Marineh, Daniella and Mira describe experiences that give them hope about the future. Marineh talks about hanging out with mixed groups of Palestinian and Israeli kids. Kids just want to have a normal life. They don’t care about the politics. Daniella draws upon her experiences in South Africa, when Nelson Mandela came to power, and sees that change is possible. Mira goes to inspire kids about co-existence, and comes home with a belief in the power of children to build a better future.
I’m not very sure if it was an experience, but I have friends from both sides I know people from both sides and this one time I took my Arab friends Palestinian friends, to meet two Jewish friends in Jaffa Gate. Just to hang out and one of them was actually, the Palestinian person, he was very patriotic and all that, and everything. And they got along very well. Some people, I saw that some people do believe in peace. No one wants to fight, no one wants to put anyone down. So especially my generation, some of them, they don’t really care about hurting anyone. The only thing they care about is living their lives getting their education, making friends, just being like everyone else, in the Western countries. Like every typical teenager that lives in America or Canada people here want to be like that. Carefree. Yeah. They don’t want to just walk around in fear that someone’s going to say something racist. So my generation kind of thinks this way. So when my friends from both sides come and meet together they’re usually just talking about movies and music and not even bringing anything about racism to the table. Nothing like that. So that’s pretty good. When you have two people who are so entrenched in their own narratives, who are in their own beliefs, the bridge is still possible. I have lived through that bridge I have seen what is possible and believe you me there were people who were talking about bloodbaths in South Africa when Mandela was released and brought into power. But that didn’t happen. We have to have faith and to believe that human nature is one to love and not to hate. And if we can really embrace that and we can really understand that we are all human beings, that we should all respect each other, and respect the earth upon which we live then it can happen. And to me that was a huge moment in my life and regardless of what happens here and regardless of how heartbreaking it is on both sides of the line to see the tragedy and the death I still believe that there is hope because I believe in people. And that is what I’ve learned from my experience. For me, I work a lot with young people with kids and with youth a lot of mixed programs of Jews and Arabs To tell you the truth, lately it’s been hard to get myself up in the morning and actually go and do these meetings, with all these groups that I’m involved with because I felt that I lacked the hope to give them. But then I do. I get up from bed and I go there and I meet them. But at the end of the meeting when you see kids, coming from all kinds of backgrounds doing a drawing together or writing a song together or doing something theatrical together or just sitting together and listening to a story you look at it and say, “I can’t tell who is who.” And they can’t. When they’re kids and they’re doing something playing football together at that moment they’re not thinking who is Jewish and who is Arab they’re just passing the ball. And that’s a moment where I say, “That’s the way it should be.” We’re not supposed to be seeing immediately that he’s Jewish, she’s Muslim, he’s Christian, whatever. We’re supposed to just see “Are you passing the ball?” “Are you playing the game with me?” “Are you doing something together with me?” Or not? And if you’re not passing the ball then you’re selfish. That’s it. That’s the only thing I should be thinking of you. And these moments with kids and youth these are the moments, and actually they charge me with power, they charge me with energy. And I think, I go home, and I say “It is possible.” It’s hard. But it can happen. It might just happen.