Born and raised in Jerusalem, mother of two grown children.
How do/did you earn a living?
I am a tour guide. I finished the professional course a couple of years ago and decided to make my new occupation an instrument of activism. Currently, I am involved with Ir Amim, a non-profit political foundation that focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jerusalem. In addition, I am working for Mejdi Tours. Each of the tourist groups of Mejdi is led by both a Palestinian and an Israeli guide, and this allows participants to get acquainted with both narratives. It is a challenging and fascinating job, that first of all allow me to meet Palestinians as colleagues. Finally, I am an active member of the “Friends of Jahalin”, a support group for the Bedouins of the Adumim area. We have initiated a project called “Beautiful Doll” wherein we help the women to make and sell traditional dolls, thereby contributing to family incomes. How long have you been involved with HWB: 6 years.
Being active in HWB means not only saving lives but also trying to build bridges of understanding and peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
What do you do as a volunteer?
I drive children to and from the hospitals at least once a week. Furthermore, I am one of four coordinators of the NGO. On certain days each week, I am responsible for the shuttle schedule, as well as for the contact with and between the families and the drivers. As an Arabic speaker, I easily communicate with Palestinian families, to make sure all goes well.
What is the importance of volunteering for you?
In these difficult times that we find ourselves, it is unacceptable to sit at home and stay passive. Through volunteering, I manage to slightly ease the burden of guilt that I carry with me, confronted with the suffering amongst the Palestinians as a result of the occupation. Through volunteering, I am offering my already grown-up children a different and better model of co-existence, not to mention the actual encounters with the families and the children, that completely capture my heart. What are the challenges? The most difficult challenge is finding the time to speak with the families. Sometimes they call me while I am at work. In that case, I apologize to my clients and take the call. As far as the shuttles are concerned, you can imagine that it is much more agreeable to stay at home, instead of getting up early to be at the checkpoint on time. But I feel an obligation and I go out, even when it is not convenient.
How would you describe HWB?
HWB is a marvelous organization that is building strong, close personal ties between two people. In our NGO, Israelis meet Palestinians at a most vulnerable point, namely in the care of their sick children. For the Palestinian families, we, the volunteers, represent the beautiful and human side that exists in every people, including the Israeli people.
To help us help the children, go to http://www.humans-without-borders.org/donate