Student Voices

One group of students at a time...
One word at a time...
One seed at a time...

More than a year ago, a wonderful teacher from the Pakistan International School, Doha-Qatar, Ambreen Mehboob, joined iEARN’s project Finding Solutions to Hunger. Partnered with KIDS, Finding Solutions to Hunger is a project of iEARN (International Education and Resource Network aligned to the second UN Goal of Food Sustainability. Participation in its lessons and activities offers teachers a vital framework for teaching students how to understand the root causes of hunger as well as develop strategies for immediate and long-term. Ambreen’s class became one of the strongest collaborative groups the project has sustained in many months. From that original class of students, a small group of girls asked if they might continue their involvement on an independent basis. Thus, were the Finding Solutions to Hunger Student Ambassadors established. 

Through their communication within the project activities and lessons, student-to-student, this small group of girls has achieved a profound level of understanding of the root causes of hunger that never failed to inspire the continued learning of students from other countries and schools. This did not occur overnight, in one or two postings of their ideas and thoughts, but rather over weeks and weeks of reflection and responding. They never failed to demonstrate the very nature of student collaboration at its heart - that of reaching out to one another in shared respect and knowledge-building.  In doing so, these students were instrumental in shaping the project’s focus in ways that only students can do when they collaborate with deep compassion and commitment.  They could not have done this without the leadership and involvement of their teacher, Ambreen Mehboob. To work with them as facilitator of the project has been a profound pleasure.

They have become an integral part of the forum posting among students in ways that I only imagined could be possible. They have helped to plant the seeds of action and understanding in the minds of many, many students in countries across the landscape of our world.  I could not have done this without them. 

In this initial installment of Student Voices, here are the reflections of five of these remarkable girls - Zaniab Abdullah, Faima Zahid, Haifsa Farhan, Lujin Adel Al-Mesri and Zoya Arshad Karim. Characteristic of their commitment and independence, each of the girls asked that they might introduce themselves in their own words.

- Mary Brownell. Project Facilitator
Global iEARN Ambassador

The Great Tablecloth
by Pablo Neruda

When they were called to the table,
the tyrants came rushing
with their temporary ladies;
it was fine to watch the women pass
like wasps with big bosoms
followed by those pale
and unfortunate public tigers.
The peasant in the field ate
his poor quota of bread,
he was alone, it was late,
he was surrounded by wheat,
but he had no more bread;
he ate it with grim teeth,
looking at it with hard eyes.
In the blue hour of eating,
the infinite hour of the roast,
the poet abandons his lyre,
takes up his knife and fork,
puts his glass on the table,
and the fishermen attend
the little sea of the soup bowl.
Burning potatoes protest
among the tongues of oil.
The lamb is gold on its coals
and the onion undresses.
It is sad to eat in dinner clothes,
like eating in a coffin,
but eating in convents
is like eating underground.
Eating alone is a disappointment,
but not eating matters more,
is hollow and green, has thorns
like a chain of fish hooks
trailing from the heart,
clawing at your insides.
Hunger feels like pincers,
like the bite of crabs,
it burns, burns and has no fire
Hunger is a cold fire.
Let us sit down soon to eat
with all those who haven’t eaten;
let us spread great tablecloths,
put salt in the lakes of the world,
set up planetary bakeries,
tables with strawberries in snow,
and a plate like the moon itself
from which we can all eat.
For now I ask no more
than the justice of eating.

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