Here is this Ohio girl, born and raised in a military family, whose only cultural experience was eating keilbasa once a year, who ends up married to a Palestinian, living in a conservative Muslim community, working with youth and educators, and creating programs to encourage peace-building, community activism, youth leadership and cross-border communication. How did I get here?
Seeds of Peace has helped me to grow as part of my community in Palestine. Although I had lived here for around 12 years, I had been busy in my own home, being a wife and mother. I didn’t concern myself with what was going on around me, culturally or politically. I pretty much just buried myself in the everyday tasks of life. Because of my son’s experience with Seeds of Peace (he was a Seed in 2000)—the changes I saw in him and the awareness that he brought to our home of the urgency of cross-border communication—I decided to check out opportunities for me to get involved.
How have you impacted your community?
I am the Director of the Peaceful Education Community Center in Tulkarem and the Palestinian Coordinator for the Women of Action group.
This gave me the ability and confidence to open up my own educational community center in Tulkarem. We offer English training and workshops on communication skills, leadership, and peace-building. We also hold film screenings to create awareness of the political situation in our country and around the world, and recruit and support youth to participate in various local and cross-border programs. Four of my own children have been involved with Seeds of Peace in addition to other youth peace, cross-border communication and leadership programs. However, the icing on the cake is the dozens of students and educators I’ve recruited to Seeds of Peace and other such programs. If I die tomorrow, I would know that my life had meaning.
“I feel that through my work I've given birth to a whole new generation of peace-builders and leaders. I can see some of these young people already becoming responsible in their community, passing on the many life-lessons, skills and awareness of the importance of peace-building, the importance of holding yourself accountable for your actions and inactions.
I truly believe that if you are not a part of the solution you are part of the problem. My work with Seeds of Peace is a legacy to be proud of and that will live on.”