Muslim Community School asks to move from Truce to Peace Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:00

Students from Sis. Clara Muhammad Primary School protestEleven-year-old Daniel Matura Jr. was a Standard Three student at Sister Clara Muhammad Primary School in Belize City. Monday is a day that he would normally be in school with his classmates and friends. However, Monday, May 21, was a holiday in lieu of Commonwealth Day. At around 8:30 that morning, young Matura went to shop a stone’s throw away from school when three bullets hit him,  one in the left side of the chest, one in the right side of the back and one hit his left ring finger. Matura died shortly after, becoming the latest casualty in a gang war that stages so many battles in that one area.

His chair was empty as his classmates walked in on Tuesday morning. Many had already heard the news and others were briefed for the first time. The school held a counseling session for his friends to help them cope with the grief of losing a loved one. After the session, the children, teachers, school management and volunteers decided to express their hurt and frustration in an appropriate manner. On Wednesday, May 23, students of Sister Clara Muhammad School and Excelsior marched throughout battleground streets in the area. They were joined by educators, community activists and residents of the area. As the crowd marched they demanded two things: justice and peace.

Lana Ahmad explained that the theme of the march was “From Truce to Peace”. The marched started in front of Sister Clara Muhammad School then went down Central American Boulevard turned into Caesar Ridge Road and turned near Wilton Cumberbatch Field into Kraal Road. From there, it continued into Neal’s Pen Road, back down the Boulevard passing the scene of Matura’s murder before concluding in front of the school compound. Though a clear message was sent to the gangsters in the area, the march was more for the children. It was in an effort to teach them that they can cope with grief and express their pain without resorting to violence.