By: Maram Sahlieh, Palestine, Jerusalem
6th, September 2013
Twenty participants from seven different countries have packed and are ready to board the "YPP" boat for the coming nine months. We started sailing with different backgrounds, different types of views and different cultures, but with similar goals and aims. And now, here we are, trying to get to know each other through our different ways, to reach a point where we all can work together to achieve our aim.
We, as "Young Peace Performers", are planning and focusing on making a change, and we all believe that we will keep going forward until we achieve our goals.
Now, as we have comleted our preparation course in Jordan, we've got the chance to know each other more, learn more about different people with different cultures and different backgrounds. All this through lectures regarding intercultural communication; how to hear a story; and how to make us more aware in order for us to learn how to deal with group conflicts.
We've been learning a lot about the conflict between Palestine and Israel, since this is one of our main aims as a group. We are here to work together as a youth group, to be peace agents - especially when we arrive to Palestine. Learning about the conflict and its historical aspects is really important for us as a group, and as individuals. For me, as a Palestinian girl, I've also learned a lot about it, even though I live there and I face the difficulties all through my daily life.
The 'S2C' training (Subject to Citizen) affected us deeply and made us aware of our rights in expressing ourselves. It enriched our beliefs and values and showed us the way that we should take to reach our positive goals and results easily, as a group and as individuals. It helped us to get rid of our bad thoughts and beliefs and encouraged us to start a new beginning with new goals.
Personally, as a young Palestinian woman that living in Jerusalem, being a participant in this program is a very important step for me. It really makes me feel proud to be part of a group that is concerned with our Palestinian case even though they all have their own different kinds of problems in their different countries. Telling stories and sharing feelings about my daily life in my country to youth from difference places makes me feel good and important, and this feeling reflects positively on my way of living now and throughout my future life.
For me, this boat will not stop sailing after nine months, I believe that it is going to keep sailing but maybe in a different ocean.