After attending GATHER last year in Jordan, I have felt connected with Seeds of Peace people in vision and friendship. By participating in this Fellowship Program—through interactions with other Fellows and staff—I feel like I belong to a bigger family.
How have you impacted your community?
Starting at age 14, I was imprisoned in Israeli jails for ten years and five months for my political activity. Today, I am the co-founder and co-director of Combatants for Peace, a binational movement of Israelis and Palestinians who are actively working towards a non-violent solution to the conflict. I have spoken at countless universities, schools, and public gatherings, telling my personal story of transformation from violent to nonviolent struggle. I attended GATHER+962 and have been involved with various Seeds of Peace activities in Israel and Palestine.
I am sharing my own story on a larger scale, to reach new audiences with a message of humanity, justice, and reconciliation. As part of this effort, I am collaborating with an American Jewish author on a book of narrative nonfiction about my life and activism.
The book will tell the story of my family history, time in prison, and the conversations that led me to co-found the Palestinian and Israeli led organization Combatants for Peace. It also will frame a conversation between me and the author—a product of the American-Jewish community—to show the divisions around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The book will explore and pose questions about social change strategy, the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the identity politics that inform it. Through this book, I hope to build a larger platform and reach a wider audience with a message that calls out to be heard.
“Writing the book is helping me make clear all that is in my head and heart. My views and vision to create a better future are stronger, especially during this time of tension. It feeds my soul to swim through my past memories and stories. This project is not only a way to share my story and message outwardly; it is a healing process for me too. Through my book, I am imagining a different reality, and working to make it so.”