Yasser

Educator, 2013 and Palestinian Delegation Leader, 2014
Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2015

IMPACT: SOCIAL

Documenting oral histories from Palestinians and Israelis about the events of 1948.

How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?

I have actively participated in Seeds of Peace Educator Programs—as a Delegation Leader, a graduate of the “Making History” Educators’ Course, and a participant in regional workshops.

How are you impacting your community?

As the son of Palestinian refugees, I grew up in Syria and Jordan before moving to Jerusalem. I developed a strong interest in oral history through my studies as I pursue a Ph.D. In addition to teaching at the high school and university level, I am training high school students to use oral history as an educational tool as part of a larger project focused on the collection of oral histories from Palestinians and Israelis, particularly around the events of 1948 (what Palestinians call “the Nakba” or “Catastrophe” and what Israelis call “The War of Independence”). I view oral history as a valuable way to explore one’s own narrative and that of the “other.” I hope that this collection of oral narratives will encourage students to go far beyond what is presented in textbooks and think of history education in a more creative and open way.

“I believe that hate is a result, not a reason, and I find a lot of meaning in this quote by Etty Hillesum: ‘You must be able to bear your sorrow, even if it seems to crush you ... Do not relieve your feelings of hatred, do not seek revenge from all the world, for they, too, sorrow at this moment.’”