„My life up to now has been full of blind radicalism, far from any humanity, a life like that of every Palestinian adolescent, marked by death and destruction as a result of the occupation. When I considered taking part in “Vacation from War”, I couldn’t help thinking: „How can I allow myself to sit together with the eternal enemy of my people, to discuss and listen to them? How am I supposed to live, eat and drink with them? They killed my best friend, put many of my relatives in prison, attacked and stormed our house with heavy artillery. They keep me at checkpoints every day!“ Then, I thought that maybe it was a very good opportunity to express my anger and hatred to the enemy, to fight a bloodless battle of words with them, where I am as strong as they are. We will meet our enemies at eye level. Until now, I only knew faces of Israelis expressing the power of the occupiers. When the young Israelis in Frankfurt Airport were only a few metres away, I wondered whether I should greet them. It was an inner struggle between my human side and my suffering everyday life that forced me to express my anger on my face. I reached out my hand and greeted them with a smile. It was the beginning of my inner journey. (…)”
Ahmed* (name changed) participated in one of our dialogue seminars for young adults from Israel and Palestine in 2010 and wrote down his experiences in an impressive text, which is available here. The text stands for the experiences of many participants – but not everyone has the gift to put them into written words in such a way as Ahmed* did.
Reading highly recommended!