On the 26 of January sixteen girls and boys from Tubas came to the PCFF's office in A-Ram. The 14 to 16 years old youth were selected carefully by their school head master and PCFF member, Jalal khudairy, to be part of the PCFF's Internet youth project. At the beginning Rami Elchanan, the Israeli lecturer, felt that the atmosphere was freezing cold, It changed the minute an old Palestinian friend of Rami from Gaza came in to say hello. Atef and Rami met through the PCFF's phone line "Hello Peace" and have been talking since on a weekly basis. Because of the reality of the conflict, Atef and Rami never saw each other until Atef walked through the door. The meeting between the two was very moving and in a way broke the ice.
Khaled Abu Awwad the PCFF's Palestinian General Manager told his personal story and translated Rami's story. Lots of questions were asked and answered. This youth were never far away from Tubas and the Israelis they met until now were only soldiers. The way Rami talked speaking about the Palestinian dream and sharing his moving story, touched the group, said Jalal. The youth talked about how hard it is to move inside Palestine because of the occupation, about the injustice and the Israeli violence. They also spoke about the Palestinian violence, the responsibility they feel being part of this group and starting the long path of Reconciliation. Meeting Atef showed the youth how unbearable the situation there is. Hearing Rami made them feel sorry for his loss and one girl asked him to tell more about his daughter Smadar that was around their age when she was killed. One boy said that for the first time he believes that there are Israelis who truly want peace.
Rami said in conclusion that the meeting was good and the youth asked intelligent questions; strong, inquiring and direct. They are just like Israeli youth, he said.
Photography: Esther Erythropel
Sharon Kalimi Misheiker