Conflict & Hope: Many Days Later, Now I’m the Speaker

The Conflict & Hope Seminar happened about a month ago. I left the weekend feeling more confused than when I came in. And looking back, I am still just as confused, if not more confused, than when I left the seminar. It’s easy to go through life just understanding the basis of the conflict, but I feel that by trying to go more in-depth, you can learn a lot not only about Israelis and Palestinians, but about human beings. One of the reasons why I love to travel is to learn about other people and their cultures. What I as an American may think as weird, is simply a normal way of life for someone else. We have to understand that we were created by our environment, by what we were raised to hear, to see, and to experience.

I feel fortunate that at 22 years old I have seen as much as I have. I will be out with it and admit (though I don’t think many of you are surprised) that I am pro-Israel. But this doesn’t mean that because I am pro-Israel I only see the situation from the Israeli perspective. I want to understand WHY Palestinians feel the way they do. I got a first-hand look into their world and reasoning at this seminar, and they truly believe in what they believe. They’re stubborn. And so are Israeli’s. And this conflict is not nearly as simple as wanting the same piece of land.

In the states we tend to move, a lot. We can grow up on a farm and spend our adult life living in a city. But to the people here, in Israel, land is everything to them. And they don’t ever want to leave their cherished place.

Yes, I left the education seminar leaving more confused than ever, but I also left more excited than ever. Since then, I have been reading articles, books, and as much as I can on the topic. I want to learn about it all, and I want to take advantage of my location, where I am, at the very heart of the matter. I can only hope that maybe one day, just like Eve Harrow said for herself, I too, can throw my own little bit of peace in there.

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