As an Arab youth brought up in Bethlehem, Palestine, growing up was hard. I grew up in a complex community, where you have to be either a decision maker, or join the audience to watch a very nice action movie happening live, but in that movie the hero almost always dies.
The behaviour of Palestinian youth is determined by how they can make a difference, how they can overcome day to day challenges, how they can be free and dream about a journey of success. A typical day for them is portrayed in a colorful painting of feelings; joy of getting a promotion, sadness of being frisked at a check point, proud of little brother’s football skills, cautious of the dark days, confident of decisions, betrayed by heritage and identity theft, longing for relatives in an Israeli jail, and grieving loved ones’ loss.
Democracy and freedom of speech play a significant role in our life, and luckily because of the internet and social networks, youth in Palestine have even more space to express their interests and opinions, and are no longer limited by clashes, bombs flying around, tanks, jeeps, check points, and curfews.
While Palestinian youth fight every day for their common traditions, heritage, identity, history and existence that they share with all Arabs and wish to have a very peaceful life, I always found a twist and an add-in to be Palestinian growing up in the occupied lands. We are always looking for a positive vision, we want to experience the rush of excellence and success, we are born with passion that feeds enthusiasm.