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On Sunday night, the Palestinian teacher Hanan Al-Hroub won the one million dollar Global Teacher Prize amongst ten teachers nominated from all over the world.
About a month ago, the prize, organized by the Varkey Foundation, has chosen ten finalists from countries all over the world including Kenya, India, Pakistan, USA, Japan, Finland, Australia and the UK.
Hanan, the primary school teacher from Samiha Khalil High School, Al-Bireh, Palestine, was announced winner in a video presented by Pope Francis.
She grew up in Bethlehem refugee camp where she was regularly exposed to acts of violence. She went into primary education after her children were left deeply traumatised by a shooting incident they witnessed on their way home from school. She specialises in supporting children traumatised by violence.
With so many troubled children in the region, Palestinian classrooms can be tense environments. Hanan embraces the slogan ‘No to Violence’ and uses a specialist approach she developed herself, detailed in her book, ‘We Play and Learn’.
After she was announced winner, Hanan celebrated by saying “I did it, Palestine won!”