Issue No.
182, June 2013 Latest update 9 2014f August 2014, at 4.39 am
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     Personality of the Month

Mahira Dajani

Mahira Dajani is an educator, author, and social activist. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Dajani has an outstanding career of giving to youth, children, and women in Palestine and Jordan. Since graduating from school, Dajani has dedicated her time to benefiting the common good in Palestine and beyond.

As an educator, Dajani served at the Jordanian Ministry of Education for 38 years. She taught primary and secondary levels and also participated in preparing the curriculum for sports education. Her role went beyond teaching to supervising. She is trained in sports such as gymnastics, badminton, and folkloric dance (dabka). She directed several sports training workshops for teachers throughout the 1960s, even after the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and continued to do so until 1984, in Jordan and Palestine.

In 1962, Dajani prepared the first summer festival, which took place in Ramallah. The festival featured Palestinian folkloric dancing, among other activities, and was held again the following year. She also supervised field days that were held by the Jerusalem district and included sports and dance competitions between schools. Dajani managed the events for 22 years, between 1962 and 1984, whereby school children had the opportunity to be physically active and engaged in a healthy setting.

Dajani still finds time to volunteer and help organisations such as In’ash Al-Usra Society, where she was elected a member of the Steering Committee in 1968, and continues to serve to this day. She has also been a member of Dar Al-Tifel Al-Arabi’s Administrative Committee since 1962, serving numerous years as president of the board of trustees since 1995.

A promoter of women’s leadership, Dajani supervised the opening of In’ash Al-Usra’s vocational training centres in 20 villages in the Ramallah district. She founded three associations run by women in the towns of Deir Dibwan, Silwad, and Sinjel. She was appointed by the Jordanian Ministry of Education to prepare the laws of the Jordanian Girl Guides’ Association, where she started volunteering in 1945 and continues to do so even now. She was elected the first president of the Jordanian Girl Guides’ Association in 1962, and was designated by the Jordanian Ministry of Education to represent the association in Denmark in the Eighteenth World Girl Guide Conference in 1963. Dajani is author of The Flowers and Girl Guides World: Donation and Belonging (1980), Girl Guides’ Games (1977), and Tasaly for Traditional Games (2010). She has attended numerous conferences worldwide and represented Palestine on various occasions.

Many associations have honoured Dajani’s efforts, which have extended to preserving Palestinian heritage. She is the recipient of many honouraria and awards, among them the Jordanian Medal of Education by the Hashemite Crown Prince Hassan on behalf of King Hussein, the Education Badge of Honor for developing education and supervision in the Jordanian Kingdom, Finland Girl Guides’ Badge of Honor for supporting the Girl Guides’ movement, Al-Quds University’s Trophy for Appreciation in her role as one of the university’s

founding members, and the Palestinian Teachers’ Union’s Trophy for her distinguished and effective role in developing Arabic Palestinian Education in the city of Jerusalem.

A living legacy and an inspiration for generations, Dajani continues to give and offer her wealth of knowledge and expertise to the communities around her.

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