.






Judih: Shalom Ibrahim, thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions.

Ibrahim: Happy to do so. Go ahead!

Q: When did you first get the idea to form a co-ed soccer team?

A: I began to work on the idea last year: the idea that girls who have nothing to do, nowhere to go after school, could play soccer on an existing team.

Q: Which age group did you approach?

A: I started to speak with girls from the fifth and sixth grades. I spoke to them and understood that they wanted to play soccer but not with the boys. So, then I talked to the boys.

Q: What did the boys think of the idea?

A: It was very hard for them to accept the idea of playing with girls.

Q: You mentioned in the article in Ha’aretz that you had to speak to the girls’ parents in order to get permission. Is that right?

A: Yes!

Q: So, tell me about the first game.

A: It was hard. The boys and girls didn’t get close to one another. They didn’t want to accept the ball from one another. But as time went along, they started to work together – to pass the ball, for example.

Q: How did things get going?




A: It began with one boy. He started to cooperate, and with that, other boys began to join in  to work together.








Q: What about the girls? How did you help them to feel a part of the team?

A: I was very patient. I told them they could dress as they liked. I wanted them to feel comfortable. Not all girls wear pants, for example. They wear what they want. Some even wear coats, even though it’s hot.  They dress according to their family’s customs.

I would never force them to do anything.

warm-up exercises

warm-up exercises







Q: I see.

A: I saw this as an opportunity for them to express themselves, in their own way. It was a very important outlet for them.

Q: Did parents come to support the team?

A:  Some of them, but about half, in fact, stayed away. In fact, a lot of the community doesn’t even know that this co-ed team exists!

After the article appeared in Ha’aretz, I’ve had the most response that I’ve ever received! Someone just translated the article into Hebrew and I’ve been getting a lot of interest in the team.

Q: How does this project help the girls?

A: You see, the girls have nothing to do after school here. They have no organized activities, or no special way to express themselves.

Q: And how has the soccer team changed things?

A: The girls have fun, they play, and they shoot goals! They are successful, and this helps them.

There are now two teams.

Q: Do the girls also play the position of goalkeeper?

A: The children decide who plays which position. It changes all the time so they all get a chance to play in different spots. They take turns. One time it’s a girl and then a boy, they, themselves decide.

Q: What is your role in the project?

A: I’m the Project Coordinator –

Q: Who is the coach?

A: Ahmed Bukra

Q: What does he think?

A:  He’s from the north. They have co-ed teams in the north, it’s nothing new. But, here in the south it was completely new. Luckily, he had done this before.

He’s also a teacher of Physical Education and he began by having them do  other exercises – in which they cooperated.

warming up

warming up







Q: Do you think that this will make a difference in the community.

A: Well, half don’t believe that it’s going on.  But others come to watch and encourage the kids. We don’t have people who just show up and stand around.

Q: What do you think about the future?

A: I hope to form more teams, to spread out to other areas. What I want to promote is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl; it just matters that a person can prove him/herself as a human being. Everyone has the right to do what s/he loves.

Q: Since the article was published, are there any other reactions?

A: Some adults have come to be and told me that I should form a team for them. They also want to play.

Q: Will you?

A: I’ll do everything that I can.05032009196

Q: Do you see results in the community from the project?

A: Again, I want to say that there’s no way for girls to express themselves. But a girl who plays soccer, makes goals, builds up self-confidence and it shows up in the classroom. You can see the influence.

She will cooperate and participate more. You can see that she feels strong and more able to be involved socially. The children get to know one another in a different sphere. And there’s increased status and stronger relationships in the classroom.

Q: Do the teachers say anything?

A: The teachers don’t believe that it exists. One teacher said that there is a feeling that in the classroom, things are the same – boys at one side, girls at another, but there is a stronger feeling that they are together.

Q: Do you have volunteers helping in the project?

A: We have some. There is a teacher who has offered to help us in his spare time.

Q: What school are the children from?

A: Tal Arad, part of the Abu Basma Regional Council  (click here for map of location)

Q: I see. Well, thank you, Ibrahim. May you be successful in expanding your work. I want to thank you for taking the time to speak to me and for providing photos.

A: You’re welcome! Shalom.



I’m hoping that this initiative will make a difference in these traditional Muslim communities. Not only is he addressing the needs of girls but also working on elevating their status, integrating abilities and building a new view of personal self-worth. Children are our hope and Ibrahim has the energy to generate more hope within more children.