President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal visited the Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev on Thursday.
The president and his wife began their visit at a school focusing on STEM subjects including chemistry, physics and biology. They were welcomed by the council leader, Habas al-Atawneh, before holding an open discussion with 40 of the school's students.
"This is a town that symbolizes excellence...the possibility of building a shared and different Negev."President Herzog
"It is a great honor for me to be in this wonderful school, here in Hura. This is a town that symbolizes excellence, success and studies in the State of Israel and, no less important than that, is a symbol of the possibility of building a shared and different Negev here in the land. We are all brothers and sisters and we all live here together, every one of us wants to make our dreams come true together. I am here so we can talk about all those dreams." Herzog told the students.
Challenges in the Bedouin community
Later, the president listened to the stories of three town members who have made an impact on Bedouin society.
One of these remarkable stories was told by Wafaa al-Tawneh Abu Sharib, who overcame various difficulties to become one of the first Bedouin women to study psychology and be the principal of a school, a job dominated by men.
A panel discussion with heads and members of local councils, Bedouin leaders and NGO heads working to facilitate job opportunities in the Bedouin society concluded the visit.
At the end of the discussion, Herzog stressed: "The needs of the Bedouin community are central to the daily life of the State of Israel...This is an important challenge, and as the president of the State of Israel, I want to advance topics that are important for the whole of Israeli society. I want to thank you for the important and eye-opening discussion."
Herzog's visit to Hura wasn't his first to a Bedouin town, as he already visited the town of Rahat at the beginning of this year.