DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 14 - Hanan al-Hroub, a teacher in the West Bank city of al-Bireh near Ramallah, was awarded the second annual Global Teacher Prize during a ceremony in Dubai.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented the prize to al-Hroub, after Pope Francis announced her as the winner in a video message after he talked about the importance of education and teachers, especially for children who grow up amid war.

"I feel amazing and I still can't believe that the Pope said my name," al-Hroub told The Associated Press.

"For an Arab, Palestinian teacher to talk to the world today and to reach the highest peak in teaching could be an example for teachers around the world."

She says she will use the prize money to create scholarships for students who excel in order to encourage them to choose careers in teaching.

Her win comes at a time of spiking tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, including five months of unpredictable stabbing, shooting and vehicle attacks.

 AP