I think that the most important thing I learned from this work, and I think about it a lot, is that in life you don’t need to take everything by force—you can take anything with words, with composure and diplomacy. I'm sorry to say that we, the Arabs, do not have diplomacy, even in small personal relations, but this is all due to the situation we live in, because of the political and economic pressure. In our Palestinian
areas the infrastructure is ruined and the political situation is getting worse. In the end, you learn that whatever you can take by force you can take with diplomacy, but at the same time, what diplomacy are we talking about?
What we need to do is to raise another generation. But if my son gets beaten up by soldiers after school, how will I raise him on diplomacy and tell him what's right and what's not? I think we need to raise new generations on both sides. The Israeli
families should raise their children to respect human dignity, not like the kids from that Kibbutz
who said that Arabs should be shot in the head. At the same time, we should also raise our children to know that you can take your rights in many ways.
I don’t want to lose my son. I lost my brother before and that’s enough. I want my son to grow up and get educated. Until this day I think about my brother and what it would have been like if he had lived and had a family and children. Until this day my mother grieves for him. He died in 1979, but she still keeps his clothes in a bag and takes them out once in a while to look at them. Why? Doesn’t she have the right to see her son grow up and have a life?
It's true that he fought for a cause, for a belief he had. I also want my son to live, to live with dignity. But what is dignity if he can't get his education? For example, I leave the house at five in the morning to pass three checkpoints
to get my kids to school. My kids pass the checkpoint of Shuafat camp at six thirty, to guarantee that they get to school on time. So how will you convince your kid to wake up at five in the morning to go to his school that isn't more than seven minutes away in a normal situation, to start his class at eight. Sometimes I have to take the settlement
road by Pisgat Ze'ev, and once my son got beaten up because he forgot to take his birth certificate with him (he's tall so they do not believe that he is under 16). We need factors to create a different mentality. The Israelis keep saying that Palestinians are terrorists, but they are holding a gun in my face and they don't want me to be a terrorist? When the PA first got in they gave an olive branch to every soldier, but during the intifada when Sharon went to the Al-Aqsa mosque
, that same soldier who took the branch started to fire back!
We now need to establish a new means of education, a new mentality. But when you demolish my house, or put up that wall… it's preventing school boys from going to their schools. I know one boy in the ninth grade who can’t go to school because of the wall and is now crying because he has to change schools and leave his friends. His mother told me that he is having psychological problems because he had to change schools. So how will you convince this boy that the Jews are good? The Israelis need to give me the reasons to convince him.