An Old Friend
Everyone has a talent. Some people discover theirs early, while others talents remain hidden only to be found after much searching. I was lucky to discover mine early on.
When I was 11 years old, my friend and I wrote poems. We even wrote a short story complete with stick people
drawings!! I have saved it with my important papers.
For years I constantly wrote, but then there came a time when university, marriage, a baby, and a major move occupied me, and I stopped writing.
The move from the States to Israel was unanticipated and not something that I wanted, but isn’t it usually the woman who makes the sacrifice?
I am a Palestinian American and my husband is also Palestinian. I should have been eager to move back to the land of my forefathers, and seen it as an adventure. But I didn’t. I wanted my husband to hate it as much as I did. No such luck!!
With no goals, I didn’t understand what I was doing here, what was my place here.
And then I started writing again. I found a magazine written for children in simple English. Connected to a top Israeli newspaper, it was geared to Jewish kids, and had no coverage of Arabs in Israel or the West Bank.
It is rare that Israeli Jewish children and Arab children associate, and they know very little about each other aside from negative stories they hear on the news. Through my stories about Palestinian singers, Muslim holidays, Palestinian folktales, and light politics, I gave the Jewish children a glimpse into the lives of the Arabs.
Then luck found me! I started to write for the newspaper’s Friday edition. My first article, a story, about domestic violence, was a cover story!!
Writing is more than just turning out article after article. It has helped me to understand myself as a Palestinian, a Muslim, and as a woman.
People, Jewish and Arab, have often reminded me that I am in a unique position in Israel. I am a Palestinian American woman who speaks English living in an Arab town in Israel – and I am a writer. Many have told me to take advantage of my new-found political, social and cultural knowledge, - and spread it.
I have written about many inspiring Jewish and Arab women (and many other subjects). I believe everyone has a gift to offer. We have to look beyond the negative and find the positive in each other. I really believe that peace in this region will begin with the women. I try to create a platform of understanding through my writing.
I found World Pulse in an online search for writing opportunities. I liked the idea of a site, a place where women all over the world can express themselves. It is inspiring.
Writing has been like an old friend offering support in times of trouble. As I write my thoughts, I am able to smile or cry. I hope that through the stories that I post, World Pulse readers will gain the insight and understanding that I am trying to pass on.