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  • She Says

Eman Khairi Farag Runs A School In The Middle Of A War Zone

  • JWB Post
  •  July 9, 2015

“We are strong. We have problems, but we’ll find solutions. I tell my students you are unique and intelligent.”

These are the words of Eman Khairi Farag, a woman displaced to Kirkuk, a city in the north of the war-stricken Iraq, and currently the principal of Al Shaheed Al Hakeem Primary School.

A brave woman with a courageous heart, Eman has had adversity lay a hand on her multiple times. In the past decade, she lost three of her brothers and her family home to violence. And just when you thought this was the end of it all, she endured another tragedy as she got displaced.

“These things did not stop me. They motivated me to continue,” says Eman.

She has 900 students in her rehabilitating school which is supported by donations from the Government of Kuwait. This school, like the other ones, has struggled since the arrival of more than 340,000 internally displaced people.

Shortage of classroom supplies and facilities are often the case at Eman’s school, but despite these conditions, the morale there remains high. She covers a lot of costs by paying for them herself. Mostly, she provides for the lack of books out of her own pocket.

“They’re my children, not my students,” Eman says when she speaks of the kids at her school.

She stands tall as an idol for her students as she constantly inspires them to be defined by their efforts, rather than their difficult circumstances. She hopes for more catch-up classes to compensate for the months of teaching the kids at her school have missed.

When asked what she wishes for herself, she hesitantly answers, “My wish for myself is that Misho returns to me”.

Misho is her fluffy white cat who is alive somewhere in Tikrit and missing since the past two months. Eman is sorrowed by Misho’s absence and has also announced a reward for the finder.

In the midst of warfare and rivalry, it is the little children who end up becoming the target. Rehabilitating and grooming them in these times of adversity is this woman, serving as an inspiration for them and for all of us! We salute your willpower Ma’am!

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