More than 400 parents, students, educators and community representatives packed the auditorium in Givat Haviva on July 11 for an Open House and presentation about Al Sindiana, the new Arab Educational Youth Village for Leadership, which will open its doors for the first time on September 1, 2017. The evening was a major milestone in the development of this pioneering institution.
The innovative school is the result of a partnership between the Society for the Advancement of Education, Jerusalem (SAE) and leaders from the Israeli Arab community in the Triangle region. Al Sindiana (meaning “The Oak” in Arabic) will utilize an educational framework designed to develop a cohort of young leaders for the Israeli Arab community.
Speakers at the Open House presented the basic concepts driving the establishment of the new Arab Educational Youth Village for Leadership:
- The school campus is being established in Givat Haviva, which is centrally located, easily reached by students from around the Triangle Region and Wadi Ara.
- The Campus will be an educational center that will cultivate the values of excellence, leadership and identity among Arab youth with the goal of opening paths to success in academia, employment and society.
- The school will serve Arab students in grades 7 through 12 and will include residential facilities. The educational residence on campus will enable the school to accept Arab students from around the country, allowing them to maximize their inherent academic and social potential.
The event was directed by the educational adviser Nura Abu Hussein. Speakers included Hussam Abu Bakr, representative of the local entrepreneurs and the Sindiana nonprofit organization (which is being established); Eitan Moran, Executive Director of the Society for the Advancement of Education; and Dr. Khaled Abu Abasa, director of the Masar Institute for Social Studies and an expert on education and society, who discussed the importance of the preliminary research he has carried out for the project and the importance of establishing the youth village.
The chairman of the steering committee, Dr. Ayman Agbaria, a lecturer in education, policy, and educational leadership at the University of Haifa, then discussed the importance of the project and emphasized the issue of leadership. A representative of the Menashe Regional Council praised the initiative and the cooperation, as well as the project for providing a solution to the Arab students in the Arab communities of the Menashe Regional Council after many years of hardship.
Ms. Indira Biadsa, an experienced educator and Principal of Al Sindiana, at podium in photo at left, then introduced the teaching staff and outlined the vision and the unique characteristics of the school and the residential campus, including the curricula, the objectives and targets, and the acceptance procedures.
The general public expressed appreciation, support, and interest in the project. The event was characterized by candid discussion, transparency, clarity, efficiency, and understanding of the population’s needs.
The Open House helped SAE and its partners focus and sharpen some of the school’s messaging and overcome some of the challenges in advance of the opening in September.