Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WCLAC - A New Perspective Towards the World

Being a young woman in Palestine, I was set on achieving specific goals. One of them was to become independent, and the second one was to break free of all the strings that attach me to the wrong perception of a woman’s value in her community. Women are perceived as intellectually inferior in the OPTs or to be treated in a confined manner, kept isolated and allowed only to perform specific tasks as assigned by the male figure.

Through ICS, and the workshops we have held around Palestine, I have developed my interest in the problems facing women daily in my community.  I have read and listened to many stories of women during their periods of suffering. Their strength, resistance, and ability to survive violence against them is the result of the seed of a fighter that grows inside each Palestinian women, which is nourished by everything that they go through. Growing up powerless and subjugated to men means that women here have had to fight fiercely against common negative perceptions.

Their strength, which develops them from being powerless into strong hard working women, who earn their money with their bare hands, is what encouraged me to search deeper into the source of their strength. ICS assisted me in taking my first steps towards what I want as a woman. I want to open more doors for young women to find their light of hope and purify them from all the pain. My voluntary placement has had helped me not only focus on the issues I face individually, but opened my eyes to the issues faced by my gender as a whole. This has ignited the flame within me to fight for a change for women.

 During my journey with ICS I have made lots of Palestinian and British friends. We have done many things together, including iftar in Ramadan. I was really touched by how supportive and respectful some of the British volunteers were when some of them fasted with us, whilst many others did not eat or drink in front of us. My summer was fantastic and vastly different from previous ones as a result of them being here.  We went out together many times for lunch, ate ice cream from Baladna and went shopping.

Seeing Palestine through their British eyes was fascinating. They were really happy watching a bunch of kids dancing in the street, or getting excited seeing a wild cat walking by or how they could walk around valuing every stone of my home. From our conversations with our British counterparts I realized that Palestinians are strong human beings and I am proud to be Palestinian. We held on to every inch of land available, and sacrificed our lives in order to protect our soil. Throughout this project, I also came to see how precious and beautiful my land is. It is the land of Palestinians, the land of strong women and the land of fighters.

I would like to thank the ICS program for granting me such an enlightening experience and increasing my awareness of social problems within my community and how to tackle them. ICS has highlighted the significance and importance of bending down and offering a hand to the ones who need our help most.

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