Jenny Salameh: “I really found myself”

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Interview with AEI staff

The first time I joined an AEI meeting, Mr Fuad [Giacaman] held one of his presentations. I was very excited about all the new things I learned. At school I chose the scientific track, and we got little history and politics. The AEI filled that gap. That´s the reason why I came regularly here. I also really enjoyed the possibility to go abroad and get intercultural experiences. I still enjoy going abroad but for living and building a future over there I never felt comfortable enough. And even if I could - if we all leave who is going to stay?

Today I am 29, working part-time at AEI while finishing my Bachelor degree and a license in tour guiding at Bethlehem University.

At AEI I am involved in two main projects, the first with Rania [Murra] in a project on women’s security. It´s about empowering women and learning more about UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which is mainly about women’s security. We also work against the marginalisation of women who live alone after divorce or as a widow. In our society it´s for them pretty hard because they feel separated from society. As a young woman I really found myself in this project. It´s a big chance to educate myself and learning more about women’s rights and helping others by discussing it.

The second project is with Mr Fuad Giacaman and is about Diversity and Citizenship: Moslem-Christian Living Together”. First I thought there is no need for such a project, but when I began to inform myself more about the topic I learned that most people abroad don´t even know that there are Christians living in Palestine. The project itself is unique and the topic rather forgotten over the past years. By facing so many common problems Christian and Muslim Palestinians need to strengthen their relationship between each other and step up united for their rights. Especially if you keep in mind what is happening in Iraq or Syria.

The worst thing about the occupation for me personally are all those checkpoints. I used to study at Birzeit University near Ramallah so had to pass a checkpoint every day on my way to university. Since then I hate checkpoints because of all the trouble there. I avoid them as much as possible.

I once had a permit valid for three months, until September 29. However, I didn´t go even once to Jerusalem to avoid the exhausting procedures at the checkpoints. And that´s exactly what they want, they just keep putting obstacles to prevent you from going there.

Thinking about the future I have only one wish. I want to live in peace with normal security and with freedom and justice. When I get these things I am sure that I will live in a good society and achieve all my personal dreams!

Interview: Hanna Deichler, volunteer at AEI

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