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May 2016
Let's talk about heroes
the everyday kind
a Jordanian principal
at a school for girls
offering a simple solution
rather than slamming
another hateful door
in the faces of children
who have done nothing
to create the war
forcing their families to flee
or die in the hateful dust
clouding the world's vision

the school is overcrowded
but when Syrian mothers beg
for their children to be taught
instead of saying     no room
the principal asks each girl
to bring a chair and she will
find room for one more
students walk to school
carrying multi-hued chairs
so many eager daughters
classrooms full beyond bursting
but the principal keeps her promise
none are turned away

a loving heart refusing
to be the lock on the gate
offering instead a key
a mother's simple wish
for her daughter to write her own name
becoming  "maybe she will be a doctor"
a seven-year-old girl declaring
"I want to be smart"
the world begins anew
with open arms, willing minds
perched on the edge
of bright plastic chairs
asking only teach me

*I am hungry to learn
Maha Salim Al-Ashgar, principal of Khawla **** Tha'alba Elementary School for Girls located in Jordan, thank you for showing the world what compassionate action looks like.
Denel Kessler
Written by
Denel Kessler
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