by Shimon Cohen
An Arab educator, principal of an elementary school in the Galilee, brings knowledge of the Holocaust to the children of the Arab sector. A beautiful example of integrity and humanity.
The principal of the school in the Galilee village of Nein has translated the book “My brother” to Arabic to introduce the story of the Holocaust to children of the community. The situation caused by the Corona virus has temporarily blocked its publication.
Na’il Zoabi Photo: Adham Zoabi
Na’il Zoabi, principal of an elementary school and resident of Nein, who educates his pupils for tolerance and human dignity, planned for the first children’s book in Arabic on the Holocaust to be published in time for Yom Hashoah. “The Corona torpedoed the plan and that’s a shame, but I am not discouraged.
“I have already translated the book My Brother, by educator and author Emanuel Ben Sabo, and soon I will translate Life’s Sweet Things, and The Little Beggar from Daraban to Arabic as well“. The values expressed in the book are the most important universal values, in light of the terrible Holocaust that the Jewish People experienced”, says Na’il.
A series of children’s books dealing with various aspects of the Holocaust suitable for children and youths, written by educator and author and publicist Emanuel Ben Sabo, will be published in Arabic for the young generation of Israeli Arabs.
The veteran and esteemed educator and principal of the school in Nein, Na’il Zoabi, has been engaged for some time in translating children’s books to Arabic to make them more accessible to children of the community. “According to the plan, My Brother, the book by my friend, author and educator Emanuel Ben Sabo, which I had already translated to Arabic, was supposed to have been published and distributed among the schools and the pupils were to have studied it, with the high point being an encounter and discussion for Yom Hashoah, but “the plan is one thing and the Corona pandemic is another”, says Na’il Zoabi.
“I became acquainted with four evocative and wise children’s books by Emanuel Ben Sabo: The Quivering Candles, Life’s Sweet Things, My Brother and The Little Beggar from Daraban, all of which share the hidden message of universal values, responsibility, human dignity, brotherly love, mutual responsibility and shared fate. For me, this was a special reading experience, so I proposed to the author Emanuel Ben Sabo to translate his books to Arabic. How humanity deals with racism, anti-Semitism, hatred and animosity is extremely important so we must begin to internalize this at a young age, to plant the seeds of tolerance and respect”.
“The picture that arises of the terrible Jewish suffering, the brutality of the Nazis, the anti-Semitism and racism that rose from within a cultured country, are a warning signal to the world, forever. The translation brings forth the painful and emotional stories sensitively for children of the community”.
As noted, Na’il chose to translate the book My Brother first, which tells the story of the final journey of two brothers in a difficult, never-ending journey, while caring for each other and maintaining human dignity, until their unexpected and agonizing parting.
Educator and author Emanuel Ben Sabo enthusiastically thanked Na’il for the translation of the book and for his intention to translate the rest of the children’s books dealing with the Holocaust.
“We are commanded to remember and not forget; to internalize the memory and embrace human, ethical values, love and compassion, respect and tolerance, and to eradicate evil and wickedness, racism and hatred, that raise their heads even in our times”, says Ben Sabo.
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