“No to Violence”

Husband’s ties to decades-old attack will not strip Palestinian teacher of prize

Hanan al-Hroub won the $1 million Global Teacher award. (Getty Images) Hroub, who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem and now teaches at a high school in the West Bank, was awarded the Global Teacher award at a ceremony in Dubai on March 13. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

When Hanan al-Hroub won the Global Teacher Prize on March 14, the Varkey Foundation cited the Palestinian primary school teacher’s commitment to education, nonviolence and her slogan, “No to Violence.” The group made no mention of the decades-old conviction of her chemist husband, Omar, who served 10 years in prison for his involvement in a 1980 attack that killed six Israelis who were returning home from prayer. According to The Associated Press, al-Hroub provided the chemicals necessary for bomb-making. While not being blamed for her husband’s actions directly, al-Hroub’s critics have said she should not have been awarded the prize out of respect for the victims of the attack.

The Varkey Foundation said it will not renounce the prize, stating that its prize winners are chosen based on individual merit, not the conduct of the candidate’s relatives. “As Hanan al-Hroub has said herself, she has spent her whole life dealing with the effects of violence on children at close hand and every day she works toward a world where children, wherever they come from, can grow up peacefully,” the foundation said in a statement, reported on by AP. “She has spent her entire career teaching the principle of nonviolence. She believes in nonviolence in all its forms and in all circumstances.”

The AP notes that al-Hroub’s husband accepted a peace prize after his imprisonment, has served in the Palestinian government and supports a two-state solution with Israel.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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