Before nearly a month ago, my friends, who are members of Sharek Youth Forum ,told me about this project called “Gaza exchange”. The project, which is sponsored by Tida in association with Sharek, mainly puts some serious issues on the table for the Palestinian youth to debate.
First time I went there, we had a debate about “Non-violence resistance”. It is a very sensitive and controversial topic for the Palestinians. In that session, we were mostly university students, it was very democratic; we agreed, and disagreed, but the thing is I am sure of that I have learned something new from each participant spoke.
The 2 and a half nicely heated discussion widened my horizons, provoked my thinking and more importantly gave me a chance to listen and speak up.
The topic left home with me and despite the fact that I had exams really soon, I often thought about the debate and still think about the whole issue of “non-violent” resistance.
Our final exams started and we had a break from our “Tida” activities.
Friday’s Q and A
As I study English Literature the name Noam Chomsky is familiar to me since my Linguistic teacher is a big fan. Moreover, any Palestinian interested in the international debate about the conflict would have read something by Professor Chomsky.
Our supervisor hinted in “the before exam” session that in the coming days many speakers are going to be hosted via video conference. And it’s already mentioned in Tida’s site that many speakers are scheduled for this year.
Professor Noam Chomsky was hosted last Friday via video conference along with MIT students in the US. When I read the event on Facebook, I got really excited. Such intellectual meetings are very rare, however; Tidas “Gaza Exchange” is breaking from the norm.
We were like 40-50 mostly students when the questions time came many hands were raised. Due to the time limitation, it was nearly an hour, not all of us got the chance to ask him.
However, I was lucky enough to get picked. I asked about my very haunting issue of “non-violent” resistance if it works to change facts on the ground or not, in the light of the growing popular support for the Palestinian cause on one hand, and the BDS movement on the other.
After Mr. Chomsky left, we chatted a little bit with our counterparts at the MIT. At 7:15 pm, the session was over leaving with me good memories, new knowledge, and a new experience that I deeply appreciate.
Why I am so into “Gaza Exchange”
As mentioned before here in Gaza we severely lack intellectual debates due to the mental siege imposed on us. I might sound a bit hyperbolic when I say that last Friday in a way or another we figuratively broke the siege, at least the mental siege.
Such sessions, discussions and workshops are of high importance to me. For now the “Gaza Exchange” project is a central priority in my life, so much like the university or even more, because it serves me as a girl who seeks to learn, but I am mostly setback, because no way out. Moreover, a girl who seeks to speak up, but no one is there to listen to me. Once a topic is suggested or a person hosted, I try to read to prepare for the next meeting-(something I voluntary and happily do at Tida, compulsory do at the university: D )
“Bringing the world to Gaza, and Gaza to world” is the project’s motto which is something, as I live in Gaza, I work on it, I blog for it and now I am being helped by this wonderful project.
Watch the discussion below: (Answer of my question)
Watch more videos on TidaGaza channel on Youtube.