Thursday, June 26, 2014
I love pigeons -Day 3
In a stroke of luck, I was forced to change into a feminine cardigan as a pigeon shat onto my shoulder In the isolated village of Peki’in. Yet, believe it or not, my luck didn't end there.
Driving up the northern Galilee into a small, Arab village named Deir al-Asad, I immediately felt uncomfortable. I was instinctively scared not because of the steep hills or the sketchy cats running across the street, but rather because my whole life I had been taught to fear Arabs. Palestinian Arabs, Israeli Arabs, and even Jewish Arabs; they represented violence and pure hatred. However much like the annoying pigeon, a beautiful opportunity happened today that made me rethink my immediate assumptions of the major Arab population.
Meeting in a dusty, white-walled room in an Arab community center a group of Israeli Arabs face us with curious blank faces. While at first awkward, we quickly began to bond over ordinary teenage subject: Facebook, school, sleeping, and of course food. In fact, we bonded to the point where after an hour and a half, we found ourselves disappointed at the short time span we were given to be with them.
I was shocked. Never in my life had I imagined that Arabs could be my friends. Furthermore, never had I thought that an Arab teen would stand in front of me during an interview, and tell me and my peers that all he truly wants is peace.
This however must be taken with a grain of salt. The teens we conversed with were educated Arab teens that loved Israel. They were not Palestinian, and absolutely not Muslim extremists.
So while this experience has not completely changed my view of the international Arab community, it has Absolutely altered my view of local Israeli Arabs. In the end, I discovered that I was not very different from them at all, and that we ultimately yearned for the same goal: peace.