Sulaiman

Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2015

IMPACT: POLITICAL

Sharing his personal story of evolution from combatant to peace activist to open up dialogue.

How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?

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 are you impacting 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.

IN THE PRESS

Reaching peace through mutual recognition (i24news)

“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.”