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Al Arabiya interview with Jilan Heme, representative from the Hori Center

Published: Updated:

What is the age range of the children you receive at the center?

First of all, we are here today in the Hori Center for the protection and education of children. We accept children between the ages of 12 to 17 years old.

How do you interact with them and how do they behave when you first welcome them?

We interact with using a moral and democratic foundation. We follow academic systems that provide rehabilitation, educational and cultural training.

What does the curriculum you teach include?

The curriculum is based on academic curriculums like science, behavior, culture, and languages. At the beginning of their stay at the center, we struggled with the fact that many of them are illiterate in Arabic. They don’t know how to read or write.

We start with training to improve their literacy in Arabic so they can learn how to read and write. Then we teach them the cultural and behavioral aspects of the curriculum.

What is the children’s psychological state and behavior when they first come to the center?

That’s a sensitive topic in the center. When they first come to the center, we struggle with these things. Personally, as female supervisors and teachers when they try to do their job. They do not accept the teachers and supervisors, especially the women. That is because their behavior is still based on the ideology that ISIS has ingrained in them.

Do you receive support or training from international or foreign organizations to help you deal with the children?

First of all, at the center we depend on curriculums that are presented by individual experts. For example, we have experts in therapy and who sometimes check up on the center. We have teachers who are experts at languages and other subjects. But with regards to the organizations who we sometimes deal with regularly, they do not provide financial or moral support. We do not receive any support.

So you rely on your own experiences entirely. Our own expertise.

After a child turns 17, where do they go?

This center was set up to take in children who were condemned for criminal acts, misdemeanors or felonies. When they finish their sentences, we return them to their parents. If a child is an orphan, we coordinate with the Women’s Authority. The Women’s Authority has centers for children and orphans of a certain age. We coordinate with them and hand over the juveniles that are over 17 years of age, and they take care of them.

Thank you.