Canaan Fair Trade Member of Women Coop from Deir Ballout
ALL ROADS LEAD TO EL MAFTOUL!
Firyal Qaro’sh subscribes to the notion that successful teaching requires igniting the imagination. A substitute teacher and a Maftoul rolling expert, Firyal participates in Maftoul making workshops in villages other than her own. Demonstrating to women from the village of Faqu’a how to roll Maftoul she puts her hands up and emphasizes the importance of having both her fingertips and the bottom of her palms working together at the same time when rolling the perfect Maftoul. In her humorous way she says, “no worries if one woman does it differently once you learn the right way of rolling then you can develop your own style. After all, all roads lead to El Maftoul”.
A graduate of political science and history from Beir Zeit University, Firyal considers history to be a core subject in education. “I think history includes all aspects of life. In order to understand your circumstances and the politics that determine your life, you have to have a historical context to be able to analyze and deal with the reality that you live in.”
EDUCATION IS THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
It is this reality that makes Firyal determined to change the future for her four children. “My father died when we were young. My mother was the only one who could work. There were eight of us and my 16-year-old sister carried a big burden on her shoulders. That is when we started working and making Maftoul. My mother taught me how to roll when I was 12. My mother had to do what she had to do but this is why I am working because I don’t want my kids to have the same childhood. I want them to have education so that they can take care of themselves.”
s a substitute teacher, Firyal says that teaching opportunities are limited in a town where unemployment is so high. That is why she invests so much in her work with the women coop of Deir Ballout. “When a woman has a family she will look for creative ways to help her husband in whatever way possible. I have a family and four children so I have to find work. I have been lucky because in my work with the Palestine Fair Trade Association I feel I am not only helping my family financially, I am also helping other women by teaching them how to make Maftoul. I like to benefit and in turn I like to benefit others. I am now part of a big social network of women who support each other so I am less worried. I feel cared for.”
A DREAM OF PEACE
When asked about her hopes and dreams for the future, Firyal says, “ I dream of raising my children in peace. I dream of having our land back and living in a country where we have equal rights and justice just like everyone else in the world. My kids deserve to live in dignity just like all other children in the world.”