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Iftar at the Nour Center: Story #5 from #200students200stories

Today’s story is about another iftar at the Nour Center.

This particular iftar was almost two years ago and took place on a muggy, hot June night in Beirut. So hot that Ms. Jones almost fainted....but that’s another story.


In any case, the teachers from the Nour Center invited us to join them for the iftar the Center had arranged for their younger students. We arrived early to help set up; over the course of an hour we saw the main Nour Center hall transformed from an empty, quiet, nondescript space to a bustling school filled with the excited chatter of students, and the constant movement of the adults trying to corral the younger children and serve the food. Organized chaos might be a good way to describe it. And like so many schools and classrooms across the world, this chaos felt organized by love, by a dedication to provide nourishment to young people – in every sense of the word. We felt honored to be a small part of it.


Now the surprise came for us after the Nour Center iftar, when we realized that Mariam AlShaar and the teachers and staff at the Nour Center had organized an iftar for us as well. So, after we had finished helping clean up at the Center, we made the short walk over to the main Women’s Program Association building, trudged up the three flights of stairs, and walked into the main conference room to find dinner awaiting us. The meal had been cooked by Soufra Wpa, the WPA’s catering company, and as you can see from the pictures, it was a feast. We sat with our friends and ate, talked, and laughed - all of us tired, but content.

This story feels like one worth telling because it speaks to what a school can be for students, and for teachers. It also speaks to the community of women and men who work tirelessly to love and care for children, and how we, in turn, also care for each other. It reminds us of the awe-inspiring generosity and kindness that our friends in Burj al Barjneh have shown us over the past four years, and how lucky we feel to be able to be a part of their community. We wanted to share this with you, our community of friends from all over the world, as a simple reminder to take care of yourselves and each other.


Thank you again for your support - and please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about the Nour Center and Nour International!

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Nour International 

Nour International is a global network of students and educators supporting the Nour Center, a community school for Syrian and Palestinian youth in the Burj Al Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon.

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