Mission Statement – To provide education and support for women living in a liminal space in Za’atari.
Vision Statement – To see all women having equal opportunities and to achieve positions of influence in their communities.
This space will be designed to provide the following opportunities. The ideas come from points from Sidra. An 11year old girl that lives in Za’atari
“In Za’atari girls have no access to computers”
This space will provide computers or ensure girls have access to computers for educational purposes
“The boys in Za’atari still want to wrestle even after everything they have been through”.
This space will explore this statement and provide scenarios where woman can provide answers to problems through discussions and a community of practice.
“In Za’atari girls get to play football. This makes us happy”.
This space will gather information about other activities girls would like to participate in. Through blogging and interviewing.
This learning space
is for developing peace in the human race.
It encourages the involvement of women.
To share, reflect, and debate
all the things that make them great.
It is a safe haven,
where freedom of speech is what they teach.
Where the equality of women’s rights.
Is shining forth like radiant light in the dark of night.
A narration of the poem
My Future learning space in action
My future learning space works in the refugee camp of Za’atari. It functions in small groups of women and children lead by a female mentor from Syria. The group meets once a week to discuss and challenge the current situation and to promote change.
Each week the mentor receives a discussion topic through access to the internet. The topic will be guided by current affairs and the needs of the people. The information will be given through artworks, music, dance, quotes and media items. It will be discussed and then a response will be given by the collaborative work of the smalls groups.
Through this the women of Syria have a worldwide voice and the learning they are experiencing can be shared with others. Many great women have shared phenomenal information when facing hardships through history.
An example of a lesson
Share the quote by Virginia Woolf “War will not end while women are kept out of power and while power is governed on historic terms that men established”
Answer these questions after a small group discussion:
Do you agree with this quote?
Are women allowed to make political decisions currently in Za’atari?
How would you solve the current conflict in Syria?
Another lesson would be addressing the inequality in the camp. I would show them an example of the sport choices girls have at school in Australia and ask the questions.
If you could do any sport what would you choose?
Why can you not currently participate in this type sport?
What other activities would you choose that you cannot because you are a girl?
This future learning space wants to achieve a collaborative space where people have freedom to exchange and discuss information. The space seeks to bring equality and to challenge stereotypes.
This is a video answering the questions in E-Activity 3b
I just wanted to share a personal experience. Today I had to get a pink slip for my car. While I was at the mechanic a man walked in. He was dressed in a long black robe had a long beard and was obviously Muslim. My first thought was to go to the bathroom with my son and wait in there for a while. I kept watching the guy and he kept reaching into his pocket. I thought he was going to pull out a gun. I was looking around for places to hide and was thinking of ways I could keep my son very quite. My son had none of the same preconceptions about this person and smiled and said “Hi” to him. Guess what he smiled and said “Hi” back and left the shop.
I thought about my reaction and thought about why I reacted this way. My reaction is a result of how the media portrays Muslims.The media last week reported a shooting in Parramatta a bomb scare at Penrith Plaza both of which are near where i live. If Australians are going to accept Muslims from Syria the media need to report some positive things about them.
This is a brief snip of the education in Za’atari
Za’atari is a refugee camp existing of men, women and children, that have fled Syria. It is situated in Jordan, in a stretch of desert. 83,000 refugees reside there. It is a liminal space because the people are waiting to return home, back to Syria, when the war is over. The community needs to remember that it will be them that will rebuild Syria when they return.
There are three schools in Za’atari. The teachers are from Jordan, the Syrian teachers are assistants. Girls attend school in the mornings and boys in the afternoon. Not all the children attend school.
The refugees have established shops and a variety of services. There is even a shop that sells computer data. The women in the area hold the opinion that they are not going to sit around doing nothing, instead they are establishing themselves for their return home. One women stated “God only knows what the future holds, but I want to learn,” According, to the United Nations, 42 percent of Syrian refugee families in the camp are female-headed households.
Educational needs could be to empower women to realise that not only can they use their skills for making money, but also for making important decisions for their country.
I am so glad to be learning about Za’atari and the life there. This morning my daughter was moaning about not going on surf camp because she didn’t choose PDHE as an elective. I said the girls in Za’atari are happy because they get to play soccer on a slab of concrete. Puts life into perspective.
After watching the video “Clouds Over Sidra”. I felt quite strongly about the arrogance of the men and the acceptance of the women that they do not have equal rights. There seems to be no equality and men seem to have all the power. I am trying to think of a way to design my future learning space to empower women.
Virgina Woolf made this statement in 1938 “War will not end while women are kept out of power and while power is governed on historic terms that men established” I believe this statement is still true, currently in Syria.
I came across this website that has some interesting information
This children’s book would be a good story to share if you were teaching at a school that was expecting some children from a refugee status. It could help the children in your class understand what the refugees might have gone through. I would skip the page where the little boys mum gets taken away.