Today was my last day working at the Hebron Youth Development Center as an intern. The amazing performance and exhibition which the participants in my leadership training “Art for Social Change” organized were exceptional. It was exceptional what they managed to do just in two short days of preparation left on their own. It was so fulfilling to actually see that my words and actions inspire others! My amazing co-trainer Asala Salhab said: “They told me yesterday: “Maggie said we are leaders so we should organize the performance alone and that we can do anything” and indeed after hours spent in the theater space yesterday, today they came at 9 in the morning on a Ramadan day only to rehearse and perfect the showcase of their work.
It’s unbelievable to me how close I have grown to my English students and how dearly I love them: all of them at once and each of them in a unique way. I spent the last 3 hours in a coffee shop having one of the best times in my life (seriously!), discussing passionately all possible topics imaginable (which I didn’t imagine to be possible when I first met them) despite the many cultural norms which otherwise do not allow a girl to be smoking nargille in the company of guys.
I want to tell you all again that I love you so and you have given me more than I have ever expected! Never have my ideas and efforts for social change and youth empowerment been more well accepted and celebrated.
Last but not least, you have brought me back to Life (no exaggeration!) after a very difficult year in which I many times lost hope in the power of my voice to influence any actual change and in which I was almost about to lose my trust in others…
You have given me hope, you have given me love, you have given me an enriched sense for identity (“We Palestinians teach Life, Sir!”), you have given me your unconditional support and trust.
And I’m way too happy and inspired to even be sad that I am leaving! (Although, I guess it will hit me once I’m no longer on this sacred land.)
Carry the magic we created together with you at all times and spread it generously!
P.S. Don’t forget: WE ARE CONNECTED NOW!
Special THANKS to Center for Careers and Internships at Middlebury College and my hosting organization Hebron YDRC.