A Blanket of Love

A lovely rug of many colors brightens the hallway in the Louis Braille School. The rug is a gift from Louis Braille School volunteers Zora and Arlo Rockney.

This is its story.

Zora with the blanket she and Arlo donatedZora and Arlo served with the Peace Corps in Makthar, Tunisia, from 1977 to 1979. Zora taught English; Arlo taught metal shop. One evening during the winter of 1978, some of the students rioted, destroying dishes and breaking windows in the school. The male students were arrested and, during interrogation, gave names of innocent students in order to save themselves. These innocent students were jailed for several months.

Jamal, one of Zora’s students, was one of those unjustly jailed. When he was released, he was not allowed to continue school unless he could pay tuition. Zora and Arlo paid for his schooling for the rest of the year and the following year.

One day Jamal came to their house and gave Zora and Arlo a beautiful rug his mother had made by hand to thank them for enabling Jamal to continue his education. The surprise gift was most welcome. Zora and Arlo used it as a blanket because the winter was very cold and they had little heat in their house.

It seems appropriate that this special rug hangs in our hall as a reminder of the universal value of education expressed through the timeless language of love.