June 22, 2011, Updated August 10, 2015

Colombian pop singer Shakira stopped by a bilingual school in Jerusalem to promote her global education campaign.

Shakira, who serves as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, is in town to take part in the third annual Israeli Presidential Conference – an international event that brings together people committed to improving the state of the world through global, regional and industry policymaking.

“The most crucial decision we can make for a better tomorrow is how we educate our children,” said the 34-year-old singer.

“How wonderful it would be if the world would act like a team. We have so many challenges ahead of us, so many problems to solve,” Shakira said. “This is the time to behave like a team, to wear the same T-shirts and to win the match of discrimination, to win the match of inequality and segregation.”

The ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ singer is known beyond the pop arena for her aid work. She has established a number of charitable foundations dedicated toward advancing education.

During her visit to the Max Payne Hand in Hand School for Bilingual Education, students snapped photos with their popular guest and sang her songs with an Arabic-Hebrew twist.

“My visit to Max Payne school here in Jerusalem – an inspirational school where students learn together, across all divides, speaking both Arabic and Hebrew, learning and playing together without difference – only reminded me, once again, that the most crucial decisions we can make for a better tomorrow concern how to raise and educate our children,” Shakira said.

Shakira came to Israel despite a Facebook campaign calling on her to skip the conference. She even brought her famous boyfriend, Spanish national football team star and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Shakira said she had great respect and love for the people of Israel.

“I’m very proud of my Lebanese heritage … but it has nothing to do with the fact that I respect and have great affection for this country and the people of this country, both Israelis and Palestinians, and that’s why I’m here,” she told AP. “I think that kids need us – kids don’t understand about conflicts.”



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