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In this moving and thoughtful article, one of our Palestinian Youth Ambassadors,
Mahmoud Masri tells his story:
"My name is Mahmoud. I am a person with many hopes and little opportunities to realise
my hopes. I am from Askar Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Nablus in the North of
the West Bank. I live in a house like the rest of you and I go to school and I have
friends and family.
Since I started really seeing the events around me, I saw that my life is full of
conflicts. My mother is from Balata refugee camp and my father is from Askar refugee
camp. I am 15 years old.
I feel like something in my childhood is missing. I have a normal childhood but with
a lot of things missing. I saw kids on TV running with their kites accompanied by
their parents and I longed to have a day such as that. I have always dreamed of seeing
the sea but I have never seen it although it would only take an hour to drive there
from my house. I cannot go there because Palestinians are not allowed to cross the
border between the West Bank and Israel.
Lately we have been granted permits to go and so I hope that I will see the sea.
When I arrive at the sea, I want to build a sand castle and dive to the bottom of
the sea and watch the fish swimming there. I think swimming must feel like flying,
like I am unstoppable because I am free.
Welcome to my life. I will be a Youth Ambassador for Children of Peace. I am the
captain of my hope ship.
I have been through many difficulties but every difficulty I have been through has
made me stronger.
Three years ago was the last time I saw the Israeli army entering into the refugee
camp where I live. I was twelve years old. They came in jeeps in the middle of the
afternoon and I saw them arrest children and adolescents. When they arrived, I felt
terrified and excited and I started running after them to see what they would do.
I saw them arrest people from the street and from their homes and everyone they saw
throwing stones. The moment escalated and bullets were fired.
At that time I thought the only way to respond was for us to arm ourselves and fight.
But now when I think about the situation, I have a vision that we can fight without
guns and bloodshed. Now I have started the journey of changing my environment and
working towards a future of peace.
In conclusion, I heard about the charity through a friend. I have read about the
accomplishments and hopes of the charity and I have found out that it is related
to my dreams and hopes. I feel like I can do something to change the situation around
me and to make opportunities available for my generation and the generations to come.”
Children of Peace welcomes young people aged 14-20, from across the world, but principally
in Israel and Palestine to join our flourishing Youth Ambassador Programme who share
our notions of peace, reconciliation and tolerance.
The Programme provides exciting opportunities for our Youth Ambassadors and builds
links between its members. The Director of the Programme is Sally Becker, recognised
as the "Angel of Mostar" and Goodwill Ambassador, Mahmoud Jabari is the Head of Mentoring.
MY LIFE OF HOPE BY MAHMOUD MASRI
Thousands of vulnerable children in Israel and Palestine suffer from the conflict.
Your donation could help ensure they receive the support they urgently need.
Donate online and help us to help the children
"Children, the forgotten victims of the conflict"
Please make a positive difference to the children’s lives and to build peace.