Life Stories

Aida Bandak: Stories of the olive tree and lost land

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 23.05.2006:

EVERYBODY WAS RUNNING AWAY FROM THE VALLEY LIKE HELL

3 November 2004

The following interview by Mirvet Giacaman is with a woman whose family owned land near Abu Ghneim, a hilltop on West Bank land located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. After the war in 1967, Israel annexed it to the Jerusalem municipality. In 1997 it was chosen for the establishment of a large Jewish settlemen(...)

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Seize the moment” – The Story of Nivine Sandouqa

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 20.05.2006:

Before moving to Oxfam-Jerusalem, Nivine Sandouqa participated in several of our youth activities and represented AEI-Open Windows during the Lenten campaign in Holland. We think that her story says a lot about what Palestinian youth experience.

"'Seize the Moment' is what I often hear people saying, and I try to "seize" it myself. I am 21 years old, who lives a rather strange and comp(...)

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Susan Atallah: A Land of Testing

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 12.05.2006:

Susan Atallah is teacher/supervisor at St Joseph School for Girls in Bethlehem, where she also lives.

"What kind of future are we going to look for since our grandparents, our parents, and ourselves have only grown up under occupation, violence, restrictions, and above all, lack of freedom?"

This was a question posed by my students at St Joseph School for Girls in an assignment (...)

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Ismail Mukbil: A life story of patience and hope

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 12.05.2006:

Ismail Mukbil

A LIFE STORY OF PATIENCE AND HOPE

Ismail Mukbil was principal of the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Work Agency) Boys School in Hebron and is now principal of the UNRWA boys school in Beit Jala/Aida camp. He lives in Al-Arroub Camp north of Hebron.

"I am a school principal at an UNRWA school in downtown Hebron. During the Al-Aqsa Intifadah, my school was c(...)

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Ala Owaineh: Clinging to the tiny battered twig of hope

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 09.05.2006:

I intended to begin writing this a couple of hours ago but I just had too much on my mind like any other young person living in Palestine. Why?

As if life is so easy, as if young people haven’t got enough to think about in normal places with normal conditions, if you add to that the anxiety and pressure of being part of the so called “Third World “ and that of being a Palestinian livin(...)

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Terry Boullata

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 07.05.2006:

Terry Boullata is head of a private school in Abu Dis and an advocacy worker.

"I am 38 years old, and I am from Jerusalem. I was born and lived all my life here, and I am proud of that. I married 14 years ago with a man from Abu Dis who carries a West Bank ID card. I am myself carrying a Jerusalem ID. I studied at Jerusalem schools and then at Birzeit University. During the first Intif(...)

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Maha Abu Dayyeh

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 07.05.2006:

Maha Abu Dayyeh is director of the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) in Jerusalem.

"My office is close to my house—I just walk across the street. Now, the Wall ends just before the intersection of where I cross. When its construction is completed, I will have to drive all the way through Qalandia checkpoint, turn right around, and cross the checkpoint again and go to (...)

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Hania Bitar

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 07.05.2006:

Hania Bitar is secretary general of the Palestinian youth organization Pyalara (Palestinian Youth Organization for Leadership and Rights Activation).

"When the whole story of the Wall started I was somehow dealing with it in disbelief. It was something that was about to happen, but at the time I was pushing it away, or I dealt with it from a journalistic or political point of view. It (...)

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Jizelle Salman

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 07.05.2006:

Jizelle Salman from Beit Jala is English language teacher and was until 2005 youth coordinator at the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows in Bethlehem.

"I need to take a detour to get to my house. I used to take a road which has now become an Israeli checkpoint and military camp. We've heard last year that the land on the hill above my house, which we cultivated for many years, wil(...)

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Claire Anastas

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 07.05.2006:

Claire Anastas is a Palestinian civilian living opposite Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.

"I am a mother of two children, two girls and two boys. We live in this building, surrounded on three sides by a nine-meter Wall, with fourteen persons including nine children and my mother in law who is sick and has rheumatism. Only one side is open, with barely any sun coming through it. While sittin(...)

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