Nadia

Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2015

IMPACT: SOCIAL

Bridging the gap between Arabs and Jews in Israel through social and creative activities.

How are you impacting your community?

I am an English teacher at one of the biggest junior high schools for Palestinian students in Israel, where I am responsible for twelve 9th grade classes. I have experience organizing meetings of Palestinian and Jewish Israelis, and I have been involved with youth movements that work for pluralism within Israel.

I speak Arabic, Hebrew, and English fluently and I am passionate about working with youth and adults to create a more just and peaceful society.

My most recent project, “You Know My Name, Not My Story,” aims to bridge the gaps between Arabs and Jews in Israel. I am bringing youth together through sports, arts, and other hobbies in order to create non-political ways for them to relate to each other.

I am also trying to start a discussion group for women from my Palestinian-Israeli village of Sakhnin and from a nearby Jewish-Israeli town.

The inspiration for my work to empower women came from a very basic need in the Arab society. We have educated women who work and study in universities, but still the limitations they face on a daily basis are huge. It is widely accepted that women study and work to help put food on the table and not for self-improvement and development. Therefore, I have chosen to work with a group of teachers who have spent most of their lives between work and family, never giving time for themselves.

Most of the women in my group say that this is the first time they have participated in something simply because they want to and not because they have to. I hope to give this same experience and opportunity to more women in the near future.

“I think this kind of cross-cultural meeting is essential for building peace in the region and that the larger Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts cannot be separated from the internal conflicts in Israel.”