Education is the Real Weapon

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By: Raghad

Moving towards peace is the main concern for Palestinians and Jews who have participated in Windows for the past 25 years. In Windows, we see a lot of Palestinians and Jews get along together, sit and talk about different aspects of life. We see the “peaceful moments” that we all wish to have on a larger scale and on international level. However, the two sides are still fighting, and the conflict has been here for years. We always hope things we get better, but -unfortunately- they get worse most of the time. And to be more precise and give an example from the real life. What has been happening in Gaza recently is the perfect example. This is not the first time obviously. Anyways, I want to bring that example for two reasons. The first: because it is recent. If I want to talk about what happened during 2008, then readers will have to go back and read about Gaza war on 2008 to remember what had happened at that time. Talking about things happened recently and still fresh in the memory makes it easier for people to get my point. The second reason- which I consider to be the most important- is because the clashes have started on the same day that Palestinians were commemorating the 70th anniversary of Nakba day (catastrophe day).

We can see a lot of Palestinians in Gaza were outraged. In West Bank as well, but the clashes and violence took place and was more aggressive in Gaza because of the harsh conditions there such as water and electricity shortage and being under siege. Those people who cannot get the basic rights of life, and cannot leave their enclosed land easily, could see in protesting during Nakba anniversary a chance to help make their lives livable. The result was that more than we had lost 60 Palestinian martyrs in 4 days, less than one week , and hundreds were injured. Despite all of that, we cannot see anything better happening. Nobody is taking the next steps towards making the dream of living in PEACE doable. They know how to talk, how to fight, how to be angry, how to insult each other, how to destroy the land. They know how to do everything that would destroy that land, everything that would ruin that land before any of the two sides gets to establish their country.

It is obvious for us, for politicians, soldiers, or anyone else involved in this conflict that fighting and killing each other is not the solution. This has been happening over and over again for the past 70 years, and we don’t see any of the results we wish to see to move towards what we want. (Speaking as member of windows). Then, there has to be something else. Something more effective and powerful. Something that leads us and the coming generations to a better way of achieving our goal, rescue and save that beautiful land. What can be done?

To answer that question, I can speak of my experience as Palestinian, which doesn’t necessarily has to represent the situation of all of the Palestinians, who lived her entire life in Palestine and therefore studied in Palestinians public schools. I believe our Palestinian education system shapes a lot of our thoughts and beliefs. We read what is written in our text books without questioning the sources. Questioning and looking for sources was something that I have learned after I joined Windows.

When I started reading more and searching a lot of sources, I came to a conclusion that, not only I was misled by some wrong information, and that also I didn’t get to read or hear anything from the other side. I am Palestinian, and all of what I have reading about in the Palestinian textbooks, novels and news was always from a Palestinian perspective. I figured out that I need to understand the counter argument not only my argument. I figured out that I have to put myself in other’s shoes, and to look at myself from their corner and their perspective. I concluded that I have to see and know what Jews are saying about Palestinians in order to know why we cannot find solution until this moment. I am now totally convinced that in order to turn words into actions, both sides need to read and know more about each other. Ignorance will never lead us to a solution.

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