I work as a teacher in a Palestinian High School and I live in Al-Arroub refugee camp near Hebron. I participated in the Parallel Narrative Experience in a group of mental health professionals. The project was a very powerful experience for me. I never thought I would sit in Palestine with a group of Israelis willing to discuss the rights of the Palestinian people.
My name is Osnat Ben Porat, and I am the Deputy Principal at a high school in Hasharon, Israel. It was after the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict (Operation Protective Edge) that I had had enough. I had to do something more significant than going to demonstrations, talking to students and voting for the right party.
My name is Ikhlas Ishtaya and I live in the village of Salem in the Nablus District. I’m 30 years old and there are 8 brothers and sisters in my family. My sister and I were born blind. In my childhood, I went through several failed treatments, until finally my parents sent me to a special boarding school for the blind, where I learned to read and write.
A few years ago, I participated in the Narrative Project. I genuinely feel after these meetings that I have someone to talk to on the other side. I don’t think we’ll agree about everything, but I know there are Palestinian partners with which we can create a new reality – a reality of two states living side by side.
I was born in Israel, the pampered little sister of 2 older brothers, growing up in a small town in the north of the country. When the time came, like all other Israeli youth, my brothers were recruited for military service, and had great plans for afterwards. And then the war broke out.
My name is Bushra Awad, and I’m a mother of eight from Hebron. I lost my beloved son, a young and beautiful boy studying for his final year of high school, to an Israeli sniper. I initially said that if I were to meet the man who killed my son, even after 100 years, I would kill him.
My name is Arnon, and I’m from Hod Hasharon, Israel. I took part in the Parallel Narrative group for bereaved people from both sides. My uncle was killed in the Six Days War. I was named after him, and even though my family lost him before I was born, I have carried his memory with me my whole life.
My name is Rasha, and I’m a Palestinian from Beit Jala. I participated in the Parents Circle’s Parallel Narrative group for women in 2016. In this project, I and the other women– both Palestinians and Israelis together– shared our feelings, and talked about the cultural and personal narratives that shape our lives and the way we view “the other side.”