11-year-old Druze girl takes 2nd place in Jerusalem Bible quiz

“I love the Bible,” said Mira Husaisi, who hopes to compete in the international Bible competition when she’s a little older.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Mira Husaisi is not your ordinary 11-year-old girl. A member of the Druze community, she just tied for second place in the Jerusalem Bible quiz, which was held in the capital in honor of Jerusalem Education Week.

In an interview with Channel 12, Husaisi said she had several reasons for taking on the arduous task.

“I love the Bible, to learn about a new culture and its history,” the girl explained. “When I study, I remember that the Druze culture is very close to Judaism: we believe in Jethro, who is an important prophet to the Druze, that’s how I knew part of the story of Moses. Studying the Bible combines my roots and the environment I live in.”

Besides using the computer “a lot” and reading the relevant chapters among the 24 books of the Bible, she credited her friend, Ayala Saadon, for helping her “understand the material and all the culture” during the “exhausting preparations” for the quiz.

“We worked a lot together,” she said, and the work paid off, as the two together took second place among the 20 finalists in the contest.

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Mira’s mother Rada told Channel 12 that she had been “very excited” that her daughter was competing and that both girls, “who had amazing teamwork,” had “reached a respectable place.”

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon celebrated Mira’s accomplishment, calling it “a great honor that a student of Druze origin and her friend win second place.”

“The victory of Mira, the Druze student, and her friend Ayala in coming in second symbolizes more than anything the diverse and excellent Jerusalem education which, beyond pedagogy, also instills many values, including universal values of heritage and history,” he said.

Husaisi lives in the Beit HaKerem neighborhood of the capital, but her family is originally from the northern Druze town of Daliat al-Carmel.

The youngster said that she sees a future for herself in Bible studies, but in the shorter term, “if I have the opportunity, I would love to take part in the International Bible Quiz.”

The global variation of the competition takes place every Israeli Independence Day among high schoolers from Israel and Jewish schools abroad. Candidates are tested in several rounds throughout the year to determine who will go on national television to answer questions on minutiae of the Bible in front of a live audience, including the prime minister of Israel.