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Calming Kids in the West Bank

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Written by: Dee Marie

CALMING KIDS (CK) in the West Bank: The beauty of the countryside combined with the bubbling effervescent energy of the children and teens has created a joyful eye-opening experience for all of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City delegates.

We have visited three schools together as a group, two in Nablus and one in Qosra Village over the past 12 days. I, Dee Marie, director of CALMING KIDS: Creating a Non-Violent World have been blessed to interact with schools teaching Calming Kids Yoga on four other occasions.

One remarkable afternoon in Odala Village instructing 80 girls ranging from 7 to 14 years old. Their enthusiasm, focused efforts and warm welcome and thankfulness was just the beginning of the many heart-opening experiences I have had since in the West Bank.

Another morning traveling to Madama Village to teach a group of 40 male athletes, 11 – 17 years of age, was a fantastic adventure of balance, strength, surrender and humbled success for all who participated.

The Minister of Education met us at Awarta Village School for girls. She witnessed a joyous gathering of 35 gals ages 10 – 16 practicing mindful movement, yoga asana, dancing, stretching and meditation.

The intensity of movement and love escalated to its fullest at the American Academy in Nablus. An entire school day was enriched with yoga classes back to back serving 185 students, mixed boys and girls, from Kindergarten to 8th grade.

Wow, what wonderful opportunities it has been to serve the big eyed, bright smiles and bountiful energy of the students in this part of the world.

The networking magic of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project was able to connect CALMING KIDS with the An Najah University’s Dean of Education. Dr. Alia Asalia arranged two CK teacher trainings, one for elementary age staff and one for Middle and high school instructors.

The most striking thing as an American teaching in Nablus was the amazing amount of men in the teaching profession. Unlike the US where it is predominantly women in the field of teaching. The mixed gendered energy in the training room opened the doors for an enriching experience of laughter, seriousness, intellectual curiosity and deep spiritual connection. The educators were overjoyed with the information regarding breathing and self regulation.

As the instructor I left beaming in the light of Spirit that has led me on this path. In my own small way helping to create a non – violent world.

There is one more morning of two teacher trainings where the women teachers will have a separate training from the men teachers. Stay tuned for the update on those workshops.

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Mission

The Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project fosters relationships through cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges, inspiring lifelong friendships that support prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.” We arrange delegations to Nablus, with an emphasis on service, host Nablus citizens in Boulder, produce Palestinian cultural events and share expertise between citizens of both cities.

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Looking for individuals who are interested in learning more about Palestinian culture and fostering exchange of expertise. Come to monthly meetings to learn more!

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