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Dear Friends,

Spring has come again to Palestine. Hills and valleys that but yesterday were bare are clothed in green velvet. Where the dust lay deep barley and wild grasses hold dominion, tempting horses to browse, and their riders to wait and dream of springtime in other lands.
Spring has worked her will, and raised beauty out of the dust. The land has blossomed, so that it seems an idle fancy that the red tide of war ever flowed over it. Death maybe lies hidden beneath the poppies and the yellow flowers, but the smoke and uproar of battle have rolled away, and Palestine is responsive to spring under a tranquil sky.
Palestine has been called the land of wild flowers, and no one who has seen it in spring is likely to deny it the right to that title. It is a land of blossoms and birds, pleasant to drift in. If you haven't witnessed spring in Palestine, you haven't witnessed Palestine at all.

Palestinian Poppies
painted by Tamam Al-Akhal


Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM)

Twelve of Al-Shurooq School's children, aged 8-12 years, joined The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in February, in a three year project that aims at introducing visually impaired children to music. The project aims at using music as a means of therapy to allow the children to discover their abilities, increase their self confidence, raise their self-esteem and strengthen their sense of hearing.
Our children need to get out of their shell and explore different aspects of life and allow music to loosen their bodies, develop their personalities and improve their abilities.

Children have a one-hour lesson a week. Music lessons are divided into three categories: theory, choir and instrument playing. Teachers at ESNCM work with the children based on their individual abilities.

The children eagerly wait for their music lesson every week.

The cost of educating one child at ESNCM is 4,850 Shekels / year.


Music at ESNCM


Bethlehem University Community Service Program

The National Society for the Visually Handicapped enrolled in Bethlehem University Community Service Program in February.

In this program, the university is committed, through its' students, to provide voluntary services to the Palestinian community where the need is high and the resources limited.

Services may vary from educational, social, cultural or humanitarian depending on the need.

Ameera Musallam, a young lady from Beit Jala, decided to do her community service at Al-Shurooq School. She's been with us for two months now. She is committed to follow the children up with their homework and afternoon activities.

Ameera is at Al-Shurooq School twice a week for three hours every time. The children are very fond of her, she's caring and loving, and they enjoy her company tremendously.


Corneal transplantation for Mahmoud Alasa

Mahmoud Alasa, from Bethlehem, joined Al-Shurooq School in 2008 when he was five years old. He is currently in fourth grade. He had undergone multiple glaucoma surgeries since birth in both eyes, but leaving him nonetheless totally blind. His parents never gave up on his eyesight and kept consulting different ophthalmologists in Palestine and Jordan. Upon recent ophthalmologists examination in Amman, Jordan, corneal transplant was advised. The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and interior chamber. Corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting, is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue (the graft) in its entirety or in part. The graft is taken from a recently deceased individual with no known diseases or other factors that may affect the viability of the donated tissue or the health of the recipient.

Mahmoud left to Amman March 26th and had a corneal transplant in one eye on the 28th. According to his father, the surgery was successful and Mahmoud is now able to see from a distance of 1.5 meters. Mahmoud has to stay in Amman for another two weeks for further monitoring and evaluation.

God has been so kind and generous to this young boy. We hope to have Mahmoud with us soon.





Braille Book Production Unit

Printing Braille textbooks is ongoing. For the past three months 27 new book titles have been added to our library. These books fell in 36 volumes, of which 300 copies were printed and given out on loan.

Thank you friends for your love, prayers and support.


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