I am a Palestinian Young man who has lived all his life in a poverty-stricken refugee camp in the forever-war-torn Gaza Strip. As a new graduate of the English Department at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), I feel full of energy to embrace life and love it.... just simply enjoy it and live it peacefully.
I am so proud to be the only one amongst my siblings to have got the chance to go to college. My family and I have lived all our life, as many others in the Gaza Strip have, under hard and oppressive life conditions; poverty and war, security chaos and lawlessness. Such difficult life conditions oppress my hope and that of my fellow young Palestinian men and women for a better life for us, our families and our society at large. When I look ahead and try to explore the opportunities available for me and for my newly graduate friends as we are getting ready to face the real world, we see none.
Many of the young people feel hopeless and helpless. Life in Gaza as well as in the West Bank is very harsh. It seems to many people that there is no a light at the end of the tunnel. I am afraid that some of my fellow young men will give up the hope and adapt to the harsh and violent reality we live here in the Gaza Strip. But I refuse to give up the hope. I will fight against the hopelessness and despair. I am determined not to give up. Our misery and all the hardships that our society faces are due to many factors. And if we can identify the sources of the problem, we can figure out ways to possibly solve them.
The main cause of all trouble in Gaza is the continued Israeli occupation. Yes, even though Israel has evacuated the settlers from Gaza, it still in control of everything. Everything in our daily life is controlled by Israel.
But the Israeli occupation is not our only problem. It would be a blind statement to say so. There are many other crucial problems that are deeply routed in our Palestinian society. Our society is so divided around the factional lines. There is no central decision making authority. The Palestinian authority is useless and helpless in facing the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories and in curbing the security chaos and the state of lawlessness. Our society is messed up, and we are responsible for most of it.
One of our main problems is that the Palestinian political culture lacks the open-mindedness and the respect for the other opinions, that thing is crucial for building a democratic society that respects the law and keeps order. Having different opinions most of the times leads rivalry, and even enmity at some point, as we have seen in the fatal fighting between Hamas and Fatah all over the Gaza Strip over the past two years.
Also, the Palestinians are destined to have close relations with Israel, not only because Israel is still the occupying power that is still in control of everything in our life, but also because it is our neighbor. The relationship between the Israeli and the Palestinian societies is very limited to military checkpoints and violent attack back and froth from and against each side. There is no communication with the Israelis on the civilian level. I never had any encounter with the Israel people and youth. All my experience has been with soldiers on checkpoint pointing their guns at me.
This lack of communication with the Israeli students and youth, and the whole civil society at large, has created huge barriers between the two peoples and the two societies. This has, in turn, dehumanized the 'other' in the eyes of the each of the two peoples. I always thought of ways I can raise this point. And this was the topic of my presentation in the Turkey conference on Education for Peace and Democracy last November. The conference was sponsored by Israel/Palestine Center For Research & Information (IPCRI). Unfortunately, I missed this golden opportunity as I was five minutes late for the flight due to the Israeli intensive security measures ...
Why I want peace:
Our Palestinian society is suffering a great deal. The continuing Israeli occupation and the never ending internal rift between the political rivals, the security chaos and the clan fighting, the siege imposed by the international community and so many other hardships.
The Palestinian youth, has lost faith and hope in peace; and they are victims of despair. They hear no voice of reason among the noise of gunfire in the street everyday of their life. Violence seems to be the only way for expressing opinion and probably the only available way for them make use of their energy. Plus, the environment they live in makes them a fertile land for violence, unfortunately.
The voice of youth is oppressed and unheard. The only way they can make use of their energy is through extremist channels. They have lost hope in the future; they have no jobs. They need a little bit of hope and encouragement. They need to hear moderate voices.
I hope to be enabled to raise my concerns and express my views freely and safely and, in turn, to enable them to express their moderate views. I have been thinking of ways to keep up the hope and plant the seeds of hope in their hearts, my fellow youth. Now that I work as a project coordinator at the Palestinian Development Forum, I am in a position to make initiatives for the youth. I just need to have contracts with the proper people abroad, especially with Israeli counterparts.
I wish to see the seeds of hope being planted in our society, the thing that will lead to the re-birth of life in the hearts of the Palestinian youth. I hope to share my views and my hopes and overcome my fears with my fellow young Palestinians. I hope to marsh them, hand in hand, towards a better future and peaceful and prosperous life.
Interests and activities:
Interests: Listening to music, reading novels, writing feature stories, etc.
Activities: Conducting and attending seminars, workshops, discussion circles, etc.
Something you didn't know about me:
How I found mepeace.org:
What I want to achieve here:
None of us lacks the vision for peace, what we often lack is the first step in action. Therefore, the possibility of joining this platform represents a very important first step for me in the international arena.
In my opinion this fact can lead the Palestinian youth to work together in an effort to push the wheel of change forward and to persist in attempting to negotiate with whoever aims to topple their positive goals of a constructive and peaceful life. Therefore, I believe this platform for peacemaking would be of the greatest value to the development of my future work in peace and advocacy and also to my future contribution to a just and peaceful solution in the region.
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