Berber Flag Necklace from Libya

My dad just came back from Libya Monday night. He was there helped evacuate  war wounded Libyans since October. Yes, he was there when Kadafi was killed and when the Libyans expressed their joy by shooting guns up into the air.

Once when my mom and I were skype calling my dad we heard gun fires and bombs very close to where my dad was. Later on we found that one of an Embassy’s van was kit (which my dad could have easily been in). So my dad, along with the other men that lived in the building, had to leave and go to safer ground.

Although it was dangerous, my dad enjoyed doing what he did in Libya.  Interestingly, my dad had to fly from Tripoli (a city in Libya) to Benghazi (another city in Libya) to Malta then to Athens and finally back to Israel. He had to fly this complicated route because a high ranking official flew into Libya. When he came back, he gave each of my brothers and I something from Libya. Here is what he got me (it is a necklace):

It actual is a very interesting piece of jewellery because it is the flag of the Berber people. This tribe, which also are called  Amazigh which mean “free people”,  are indigenous to Libya. They are a minority in this country and Kadafi looked down upon them. The Berber people helped to be apart of the revolution against Kadafi (and now that he is dead) they feel safe to live in their country, Libya.  So this necklace, in showing their flags, actually holds the story of the Berber people and the revolution against Kadafi.

Youth Home — Be Thankful for What You Have

Today I went on a school trip (with the whole 8th grade) to a Youth Home in Yemene Orde (which is up near the Carmel Mountains). Last year a fire struck close to the Carmel Mountains burning the boys houses (but not the school) at the Youth Home. This orphanage/boarding school is only a High School for 9th-12th graders they were pretty upset that the school was not touched but the boy’s homes were burnt down. Luckily the Israeli government helped pay to put in temporary houses for these teenagers.

Basically, as we listened to the lecture by the main owners at Yemene Orde Youth Home, they told us their goal is to bring up the teenagers as normally as the possible can. Not all of them are orphans, some just live in really bad circumstances and live there. So they have a separate place for houses and a place for school. They usually have 500 kids, which is the same size as our school. Most of the teenagers there are Ethiopian immigrants and there are a few Russian teenagers as well.  While we got to talk to a few of the 12th graders (Ethiopians and Russians), we also watched a video (that occurred 5 years ago) when the 12th graders went back to Ethiopia — since the Ethiopians are the majority and got to go back to their countries. We got to see how the felt about going back to see their families; how they didn’t really fit in, but the peers that go to the Youth Home with them were more of their family then their actual family; how the Russians at first envied the Ethiopians to go back to their home country, while they could not; and how later the Russian seniors after the whole trip was happy for the Ethiopians.

After this trip, all I can say is that these teenagers went through a lot in their lives.  We are lucky to have everything that we have now, which is the whole meaning of Thanksgiving — to be thankful for everything we have. Also, the teachers and principle told us that we were not to allowed to use any electronic devises including cameras at the Youth Home, because they did not want us to flash around gadgets that these poor teenagers do not have. So, I was not able to take any pictures except for one’s on the bus on the way there and back.

 

 

Team Decisions — Hockey Marathon

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but I have been pretty busy. Everyday during lunch and after school on Monday’s I have to stay for Hockey Marathon Captain meetings.  In our school, we have a tradition that we do every year during December. This is called the Hockey Marathon. Basically, we split up the Middle School into two teams — red and blue — and play indoor hockey all day long. For the Middle School this is a really big deal, and for the High School it’s an even bigger deal. Captains (like myself) work really hard with the opening ceremony, the design of the t-shirts that all the players will be wearing,  the theme of the Hockey Marathon, and the closing ceremony.

This year our theme is The Battle of the Realms — with Blue Fantasy and Red Reality. Yes, of course the captains get to choose what team they are on. . . so as anyone can tell I chose to be on Blue Fantasy. Even though I submitted a design for the t-shirts, the captains decided on another design by a 7th grader boy. I was disappointed, but I congratulate the 7th grader winner and know that I will always have next year to try again when I go to high school.

So, just like each year, we have to come up with a skit for the opening and closing ceremony. I am the classic Bugs Bunny (which I am still trying to find a costume). The blue and red teams (for hockey) are separated into sub-groups. Also, girls are separate from boys for the actual hockey. We got to decide what the names of all the sub-groups were. So, here are a few examples:

Unicorns vs. Stallions

Vampires vs. Bats

Shaquillie O’Neal (a basketball player) vs. Big Foot

As for the skit, we are starting with the recording so that during the actual opening/closing ceremony we will only mouth the words. (also because of my gymnastics, I will be doing some flips). Hockey Marathon will be in three weeks (or sometime around then). I can’t wait!

Cambodia this Summer?

I went to a bazaar up at the International School in Israel (where I attend) and we met a woman selling handmade sewn scarfs and wallets that were made by Cambodians. She is apparently a friend of my mom’s and she told us all about this program that she runs. It is a summer program for High School students to go to Cambodia for 10 days. They help the poor, build houses for them, learn the history about Cambodia, and learn other interesting information there. Even though I am just an 8th grader, she allowed me to come (maybe even with my mom!) this summer to Cambodia. My parents are still thinking through this upcoming event, but it would be an amazing experience to go this summer! I am very excited and just hope everything can come through! For me this is an opportunity to do something interesting and fun during the summer instead of staying home all day on the computer. I am very excited and just hope everything can come through and I can go to this For Peace Program.