Standardization in the education system in the Bedouin population is not a luxury, and the preference of the Bedouin education promotion is essential in a society that has moved from a nomad lifestyle to permanent settlements within a very short period of time. There is great difficulty in adapting elderly and young people to a new way of life and the adaption of the new Western standards of education is not easy. About ten years ago, the “New Dawn in the Negev” association launched an initiative in collaboration with students from Germany and the USA who came to the Bedouin classrooms to bridge the difficulties encountered by young students in school.

Even nowadays, we continue with all our strength in the formal and informal education fields, and in public activity in order to raise awareness of the promotion of Bedouin education, and the standardization with the governmental education. Are you interested in our activities? Let’s stay in touch! All the latest updates and activities of the association mentioned in our Facebook page 24\7, come to visit us! a warm Bedouin hospitality is guaranteed 🙂

Two weeks ago we held the second (and final) part of the drone-building workshop! The goal was to build a high-quality drone that can fly in two sessions and within about 8 hours. The teacher, Abdalla, says that this is not an easy task.

The group was composed of fifteen teens in the tenth grade – the majority were girls.

How did they build the drone? Basically, Abdalla gave them an instruction manual and they successfully built it alone – without help!

Abdallah studies engineering and believes that building a drone is a good way to learn science. He explained that “Drones work with a component called Auto Pilot which is an open platform allowing a range of programming possibilities. We teach students how to deal with this component and how to program it.”

First the students assembled the body of the drone and then began to assemble the electronic parts that act as a GPS- this allows the user to know where the drone is located in real-time. After composing the electronic parts, all kinds of calibrations are made enabling the drone to fly successfully!

This workshop was held in cooperation with the organization Moona – A Space for Change. At the end of each program, participants can choose to participate in a nationwide competition. The next competition will take place in two months and groups from Israels’ south will participate.

Did you know that until 2015 there were no music programs in Rahat Schools?
A New Dawn in the Negev changed that!

We are extremely grateful to the Tzadik foundation for their generous support of this project which has helped us make this possible!

Our program Sarab “strings of change”, Sarab means Oasisin Arabic, strives to change the social reality of the Bedouins of the Negev by providing quality music education, starting with children in two elementary schools in Rahat. The Sarab vision is to expose students to music and culture to give them a source of inspiration, knowledge and enjoyment from classical music. The project uses music education as a tool to encourage creative expression, and to strengthen the ability to persevere, self-discipline, improve the children’s concentration skills and, ultimately, to improve students’ academic achievements.

Sarab started in one school, Al Salaam, and recently expanded to Abu Ubayda. Today approximately 200  3rd and 4th graders at these two elementary schools in Rahat learn to play the violin during the school day. Those who wish to continue can do so at the Be’er Sheva Conservatorium.  We hope that with additional support we can expand this amazing opportunity to all the kids in Rahat.

On May 14th, an amazing concert was held at the Rahat community center the students performed. Music can be the start of a different, better life for the Bedouin community, and a new basis for establishing fruitful cooperation and communication between the Bedouin and the Jewish communities.

Enhance, Elevate and Enjoy your tourist experience in the Negev by exploring the hidden and truthful narratives of the forgotten Bedouin. The untold stories of the tribe are illustrated in my upcoming short documentary ‘Voiceless in the desert’, as I attempt to capture an intriguing yet underrepresented reality within Israeli society.

                                      Who are the Bedouins?

Ancient stories, folklore and myths pervade popular understandings of the nomadic tribesman, but what do we really know about the modern Bedouins?

The silhouette of the rider atop his camel, the flickering flames of the campfire, the steady beat of drum circles are simplified stereotypes of Bedouin life. All such traditional aspects are incorporated within the itineraries of commercial Bedouin tours in the Negev, promising the visitor an authentic insight into Bedouin culture. However, because tourists largely engage in old practices and activities, they can potentially overlook the reality and hardships facing the contemporary Bedouin community today.

Beneath this glamorous façade created by tourist structures lies the biggest Bedouin city in the world, Rahat, situated in the heart of Israel, the Negev.

Throughout my stay here, I sought to explore the lives of these minorities within minorities in Israeli society, giving  them the voice to correct misconceptions and express their challenges through my upcoming documentary ‘Voiceless in the Desert’. As expressed through this documentary as a summary of my personal journey in Rahat, I have reanalysed my pre-judgements about the Bedouin, which were limited to the conventional image of the desert dweller;  a wandering man or woman, who shifts from tent to tent.

On first impression of Rahat, the shift towards modernisation is striking. The society has largely neglected their primitive lifestyles, and are adjusting to urban living. Now, citizens are housed in permanent settlements within a wider infrastructure of roads, schools, health facilities and transportation. With this great transition from one way of life to another, the once traditional tribe are forever changed.

The population suffers from poverty, stress and crime, and is renown for its low socio-economic standing. The youngest generations are particularly at risk, as 60% of the population is comprised of people aged under eighteen. Out of the youth, 35% have dropped out of schools because of increasing pressures to begin work, with a  significantly small proportion receiving a high school education.

Problems persist into their later stages of life as young people have difficulties getting a place at university. Not only, does their financial position restrict their prospects, but they also face language and cultural barriers, as they are required to learn both Hebrew and English, in order to integrate themselves within the Israeli system.

These youngsters are often marginalised in their society.

                                     A New Dawn in the Negev

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Jamal Alkirnawi, the founder of the charitable organisation ‘A New Dawn in the Negev’. His mission is one of easing the challenges faced by the youth, by giving them ‘the tools and confidence they need to lead a positive change in the future’ in a period shaken by modernism.

‘A New Dawn’ aims to achieve this ideal through enriching projects and programmes, designed to offer a greater sense of identity among the youth and increase educational and employment prospects. These include various extra-curricular lessons in English, Photography, Music, and various vocational courses for youth at risk.

I have personally got to oversee some of the incredible projects set up by the organisation, with the opportunity to visit schools and the city, whilst interacting with a diversity of Bedouin in the process.

Young Women are given photography lessons to improve their technique and represent themselves within society.


Young school children at a robotics class creating complex designs. Many of which have won awards.


A young boy working from an early age at a food stall to help support the family.


A group of 3 young boys walk onto our documentary film set at A New Dawn. I teach them how to take photos with the Iphone camera.


The everlasting beauty of tradition

Within this newly modernised city, I saw the slight bit of tradition that still existed. I was invited to Salamh’s tent, surrounded by herds of camel, overlooking the masses of Bedouin houses.  During my visit, I saw the beauty of the Bedouin culture that wasn’t all lost. I was greeted with kindness and a legendary hospitality, while given sweet tea, as the host started making and playing a Rababa, a traditional Bedouin instrument.



I put a human face to the Bedouin tribe. They are a people with the same goals and aspirations to us in the Western World, with limited chances and opportunities.

I met young girls aspiring to become doctors. Young boys aspiring to become teachers. An attempt to break down rigid gender barriers that have been in place for countless generations.

I experienced the new transformation of the society, but also the old traditions that still reside.

I saw the deprivations of the community but also their hope for change.

These are bright and talented individuals, living within an unfair system.

This is where the organisation A New Dawn becomes significant, in its role to create equality and a greater array of possibilities for the youth to make a difference.

                                              Get involved!

Partake in an alternative experience on your next visit. As opposed to simply visiting the same common sites of Israel in the likes of Masada and the Dead Sea, explore Rahat, a new but very important side of the country. By visiting the Bedouins, you can make a positive difference to the community.

Volunteer through A New Dawn programmes or teach the youth your speciality, whether it’s dancing, singing, or photography.

Learn about the struggles of the common Bedouin and their adjustment to modernity today. Spread their stories.

With Jamal Alkirnawi, let’s contribute in making progress within the society.

My visit here has certainly enabled me to see the reality of this unknown Bedouin culture, which I was previously unfamiliar with.

The biggest honour was to experience a society full of smiles in the face of adversity. A true inspiration to us all around the world to collectively maintain hope and work together in the most difficult periods of life.





From a meeting with a Bedouin family
My first interaction with the Bedouins took place in a hike with my friends in Ein Ekev, Southern Israel. Exausted from a whole day’s tramping over hill and dale, we sat down with a Bedouin family that lived in tents and were treated with snacks and hot tea. During the visit, we listened to their story of how their home was under constant demolition because of their illegal status and why they chose to stay instead of moving to the cities. I was completely taken by their strong commitment to the land and a Bedouin life-style. I also realized how little I knew about “Bedouin” except for its being a name for a nomad. After hearing of A New Dawn from a friend that has volunteered here before, I reached out to our CEO Jamal and expressed my interest in volunteering. Luckily, I got the chance to start my four-week journey exploring the Bedouin community in Rahat as well as working as an English teacher for Bedouin kids.
Experience of teaching English in Rahat
My major task in these four weeks is to arrange the English Summer Camp together with my coworkers. The program has lasted for three weeks: the first week we gave three classes a day in A New Dawn, dividing kids from 10 to 18 into three groups, each of different class schedules; the second week our four volunteers in this program were divided into two groups to teach in different schools, Alex in Segev Shalom while Joel, Anwar and me in the Matnas National Community Center in Rahat; the last week we had it in A New Dawn again.
The first week was not easy for me since I was giving three classes a day, and Joel and me were the only volunteers for this week’s camp. Joel is a kind, funny American guy and a perfect partner to work with. He reached out to me after he saw my post in the Facebook looking for volunteers, saying that he would love to join. I am so grateful that our cooperation went surprisingly well from the very beginning. After teaching together for three weeks, we has become very good friends.
We faced different challenges when teaching each group. Teaching the youngest kids seemed to be the easiest since it is not hard to draw their interest into English by doing fun games and songs. But they can also be distracted easily. I was very careful on the teaching order in order to make sure that the kids would not get confused by different information or overwhelmed by new things. Drawing, acting and story-telling are very useful teaching methods that can deliver new information while keeping them interested.
I had a hard time engaging the older kids into class discussions because many of them were too shy to speak English, especially teenage boys. But as we got more familiar with each other in the next few days, I started to realize that they were the most talkative and active students I had ever met! We had deep discussions on career, travel, and cultural differences in class, where singing and dancing would never absent as it is such a Bedouin tradition. One of the funniest experiences I had of interacting with the kids may be a “Could you write my name in Chinese?” activity. Once in class a kid asked me to write his name in Chinese. I did. Then one after another, kids came asking for a Chinese version of their names until I wrote all 30+ kids’ names in Chinese (I made several up though since I couldn’t find their counterparts in Chinese lol). Working as an English teacher, it is a rewarding moment when I witnessed kids too shy to speak English in Day 1 ended up open to conversations and asking us about our lives and cultures.

Being with the Bedouin kids is a process of knowing a different people while reflecting on myself. Although the kids are at least five years younger than me, many of them have quiet a clear knowledge of what they are purchasing and what effort they should pay to achieve their goals. For them I am probably one of the many English teachers they have had in life, only being with them for a few weeks; but for me even in these few weeks I had a meaningful experience. I see myself able to help them get some fun from learning, to be a friend that they can talk with, and a window through which they can see a bit of a foreign culture. Me in the process, surrounded by the Bedouin directness, hospitality and passion for life, I was also reexamining the culture that I’ve grown up with-much about politeness and respect but unfortunately, less empathy for others and passion for life.
Bedouin hospitality
 During my four-week’s stay in the host family, I was invited to a wedding once and visits to a friend’s or a relative’s family for a thousand times. It is a Bedouin tradition to maintain a close relationship with family and friends by visiting each other frequently. If guest are coming to visit, a big feast is a must for reception. When I visited Eden’s family (a girl I know from the wedding), I was treated with a delicious meal called Msakanah (a mix of grilled chicken, a lot of onions, ground almonds and rice. Yum yum!) and a home-made chocolate cake for dessert. After dinner, all the kids in the family came to me with tons of question about my impression of Rahat, my life in China and even Kungfu! Though it was a shame that I couldn’t show them Kungfu since it’s non-existing in me, I had a great time sharing with them different food and habits we have in China and listening to theirs! The next morning, after waken up by the hostess at the exactly time we had fixed the night before, I enjoyed the most splendid breakfast I’ve ever had in life plus some sophisticated gifts for memory. Their warm reception to make me feel like at home really melts my heart.
The Bedouin community-a different world in a Jewish State?
In the host family, I shared a room with one of the daughters Aysha, a smart sixteen-year-old girl and fluent English speaker. In our interactions I was surprised to find out that she preferred speaking English than Hebrew when she was in Be’er Sheva! Some other girls that I have talked with also expressed their worries in terms of speaking Hebrew in front of the Jews. Though located in Israel, Rahat seems like a different world from other big cities, such as Haifa and Be’er Sheva. Half of the Bedouin population in the Negev is Israeli restricted to settle within the city of Rahat and 6 other towns (Knesset, 2010), keeping their own communal lift-style. Hardship in getting the sense of belonging and being integrated into the broader Israeli society have posted identity crises to many Bedouin youth, especially when they walk out of Rahat for higher education or work. This is a problem that the Israeli government is trying to solve, but obviously their effort is far from enough.

I met a lot of great people in these four weeks, many of which I would love to keep in touch with in the future. As an Political Science student, I worked a lot on getting a more comprehensive picture of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in school, one of the most problematic issues in the way of the Middle East peace. Situation of the Bedouin society is something that would not be addressed as frequently as the Palestinian problem. Is Jewish-Bedouin coexistence less worthy of attention “internationally”? Practically yes. However, problems that are disturbing the Bedouin society, unemployment, inequality, discrimination, inadequate integration into the Israeli society etc., are also problems worsening the issue of coexistence in this country. I am glad that I have the chance to have a deeper look at the society while providing the kids with some help. Also, I am looking forward to coming back to Rahat, if not in a near future, and seeing good changes in both people I get to know here and the society.



בשעה טובה ומוצלחת השקנו היום את פרוייקט עמיתי הוראה ללימודי אנגלית ברהט, זהו פרוייקט חלוצי בנגב, בחברה הערבית בנגב.

היה לנו הכבוד להתקבל אצל ראש עירית רהט מר טאלל אלקרנאווי ולקבל את ברכתו לשנת הלימודים החדשה. עמותת השחר החדש, זו השניה השניה ברציפות מצליחה לגייס מתנדבים מצפון אמריקה ומאירופ  ביחד עם שותפינו מסע, ארגון בינה, ומשרד החינוך. תודה מיוחדת לאנה זינגר ומרץ פייזאל סלווחה.

המתנדבים יעבדו משך שנת לימודים שלמה בבית ספר אלרחאמה, אלהודה, אלאזהרה, אלפרדאוס ושיח חאמיס. בשעות שלאחר הלימודים יתנדבו בפעילות קהילתית בעיר. אנו מתרגשים ומאחלים לכולם הצלחה.

A few days ago our Israel Teaching Fellows (ITF) program officially started in Rahat! This is a groundbreaking program for Bedouins in the Negev. Good luck to Molly Golderman, Calder Goldberg, Jess Belding, Colin Daly and Tami Yaron. It has been the vision and dream of A New Dawn in the Negev to bring volunteers from North America and Europe to Rahat.

We thank the Mayor of Rahat Talal Alkrenawi and the Rahat City Municipality for welcoming this visionary program.

We also thank the Ministry of Education in Israel, especially Anna Zinger and Faisal Sawalha.

A New Dawn is proud to share this with committed partners: Bina and Masa Israel Journey.


The journey of Antoine, Emilie, Justine and Victor in Rahat
written and photographed by Antoine, Emilie, Justine and Victor

During the last four weeks we have experienced a completely different way of life from what we have been used to: the Bedouin way of life. We were living in Rahat and working at “A New Dawn for the Negev”, a non-governmental organization that seeks to promote dialogue through education. This opportunity has put us in contact with Bedouins and it allows us to discover their culture, habits, traditions, and challenges. At the same time, we were teaching English to kids, teenagers, and adults who were willing to improve their knowledge of English or discover more about other places in the world.
The classes with kids were an amazing experience seeing their everyday progress besides their joy while learning something new. The same happened with the teenagers, which already had a medium-level of English, and had the chance to improve their fluency and grammar skills. The daily exchange with them and their smile were the most valuable reward we could have.
At the end, our classes with adults instead of being a regular class ended up being a conversation where we could practice English but most important share our experiences, values, and ideas among each other. We made friends that have welcomed us and showed us the beautiful city of Rahat. It was amazing seeing how proud they are of their culture no matter what challenges they have to face, besides how they also question some of the traditional values today.
The most important lesson we are taking from this experience is the Bedouin solidarity and receptivity no matter how adverse is their situation. They have opened their city and houses showing us their traditions, food, music, parties and generosity, while we have opened our minds and hearts to get the most of this highly enriching experience. We are grateful and amazed for it.
These four weeks have been a life changing experience, allowing us to discover a new way of life, a new way of seeing the world, and even ourselves. We would warmly recommend everyone to volunteer for “A New Dawn for the Negev” as it is a genuine field-orientated non-governmental organization. We hope that our work here will contribute to the improvement of  bedouin youth knowledge about the English language, the Western culture and the World.
Bedouin hospitality as a tradition

One of the first thing that agreeably struck us when we arrived was the bedouin sense of hospitality. We were kind of lost at the beginning but a few hours after our arrival, a guy that we just met decided to take us in his car and to show us around. He took us to unrecognized villages and we got invited in a tent where traditional bedouin guys served us tea and coffee, they played a traditional bedouin instrument for us and showed us how to make coffee from the original seeds. We had a great first day discovering Rahat, the different neighborhoods, the souk and its surrounding areas.
First and foremost, you have to honour and please your guests. That is the principle of Bedouin tradition we learnt during our journey in Rahat. Having been hosted by different families, at different places, for different occasions, we were delighted to be part of the Bedouin community of Rahat.
Invitations to the weddings
Antoine & Victor have been invited to two different weddings. During these weddings they had the opportunity to see how bedouins celebrate happy events such as weddings. They had the opportunity to sit like real bedouins; tasting traditional tea and coffee, while watching the Dehya traditional dance. During these two weddings they have been invited to join the dance line and to clap their hands on the beautiful and attracting rhythm of Dehya.



Emilie and Justine have been invited to the female part of a bedouin wedding. First of all we were delighted to be accepted in a wedding where we did not know anyone except a friend of the bride. We arrived around 9pm and directly had dinner. The dinner part of the wedding was very different from what we are used to in France. We could sit wherever we wanted, while in France the seats are decided in advance by the future wife and husband. Big plates were put on the table full of a delicious meal called … and after eating people left the table to go to seat around the dance floor. Its was very surprising for us because in our country the dinner is composed of several dishes and people stay around the table for at least three hours. Here the dinner continues around the dance floor where several plates or fruits, bakeries and desserts are served. We had the chance to be initiated to many typical bedouin dances and to a lot of typical songs. We were wearing typical bedouin dresses and learning the typical dances, so our friend decided to make enne on our hands so we would really look like typical bedouin girls, the only missing thing was an ability to practice the belly dance for what we were absolutely terrible. It was an amazing night and we are very grateful to the bedouin community that they opened their doors with so much kindness.
Invitations to dinners
When it comes to Bedouin food, we have had the opportunity to eat Maklouba twice. We discovered the great deliciousness of this meal, tasting the sweetness of the rice with the yoghurt balanced by the crispy aspect of the cold cucumbers and tomatoes, to which the melty chicken was added.
Volunteering at a New Dawn for the Negev
During our experience we had taught English to a great variety of students, namely kids, teenagers and adults.

Teaching English to the kids was the most challenging experience we had. From 9 to 12 AM it was often challenging to make the kids pay attention and to adapt our content to their current knowledge. Their smiles and laughs were the most precious rewards we had during these classes, when we opened our mind and our hearts to these lovely kids.
Teaching teenagers was a very interesting experience. We used to teach teenagers between 2 and 4 pm. While trying to orientate our classes to try to speak about subjects that they like, it was interesting to see the world with bedouin’s eyes.
Teaching the adults was a great experience. Benefiting from the most sophisticated level of English, the adults were able to discuss a broad range of subjects with us. For this particular class we would like to thank Elham for having brought her spirit and energy, making this class from 4 to 6 pm always a very special moment.
Even though teaching English was our principle task at A New Dawn for the Negev, it allowed us to be fully part of the community, to discover the Bedouin people, its culture, traditions, habits, norms and values. It could not have been possible to live so closely to the Bedouins if we have not had this outstanding and amazing experience. That is why we would like to express our gratefulness in this paragraph and take the opportunity to thank everyone who went to the New Dawn to listen to us and to talk with us, because without them this experience would not have been possible.

The different projects we were involved in
  • Al Salam school
Al Salam school was the first summer camp our team of 4 volunteers was involved in. It was a very nice school, with lovely students and teachers who allowed us to spend a great time playing, dancing and having fun all together.
  • Lakkya school
Justine and Emilie went to give classes in a school of Lakkya. The students were between 12 and 17 years old. They were mostly girls but we also had few boys. They were very welcoming, smart and creative. We had such a great time with them and already miss them a lot !

  • Houra school
Justine and Emilie spent the 3rd week of the internship in Houra school. This time, the teenagers were older (between 15 and 17). They weren’t as motivated as the teenagers we had in Lakkya but we did our best to make this experience usefull for them.
  • Segev Shalom school
In Segev Shalom Victor and Antoine contributed to organize an event aiming at hosting Houra’s students. During one day they contributed to prepare posters and speeches about the village of Segev Shalom. While helping the students to explain about their village and their lives in Segev Shalom, Victor and Antoine continued to learn a lot about the bedouin society.

  • One day in Tel Aviv
With the students of Segev Shalom and Houra we spent a day in Tel Aviv. During the mornings, we visited Jaffa area. The only problem for us was that everything was in arabic, no explanation in English, but well, it was nice to walk in the charming streets and see the sea. During the afternoon, we did paddleboat on a lake. The weather was perfect for that!

What a wonderful year it has been with our Masa Israel Teaching Fellows With Israel Experience! Last week we said goodbye, it was a very special event. We wish you success as you go on your way. We want to thank Shaina, Sarah Denny, and Rachelle Anne, our partners BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change, the Ministry of Education, and Masa Faisal Sawalha, superintendent of English Language programs and school principals Hamad Alkrinawi, Muhamad Abu Abad and Gamal Alhozeel . Special thanks to Dan Harmen, Ela, and Ran Turgeman. We are already looking forward to next year!
Thank you to our friends from Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ

who came to visit, see our activities up close and enjoy a music lesson with the children of our project Sarab “strings of change” Amir ShachamNoga Maliniak Shaina Lidd Masa Israel Teaching Fellows With Israel Experience

Children have a lot of questions.  It is in their nature to be curious—and for good reason.  Children do not know much about this world we live in, and thus are often sheltered from the brunt of the reality.  The Bedouin children I teach in a Rahat elementary school are no different.  They are energetic and excited, and full of interest in the world they know.  Their world is a small one – many lack the opportunity to travel and have only interacted within their tribe in Rahat. They love to talk about Barcelona and Madrid, not because they have been there, but because of the football teams they admire.  While their very way of life is a political debate, constantly being questioned by those above them, the children I teach are not concerned or care about them.  They do not, however, keep questions to themselves.

My pupils constantly question me.  Some I understand – the questions about where I’m from, where I live, what my name is, and how old I am. When I tell them I’m from America, most are confused, how did I get from America to Rahat? Do I live in Rahat? Where are my mom and dad?  They ask me about my sister and brother, and what they do.
Some questions I do not always understand—the questions they want to ask but lack the English knowledge to do so.  I know they ask if my mom wears the hijab, and if I am married.  (A question I get almost every day – my gold College ring confuses them.)  They want to know if I have babies, a normal thing for women my age in their community.  They try to ask if I like Barcelona or Madrid, Messi or Ronaldo.
The questions the pupils ask me are simple ones – ones that I can easily answer.  The questions that I cannot answer are the ones they do not yet know to ask.  They do not ask me why I am at their school – the answer being to try to improve their English in hopes that they will be able to attend university and increase their chances at a better life.  They do not ask me which of them will be of the 30% of Bedouin pupils even eligible for university, and which ones will slip through the very large cracks in the Israeli Arab educational system.  They do not ask me why they only start learning English in Grade 3, when most of their Jewish peers start in Grade 1, giving the Jewish children a significant advantage over them.  They do not ask me about the looks and concerns I receive from Israelis constantly when I tell say that I teach in Rahat, the Bedouin city.  They do not know to ask me why Israeli Jews are scared of their city, why they are scared of them.
The pupils I teach do not see just how high the odds are stacked against them.  They do not understand to ask me why.  They do not understand to ask me for help tearing down that wall. Their eyes are bright with other questions, and bright with all of the potential that they hold.  The question I want to ask them is not what the letter P sounds like or what an apple is, but how I can help them tear down that wall, and close the gap.  I can only work as hard as I can to answer that question for myself; to help them understand that their success is the answer.