Photographs for which there are no words: Going to school in Palestine

A picture is worth a thousand words?  For some pictures, no adequate words exist.

Ammar Awad/Reuters girl going to school in Palestine, with combat troops looking on

Photo by Ammar Awad, Reuters; caption from L’Express: De l’audace! – 17/03/2010 Afin de se rendre à l’école, une enfant traverse les lieux des affrontements entre les troupes israéliennes et les Palestiniens, dans le camp de réfugiés de Shuafat, près de Jérusalem.

L’Express caption in English:

The audacity! – 17/03/2010

To go to school, a child crosses the scene of clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians in the refugee camp Shuafat, near Jerusalem.

Rather puts into a different perspective the whines of students about “having to go to school,” not bringing pencils or paper, and not making it to class on time, doesn’t it?  What value does this girl and her family place on education?

To those who think the U.S. should in no case offer aid to Palestinians to build or operate schools, I ask:  Who do you want to pay for this child’s schooling, and direct the curriculum?

Teachers, is this photo useful for studying human rights?  Education?  Middle Eastern human geography (AP), geography, or other issues?  Contrast this girl’s path to school with that of Linda Brown in Topeka, Kansas, in 1951 (Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education).

Is education a civil right? Is education a basic human right?

Tip of the old scrub brush to James Kessler, who posted a slightly profanely-captioned version of this on Facebook.

Update:  Amusing Planet has this photo (with a nice shout out) and several others, showing kids risking their lives to get to school in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia — it’s awe-inspiring, scary and encouraging at the same time.


8 Responses to Photographs for which there are no words: Going to school in Palestine

  1. […] modest departure from the occasional series on how kids get to school, and the classrooms they get to. Perhaps more […]


  2. […] view for students who complain about “having to go to school”. Ed Darrell, who blogs at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, questioned: What value does this girl and her family place on education? Is education a civil […]


  3. […] Photographs for which there are no words: Going to school in Palestine, Millard Fillmore’s Bat… […]


  4. Debra says:

    Heartstopping. She looks so fragile. What the picture doesn’t show is that the real threat to her person and education comes from the guys standing behind her.

    Another teaching link: Ruby Bridges. There is a nice children’s picture book about her story that can be used even at the elementary level plus the amazing Rockwell painting “The Problem We All Live With

    Also, Malala Yousafzai.

    I just hope she and all her peers will get an education if she can get safely to school. I have been greatly saddened by the trend toward the industrialization of education these past couple decades.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Then there are the kids for whom the trip to school may be the most pleasant part.


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