For Palestinian children who live in impoverished and marginalized villages like Al Majd, safe places to learn, play and explore are few and far between.
So, when the Tarazi family — a long time Anera donor — contributed the funds to build a new preschool in the village, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and the residents of Al Majd were extremely receptive.
“This building embodies our hopes for our children to learn in a peaceful environment surrounded by the love and care they deserve,” Charles Tarazi says, standing in front of the new preschool. Beaming, he adds, “I love every single stone and every single child in this place!”
For Charles, the preschool is more than just a building; it’s a way to honor the memory of his late brother Bahjat, who left Palestine in 1948. Though he was never able to return, Palestine remained in his heart all his life. Because Bahjat valued intellect and believed in the transformative power of education, his family decided to build a Palestinian preschool in his honor. When the Ministry of Education recognized the Tarazi family and Anera in a festive ceremony last month, they announced the name of the new school: Bahjat Tarazi Kindergarten.
“This building embodies our hopes for our children to learn in a peaceful environment surrounded by the love and care they deserve,” said Charles Tarazi.
New Preschool is Safe, Child-Friendly Refuge
The new preschool boasts two large play rooms, child-friendly toilets, and a spacious playground. It is fully furnished and equipped to meet the needs of the children, enhance accessibility and guarantee their safety. Like all Anera-renovated preschools, the soft colored walls and curtains add warmth and peacefulness to the atmosphere.
Anera has joined in the Ministry’s recent efforts to establish schools in Palestine for young learners, and helped set up seven other preschool classrooms in the West Bank in the past two years. When Anera completed the most recent renovation, the school was handed over to the Palestinian Ministry of Education to join a growing number of government preschools. Two classes of nearly 50 children now enjoy arts and crafts, dancing, singing and story time in the vibrant new space.
Educating the Next Generation of Palestinian Children
Charles Tarazi says the ceremony was even more enjoyable and meaningful because of the participation of the village’s children, especially the preschoolers of Al Majd who helped welcome the guests with balloons and happy faces. Charles was overwhelmed with joy as young boy scouts marched past, banging their drums. “I wanted to hug every child in sight,” he says.
His wife and daughter accompanied him on this visit to Palestine to share the special day. “Seeing this with my dad and seeing the expression on his face is probably one of my favorite moments in my adult life,” said his daughter Fiona. “I know how much this means to him because he was so close to his brother. I am very close to my sisters and doing this in the name of our family means an so much to all of us,” explained Fiona. “I hope uncle Bahjat is looking down on us from above saying that he’s proud of what we’ve done in his name.”
For Charles Tarazi, it was a day of happiness and remembrance as well as gratitude for what had been accomplished to help the Palestinian children of Al Majd.
“My family and I will forever remember this day as the day our dream came true to contribute to the education of Palestine’s next generation.”