At the start of the 2002-2003 school year, co-principals Boaz Kita'in
and Diana Shaloufi-Rizek were replaced by new principals after a careful
selection process made during the previous school year and preparation
made during the summer.
The new principals are Maya Karni and Samiha Hijazi. At the
beginning of the school year they wrote a letter to supporters of NSWAS to
introduce themselves and describe their hopes for the coming school year:
A New Beginning – a Letter from Samiha and Maya
As we open the school year in The Oasis of
Peace Primary School, and enter our new role as its directors, we would
like to thank you for your great contribution, which enables the existence
of this special and multifaceted school. In these same days when the
conflict around us is so violent, Arab and Jewish children and teachers
are learning to know each other, respect and cherish one another. This is
a grand educational venture and we are honored that you have chosen to
take a part in it.
We wish to tell you something about
Samiha Hijazi is from the village of Tamra
in the North. She holds a BA from Haifa University, where she studied
Arabic and Hebrew. In addition, she graduated from a management
course, and from a course in alternative teaching methods. She herself has
conducted courses for teachers in these subjects and was also a teacher of
Arabic and Hebrew in Tamra's School.
Maya Karni lives in Jerusalem. She has an MA
in communication and has graduated from The School for Educational
Leadership. As a group facilitator she worked recently with groups of
school principals and teachers, including Jewish-Palestinian groups of
teachers. Her expertise is in skills of staff development and promoting a
humanistic approach in education.
In the process of getting to know the work
ahead of us, we have found out that we share a very similar
socio-educational approach. Together we wish this year to promote the
- To invest in social aspects and values
education among our students, with the aim of bringing hearts closer
together, and to promote sensitivity and love for humankind.
- To empower the Arabic language in the
school. All teachers have gone through an intensive course during the
summer vacation. We have also added a weekly hour in Arabic to all age
groups, with the hope that the language will receive a more significant
- We regard our staff as one of our most
important assets and wish to nurture and empower them. The educational
tasks in our school are many and the staff members are investing much
more than in any other school. This situation takes its toll in a high
degree of "burnout" among the teachers.
- In our attempt to ease the situation, we
plan to invest in the educators and the professional teachers by
becoming involved in their work in the classes and developing with them
methods and ideas for their students.
- We have opened a variety of roles at the
school , which staff members can take upon themselves and become more
- In addition, we would like to be able to
grant scholarships to staff members for special projects.
We believe that in our school we can educate
students who perceive peace between our nations as a reality and not a
dream; students who learn to be sensitive to the pains and joys of others.
We are happy and thankful for the
opportunity we have been given, and we hope we can live up to the
With gratitude and warm wishes,
Samiha and Maya