Children of Hope, My Notes
I was stunned to see the kids on the stage in front of me. One by one the children of Darul Ulum School of Jeddah went up on stage to demonstrate their best fashions with themes that had been determined by the school. Their innocent faces smiled through painted faces made up like real models performing with confidence. Some children smiled on their own, but others were forced to by teachers or parents around the stage. 🙂
There were children who could afford to wear a complete outfit and others who wore modest clothes but their passion to participate in the event is what made me proud. As one of the judges in the fashion show competition, it was difficult for me to assess them. I was touched very much because they were mostly the children of parents with a mediocre salary. The parents may have had to spend at least 1/8 of their monthly salary per child for the school tuition and this concerned me.
The School of Darul Ulum was pioneered by lover of education and PhD graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Elly Maliki, and was established to accommodate the many citizens of Indonesia living in Jeddah who could no longer could be accommodated by the Indonesian School of Jeddah (SIJ) or the other local schools that are relatively more expensive. While a private school, Darul Ulum exists independently and its funds are generated from school fees as well as from donations.
This event made me think about the futures of our children – the next generation. Children cannot choose from which parents they are born and they cannot ask to be born from wealthy families. They should not be limited in their life choices because they have been born to parents who are only high school, junior high school, or elementary school educated nor if their parents may be illiterate. Their hopes should remain high, whether they have been born to parents of privilege or not and as long as the children remain strong they can realize their dreams no matter their background.
The children in the fashion show dressed up like doctors, pilots, soldiers, nurses, and teachers, but what will be the fate of our next generations if they have to drop out of school because of the high cost of living?
Jeddah, November 2014