City of Dreams
Hebron is a large Palestinian city in the south of the West Bank. At the heart of the city lies the Israeli settlement of Tel Rumeida. Constantly patrolled by Israeli soldiers and armed gangs of settlers, Hebron is a tense and often dangerous place. This is one side of Hebron. But it is also a city full of dreams.
Sahar Tarawah is 20 years old and studies Project Management at Hebron University. This is her dream:
”I have a dream that Israelis and Palestinians would be friends. I believe that a two state solution is logical and I want to be able to travel freely, even in to Israel. Jerusalem is just an hour away from Hebron, but I haven´t been there in nine years. It hurts every single time I think about the fact that I don´t have permission to go there. I hope that I soon will be able to travel abroad and I would love to visit Turkey or Italy. Another dream I have is the one I think of every time I leave my house. The entrance to my village has been blocked for nine years and the big cement blocks hinder us from driving with our cars to our homes. On several occasions we have taken away the blocks, but after two days they are there again. My dream is that they will be permanently removed and that we can move freely without hindrances. I will never get used to them”.
Islam Fackori is 21 years old and sells Palestinian souvenirs on the streets of Hebron. This is his dream:
“I want peace. We need peace. My dream is that Israelis and Palestinians can live together in Hebron without a problem. I want the big market that was closed during the second intifada (Palestinian uprising) to open again. My father had two shops in that market and just like hundreds of others he had to close them. Yet I can still remember that Israelis came in to the shop and bought goods from my father. I want it to be like that again and one day I want to reopen those two shops. My dream is written here on my shirt: Peace will come – why not now?”
Manar Alnatsha is 26 years old and works as a liaison officer for the United Nations Office for Projects Services. This is her dream:
“I was born under occupation. I live under occupation. I believe that the way to peace goes through politics and we will not live normally with justice without political agreements. My dream is to live in my homeland, Palestine. I don´t want to move abroad now because I can then lose my right to return. My dream is a unified Palestine on all the 1948 land. I believe in a one state solution where Palestinians and Israelis have the same rights and equal citizenship. The two state solution was a good option but the settlements have expanded too much now and made it impossible.
People talk about an independent Palestinian state, but there are so many different definitions. That is a major problem.
For me a Palestinian state includes the right of return for over four million Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora. There is no sense in trying to create a Palestinian state if that right is not a given. In this conflict we tend to forget about the millions of refugees that live inside and outside Palestine. It is not too much to ask for the same rights for all citizens. I might be naive, but if we look at South Africa we can see that it was a positive development there and my dream is that the same can happen here.”
Reem Al-Shareef is 39 years old and principal at the Cordoba school in Hebron. This is her dream:
”I want Israelis and Palestinians to be neighbors again – and act like neighbors. I want a better atmosphere for everyone who lives here. Hebron is not just for Muslims. Christians, Jews and Muslims used to live here together and I have experienced how we used to buy food in the same shops and my grandmother used to share recipes with her Jewish neighbors. There are many who claim that the conflict is religious, but it is not about religion. It´s about politics. I wish that both sides would be treated fairly - that is not the case today. It is most important here at the Cordoba school that the children feel safe and my goal is that the school will grow and develop. I hope that as many children as possible will continue with their studies. My dream is that the situation in Hebron will become normal.”
Ameer Qaisi is 19 years old and studies Computer Science at the Hebron University. This is his dream:
”My dream is to create technical solutions that make people´s life easier. Daily life for Palestinians is hard enough and we want to live just like people in the rest of the world: in peace. Peace that allows us to use our rights. My dream is that all Palestinian refugees can return and I want to visit my friend in Gaza. For a long time I did not know if he was dead or alive. Today we have contact via Internet but we cannot meet. The settlements make life hard here in Hebron, but there are many things I like about the city and I want to live here in the future. I like the open atmosphere here and the way people connect – Hebronites are friendly and talk with each other on the street. My dream is to be able to develop my ideas, but today it´s hard because there is lack of both resources and good equipment here in Palestine. It´s important to have dreams, although it´s hard for many to allow them selves to have them since we have seen so many dreams vanish into thin air.”
Eid Suleman is 24 years old, unemployed and lives in the village Umm Al-Kheir in South Hebron Hills. This is his dream:
”My dream is that Palestinians can move freely and my dream is simple. I want a simple life. I want to be able to live as a sheep herder without being afraid. We are tired of the occupation and need a rest from it. I have a demolition order on my house and there are several other tents and houses in our village that have the same orders. I am fighting hard to win the battle so that the demolitions not will take place. I hope - I really hope – that the houses and tents will remain because if they are demolished it will be a catastrophe here in the village. We don´t have construction permits and besides we cannot afford to build anything new. I dare to hope because we get so much support from internationals and until the very last minute I will dream because I don´t have a choice – I must believe in a better future.”
May the Lord Christ bless Israel.
لا يوجد احلام والاحلام موجودة فقط في اماكن اخرى
اننا لا نعيش ولا نحلم واحلم يبدا في انهاء الاحتلال والعيش بسلام كامل وشامل
اما حلم الدولة الواحدة ومتعددة القومية فهوو ايضا كذبة كبيرة من مثقفين لم يذوقو طعم الجوع او العطش ... حكي فاضي