It is really depressing to start the new school year without one of our ambitious students, Mohammad Ziad Al-Araj, who was shot dead on his seventeenth birthday by the Israeli soldiers on the 24th of July 2014. The school wanted to remember him and to commemorate his death. For that, during the first week of school – on Tuesday the 2nd of September – his classmates, some teachers and the management team went to visit his grave and put flowers on. We also visited his family at his house where we hung a poster of the team with Mohammad at school. His teachers also handed in his certificate for 11th grade and all the emails they received from people all over the world; the people who were touched by the breaking news of Mohammad’s death.
Mohammad, who came to us from Qalandya refugee camp, had the will and the determination to enter the Episcopal Technological and Vocational School in order to become a well known chef. Among his classmates, he was the dreamer, which is why he worked so hard and exploited every second to learn and develop himself. He even went to train in Darna, one of Ramallah's best known restaurants, under the supervision of the finest chefs, Joseph Asfour. Asfour was stunned of Mohammad’s output; he even offered him a job at the restaurant after Mohammad had finished his internship. Moreover, Mohammad the dreamer wanted to go to the United States to work as a chef in his relative’s restaurant. But unfortunately, his life was taken away before fulfilling his so longed dream.
There was something special about him; he was always joking and smiling. He has an outgoing and lovely persona. And there was a tremendous change to his personality from the minute he arrived at the school. He felt this change, as well as his classmates and teachers who really miss him and miss his smile.
And from us, the Episcopal Technological and Vocational School, we want to reassure his family and all his friends that despite the fact that he met his own premature and brutal end, yet, his soul will never die, we will always remember “the dreamer” and our ambitious student, Mohammad Ziad Al-Araj.