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051018-M-2607O-001 KARMAH, Iraq -- Students from the Thorouh Al Aashreen Primary School help unload backpacks that were handed out during the opening ceremony by the Karmah Police Chief Lt. Col. Dalouf and the school headmaster Oct. 18. The Marines of Team Two 6th Civil Affairs Group provided the backpacks for the ceremony.

Photo by Pfc. Christopher J. Ohmen

Thorouh Al Aashreen Primary School in Karmah officially opens

18 Oct 2005 | Pfc. Chistopher J. Ohmen

The Thorouh Al Aashreen Primary School in Karmah officially opened its doors to students Oct. 18 with a ceremony in the courtyard of its recently repaired facilities.

The school reopened after two and a half months of construction that included large-scale renovations on the building itself and the addition of more classrooms, new blackboards and more desks.

“We are very satisfied with the nice school we have now,” stated the school headmaster.

During the ceremony, Team 2 from the 6th Civil Affairs Group and members of the Iraqi Security Forces provided each of the school’s 800 students with a backpack to get the students started this school year.  With some basic school supplies and more room at the school, the children from the local area will attend classes on a regular basis now that local contractors have finished the repairs.

Upon arrival at the school, vehicles loaded with the school supplies pulled into the courtyard to unload the merchandise. Children from the school helped unload the 16 boxes of backpacks that 6th CAG brought with them for the ceremony.

While waiting for all the key players to show up, the Marines of 6th CAG had another opportunity to mingle with the children.  They took this opportunity to hand out soccer balls, toothpaste and toothbrushes to the swarms of children that crowded around them.

The headmaster and teachers at the school erected a flag pole in the center of the courtyard with the Iraqi national flag proudly displayed.  They were very happy to see the finishing touches on the school.

Right before the ceremony started, the children were arranged into a square that lined the courtyard to show their appreciation.  Following the thank you speech from the school headmaster, all the children gave a loud round of applause.

Iraqi Lt. Col. Dalouf, with the Iraqi Security Forces, and two of his officers assisted in handing out the 800 backpacks to the students during the ceremony.  All of the children were ecstatic to receive a new backpack with a few supplies for the new school year. 

Following the ceremony, Dalouf and the school headmaster shook hands thanking one another for what each does on a daily basis.  Both contribute to future success of Iraq in their own unique way – security and education.

“We appreciate the assistance and the school supplies we received from the Iraqi Security Forces in this area,” the School Headmaster stated.  “This school would not have opened this soon without their help.”