Changing the Outlook for a Safer World

Before coming to UWCD I didn’t have many chances to meet people from different cultures. I lived in a place where discrimination and oppression are usual: we have check points, there are people fighting and constant clashes happening around you.

I had never been introduced to the other side, the Israeli nation. I only looked at them as soldiers and people who merely fought and killed us, because we are the weak side in that conflict. Coming here was a challenge and a shock at the beginning; I found the other side unarmed, without weapon that could threaten me. I tried to avoid interactions with them, I tried to isolate myself. Nevertheless, we had several personal conversations, then we discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during our Global Politics CAS. At first, I had difficulties expressing myself; it can be hard to tell about a life in occupation to people who are really unfamiliar with that, sometimes they can get really judgmental.

Fortunately, at some point we had a constructive dialogue with students from Israel about how we can change the conflict, which is something we don’t usually do back at home and which is why this has been so special. When I go back home I will speak to my friends; I will tell them everything
I saw here and try to challenge them with new ideas. I have made some new friends from Israel with whom we share a hobby – unicycling, and I am looking forward to riding with them. This is basically using sports as a tool of peace, and that’s what I want to do back home. At university I want to study physical and health education so that I can bring people together in a sports activity, where there are no nations or cultures.

Mujahed, Palestine, UWCD’16