Retired trainer Khamis Ali has set up a lecture room in the street out of doors his residence in the metropolis of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, with plastic chairs covered up and whiteboards fixed to the wall of the constructing contrary.
Dozens of kids gather free of charge after-college instructions in technological know-how, maths – and a way to get in conjunction with every other.
Ali, 70, who finances the classes himself, says his fundamental intention is to keep children out of trouble – and rancid video games. He says he concerns approximately the consequences the video games have on both “schooling and ethics”.
“I think it’s far higher for the youngsters than staying out inside the streets or playing at the iPad at domestic and gambling other video games including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, these games that emerged after the 2003 [US-led invasion].”
Between forty and 50 students have joined his program and, in step with Ali, a few journeys from different regions just to attend his instructions.
In one lesson, he taught the children approximately Kirkuk and how it’s for a model instance of co-life in Iraq. A diverse and multilingual town, 238 kilometers north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Kirkuk is domestic to Kurds, Arabs, Iraqi Turkmens, Chaldeans, and Assyrians.
“The maximum important issue that I taught them is that Kirkuk is the city of brotherhood – how we all coexist, the Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians. Everyone co-exists on this province,” he said.
Ali also teaches science and arithmetic, the latter bringing out the kid’s enthusiasm in a manner that would appear unexpected, as they scream at the pinnacle in their lungs to answer their followed teacher’s questions and race to be first to elevate their arms.
One of Ali’s college students, Abdul-Khaliq Waleed, said: “We attend instructions every day except for Friday. This is better than gambling football or gambling on the iPad.”
Waleed Khaled, the daddy of every other of the scholars, says the outside placing is what fuels their enthusiasm.
“The college students love this atmosphere, they see it as being a piece extra open than faculty, wherein they’re limited with the aid of a uniform and the lecturers. Because of all the pressure that students feel at school, they grow to be hating [it], either due to the teaching or due to the strong routine that exists in our faculties.
“As you notice the trainer, God bless him, does all this at his own expense – the teaching, the items he arms out and the information, it’s miles all without cost.”Street games with street rules were unique in that “Parents” were nowhere to be found. A group of kids would gather together. Hang around for a while and then decide to, “Let’s play mumbly peg”. No parents were asked if it was OK. Or, if we could. Parents were invisible (just like girls after sundown). How in the world did we ever know what to do without parental advice and participation? And yet most of us never went to jail. That’s because you always knew who was at home.
So, off to play mumbly peg. If you didn’t have your pen knife with you, you headed home and got yours. Where they ever came from I don’t know. But, somehow we had a penknife. 4 -5 of us would gather together and play. You can Google mumbly peg and catch up on an idea of the game. Kind of an elimination game, when you finally couldn’t do one of the knife tricks you were gone, out! No arguing, fussing or getting mad, you were just out.
Mumbley peg followed marbles which followed kite flying which followed water guns, which was sandwiched somewhere between yo-yos. It was an entertainment cycle. You knew what time of year it was by what all the gang was doing. And, it was as predictable as the sunrise. Where did we get away from being kids who were participants instead of spectators?

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