Silence overwhelmed the hall where Asmaa Omar and 11 of her deaf classmates were enthusiastically following the fingers of a chef, who was speaking to them in sign language and preparing them to run the first restaurant ever operated by deaf people in the Gaza Strip.
The 12 trainees - eight young men and four young women - have been attending courses to learn culinary arts, cooking and food serving for almost two months, as part of a program initiated by the Gaza-based Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children and funded by the Drosos Foundation from Switzerland.
The goal is to provide job opportunities for hearing-impaired people in the Gaza Strip.
Most of those enrolled in the courses have been students at Atfaluna Society's school since they were children. Now they are being given the chance to start a new professional life, thanks to this project.
In sign language, the students get theoretical and practical training to become professional chefs, who can make dishes from Western and Oriental cuisines.
This chance is a dream come true for Omar, now 19, who has spent 10 years in Atfaluna's school, waiting for the day when she can earn both an income and her own independence. more
"This is what I have been seeking: A job," Omar said, in sign language that was interpreted by someone from the society. more
A report by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, revealed that on Monday Israeli soldiers kidnapped an 11-year-old Palestinian child while he sat behind his desk at an elementary school in Rad Al-Amoud neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.
The army claimed that the child had “thrown stones at Israeli military jeeps in the area”.
Haaretz said that the soldiers invaded the school, broke into the classroom and kidnapped the boy. Soldiers also kidnapped the vice principal of the school.
Haaretz said that the child "confessed" after being beaten by the soldiers, and also told the interrogators that the vice principal of the school helped him hide.
The paper added that the vice principal, Salah Moheisin, was taken prisoner in front of a classroom filled with students, and was placed in a military jeep parked outside the school before he was taken to a police station for interrogation. more