Så här skriver Aman Ali på sin Facebook sida om besöket på vår skola:
”I visited an Islamic school in Sweden this week that was unlike any other place I’ve ever been to. As soon as I stepped inside the Al-Azhar Academy in Stockholm, the first thing that pleasantly surprised me was how many non-Muslim teachers and administrators worked here. I asked one of the non-Muslim teachers what inspired her to work here and she said it was because she admired the passion Muslim students had towards education and learning.
One of the school principals talked to me about why they encourage people of all faiths to teach inside the school and she said “In order to give our students the best possible, well-rounded and balanced education, we have to recruit the best possible, well-rounded and balanced teachers. These teachers bring in important perspectives that are important for our children to appreciate.”
The school has two on-staff psychologists that provide mental health services to the 800+ students that attend this school from all over Stockholm. The psychologists are also there to diagnose and provide services to children who may have learning and comprehension disabilities.
Even the little things in this school blew me away. I noticed that every classroom in the school, instead of having a room number to designate it, was named after a city in the world instead. So Tokyo, Madrid, Los Angeles, Toronto, Johannesburg, etc. I asked one of the teachers why they did that and they said “Room numbers are so boring. We found when we changed the name of the classrooms to cities around the world, the students not only took pride in being from their classrooms, but were also excited and eager to learn about other classrooms as well. It’s the same thing we want students to learn about their and other cultures.”
I peeked inside a classroom of adorable first graders that were painting some pictures. They were still learning English so instead of them trying to understand me, I asked if they could teach me some Swedish words instead. One girl walked up to me and said “Jag älskar dig!” I asked her what that means and she said “It means ‘I love you.’ Make sure every day you are able to tell the people in your life that you love them.”
It’s very easy to be cynical and have a dark outlook about what is happening in our communities across the world. But time and time again I meet beacons of light that give me hope on the road that we are all traveling on as a people. Sweden, jag älskar dig!”