Horsh Beirut & Baabda Forest 

I was an educator at the school between 2019-2022, participating in co-creating the curriculum, writing stories, imagining nature based activities that respond to the children’s curiousities, with the specific role of guiding the weekly “Music Jams”.

Horshna is the first (and so far only) forest school in Lebanon led by Dahna Abou Rahme. It is run by a team of educators who, with a community of families coming from social and cultural activist backgrounds, are seeking alternative models of education and values for the upbringing of our children and of the future generations of the region.

The school is located outdoors, and we meet daily, rain or shine, in the green spaces and forests of Beirut and its surroundings. This allows for our children to engage in free play and exploration of our natural environment, developing an empathetic connection to our land and a knowledge of local plants and animals.

Connection to place is connection to the body, to language and to culture. Arabic is our main language, and our curriculum is inspired by creative and revolutionary traditions that challenge the status quo of oppression, gender inequalities, and social and environmental injustice. We create and engage in songs and stories from local and world cultures, that respond to children’s lived experiences and their evolving identity exploration and social dynamics. With an open and supportive space of exploration, our children are encouraged to observe, reflect, and act according to their own and authentic curiosites. We believe in the importance of mentoring in life skills and developing a sense of responsibility and agency to ourselves, to each other and to the land and place we live in. This bond is essential to continue to pass down from one generation to another to live in a more humane and sustainable way on our land and planet.