Youth beyond Borders- Schwanenwerder 5th to 12th of August 2013
This August, in the middle of a warm summer in Germany, an international group of young people was spending eight days together on a peace camp “Youth Beyond Borders” in Schwanenwerder, just outside of Berlin. The remarkably unique project has been organized by an NGO that is active in the field of peace and justice promotion and is working both in Berlin and internationally – Foerderverein Friedensfestival Berlin eV . Youth came from Germany, Poland, Israel (from Palestinian and Jewish backgrounds) and Westbank, Palestine, and they are here to get to know each other, share their stories and participate in workshops on non-violent communication, conflict transformation and mediation. Additionally, the participants join sessions of outdoor activities and sailing and go on a one-day trip to Berlin’s sights related to the themes covered in the encounter. The group is very diverse and the young people represent a wide variety of backgrounds and an amazing richness of experiences and stories.
7.8.2013, Wednesday- FATIMA
I am Fatima – a Palestinian refugee from a village called Ain Karem, currently living in Aizarieh near Jerusalem. Today was our third day at the camp and I am getting used to it. Our day began with some outdoor activities in the lovely weather. Some activities were about power, conflict, emotions, self-confidence. They were of great entertainment and importance at the same time. They raised many thoughts and feelings about this ever-lasting Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is true that Israel is powerful with its weapons and army, but we, Palestinians, also have this power in our persistence and willingness to live and survive in our land and fight for our rights. We live our everyday life feeling proud to be Palestinian, shame that we can’t defend it to the maximum and face humiliation every day by passing through checkpoints. We live all these mixed feelings of happiness, anger, fear, shame, pride and humiliation everyday!