Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Hope is not an option for Jerusalem

written by Ala based on an interview with Alon

Born and raised in Jerusalem for eighteen years, today Alon is leaving “Kids for Peace” the organization that he joined five years ago, to join the Israeli military service. And for eighteen years he’s been familiar with the conflict that started in 1948 fifty years before he was born.

A Conflict of land more than a conflict of three different religions I’d say, yet I do not understand how far can they be apart? when they come from the same source and in details they are very much alike.

ala k4p tshirt

Actions speak louder than words they say, and I believe it is the same for this city. Ignorance on the other hand is the real enemy we are facing, educating ourselves about the other side and the will to compromise is what makes us find common ground and true Peace.

In his back pack Alon does not only carry his clothes but also strong believes and values that he got from a family that values justice and equality. Alon believes in Israel, however he also believes in standing against carrying military orders that violates human rights of the Palestinian people.

The five years that Alon has been with “Kids for Peace” has introduced him to the Palestinian point of view and a wider vision of the situation as a whole.

Therefore hope is not an option in Jerusalem but actions are. Just like Alon believes, we all need to start taking actions, to start understanding the other, to start making compromises that are just for both sides, to see beyond religion, race and language and to see each other for who we are “Humans”, that are capable of loving, of working with each other and most of all of living with each other in a mutual respect. To see each other as humans not as enemies, to understand that religion is a way of life not a reason to hate and kill.

ala photo 2


When Palestinians and Israelis are nothing but humans

written by Najla

When Palestinian and Israeli are nothing but humans!

When we hear the names Israel or Palestine, the first thing that comes to mind is the conflict these two states are suffering from. One land is being divided into two states where people are discriminated based on the part of land they end up in. If you live in the south, north or east of this land, then you will be an Israeli, while if you live in the west or middle of this land you will be called Palestinian. These Two nations had been fighting for a very long time each claiming that this piece of land is theirs.

Throughout years of endless wars, people from both sides started to realize that their problems will never be solved unless a CHANGE is made, and from this point of view, peace movements of both sides started to arise. Kids for peace organization is one of many organization who followed this vision of living in peace with the other side and as peace seeker I joined them in 2012.

As a Palestinian, I always knew how kind and generous the Palestinians are. I know how much they suffer from the violent actions of the Israelis. I have my own personal stories as I almost got shot twice and suffer through the check points everyday . However, I never got the chance to = hear their side of the story from an Israeli until I met Nitzan.

Nitzan is a 17 years old Israeli girl whose father had survived a bus explosion in Jerusalem several years ago caused  by a Palestinian man who bombed himself in the bus claiming that what he did is a reaction to the Israeli acts against the Palestinians. Nitzan’s story was as sad as the stories of the Palestinians. Thanks god her father survived but there were many victims on that bus who died or suffered from serious injuries.

Despite this tragedy that Nitzan had to go through, she didn’t allow hatred to blind her eyes and heart  so she decided to seek the opposite path. She joined kids for peace to help in creating peace with the Palestinians. And there is where I met this beautiful girl and got to know her more when we traveled together to join UPF project for creating change 2013.

During this experience, Nitzan  And I talked a lot about the situation. We explained each other’s point of view about the current conflict and shared personal stories. We became friends then sisters. Honestly I never thought I will meet an Israeli with great personality and joyful spirit.

Greeting me with my name

21/10/2013 09:00 h – 10:30 h

By Najla and Lauren

Situated in the Athena conference room, in a hotel overlooking the sea, stood youth members of peace organisations from all over the world. It was a bit overwhelming at first, all the new names and faces, but after a few ice breakers, we we’re able to discuss world issues more deeply and to explore more about why we are here.

The morning session opened with multiple ice-breakers. Remembering people’s names is never easy, especially when you have a to stand in a circle and assign an action to your name. It’s sink or swim; (thank-you Keldon and Roua!), but thankfully we made it through, with claps, jumps and jumping jacks galore. We might not have remembered everyone’s names at this point, but it certainly broke the ice and gave us energy for the next game, which involved half of us going shoeless.

With one shoe in the middle, half of us had to wait for a member of the second group to find us and reunite us with our beloved shoe! Once found, our partner (Hey, Kris!) asked us a couple of questions.
A. What is your name?
B. What is your shoe size?
And C. What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
Of course, I’d already thought about this to great length, and so replied with my plan to sneak to Australia without paying (sorry mum!), it was a great idea in my head…. Until I realised I’d be invisible and people might accidentally sit on me. This definitely needs more thought!

Next up was human bingo. This was a great way to go around and talk to different people about aspects of their life, like, not drinking coffee (it’s not that weird is it?), and getting confused about if Jerusalem or Malta was actually the land of honey! It was a great way to get to know things about people, and learn some new facts about each others countries. It was extremely enjoyable, even if I did sign the ‘My country is famed for being obsessed with tea’ box multiple times!

Finally, we mixed up our names in the most polite way ever, through handshakes and how-do-you-do’s! At first we introduced ourselves, then we introduced ourselves and took the other persons name, introducing ourselves as them, and finally we had to go find our name! I still haven’t found mine, so if anybody finds it, I’d be very grateful 😉

Ultimately, this session was a great way to open dialogue between all participants and help us to feel comfortable opening up to each other. It’s great to meet so many people from all areas of the world and to hear their stories, even if that story begins with “what would you do if you were invisible for a day?