Video demonstrates Beduin children's progress

In a new video, three Beduin children give viewers a tour - in English - of their city, Rahat, the largest Beduin town in Israel. The video was produced by one of the volunteers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev who work with a local Bedouin organization to teach English to the children of Rahat. The volunteers come from the international Masters of Arts Program for Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion and teach in Rahat two days a week. They work with Step Forward, an organization that Rahat's Beduin created in 2000 to advance community interests. The partnership began two years ago. Although the English program is its main project, Step Forward also provides business classes, driving lessons and other services that can help the Beduin better integrate into Israeli society. The video was created to showcase the progress of the English program. Its creator, volunteer Christina Paschyn, hopes it can be used to publicize Step Forward and gain support from other nongovernmental organizations and people in the international community. "It gives great hope in these days. It's a new way of cooperating, working together," said Avi Rubin, director of the Ben-Gurion program. More information on Step Forward's work can be found at