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KHALIDYAH, Iraq (August 21, 2008) – An Iraqi girl swings her new backpack over her shoulder Aug. 21, which she will soon use on the first day of school. Teachers passed out school supplies and toys to the students after receiving them from Marines with Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt

A country’s dreams manifested through its children

21 Aug 2008 | Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt

Marines with Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, met with school officials in Khalidyah to discuss any essential services the school may need Aug. 21.

During their meeting, the Marines donated backpacks and school supplies, which teachers handed out to students.

“Our children are our future,” explained Hamda Fauil Metap, the Khalidyah School’s head master. “They see everyday, how Iraq is growing and they will be the ones to make the advancements to the community as they grow older.”

Khalidyah’s community joined together during the last few weeks to clean the school’s grounds and make repairs in preparation for the start of the new school year.

Students also took part in their schools clean-up, sweeping rooms and organizing desks.

“It is important that the children have a clean and adequate place to learn,” explained Metap.

Metap has been teaching for 25 years and in that time she said she has never seen a brighter future for the children than in recent months.

“Everything (the Marines) and the Iraqi community have done for us, we are extremely grateful,” she said.

Many of the Marines said they understand and value the future of Khalidyah’s children and will continue to do what they can to help.

The desire for a child’s education is one that extends beyond cultural boundaries, said Metap.

The Marines of Company C and the citizens of Khalidyah have found solidarity in the fact that the future of Iraq rests in the hands of its children.