Seeds of Peace exposed me to difference. It started my process of researching, processing and developing who I am. Most importantly, it led me to initiate this process for myself rather than allow my circumstances to define me. I needed it. I was lost in terms of my identity and didn’t know much about the world. As an international organization, Seeds of Peace has given me an international perspective to consider in the process of creating my identity.
How have you impacted your community?
I founded Darna to create similar opportunities for the Arab minority living in Israel—about 1.7 million people—particularly the youth. I call them my kids because that’s what they are to me. I help them explore their own identities and provide them with the opportunities to grow. It is especially important for communities such as the Palestinians living in Israel where the need is so great. Palestinians living in Israel face a lack of resources to advance as a minority within Israel and face discrimination and practices which limit our growth. Once I recognized the impact of this and the need to address our reality, I knew it was where I could put all the energy and experience I gained at Seeds of Peace. I want to raise my family here and I want them to have a better life and greater opportunities. No one is developing that for us, so I’ll do it myself.
“Darna was born to provide support and be a powerful shield for young people in need of a safe place to talk, dream and accomplish. We encourage and support education as an important tool for change—one that will allow our people to view the world differently and deal with life in a modern way, with wisdom and knowledge rather than hate and anger.”