The Green Palestine by Hamze Awawde, Palestine

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Last week we Palestinians succeeded in operating the first train journey from the East part of Palestine (West Bank) to the West part (Gaza Strip).

It was all easy. Thanks to engineers who worked so hard on this project, cars can also easily drive to Gaza from where I live in Dura, in the south of the West Bank.  A mutual agreement made all the necessary permits possible with the state of Israel. Actually the government usually takes care of those issues for us. Us normal people don’t even care so much, since we choose the right politicians to serve us.

Palestine is a democratic state. Especially after Hamas and Fatah decided to dissolve themselves on the day of the actual independence of Palestine after the peace agreement with Israel was signed. They realized they needed to end their existence as resistance political parties. Hamas decided to leave all the politics aside and focus on getting charity to new Palestinian schools and hospitals while Fatah got completely transformed to its youth members who decided to devote their energy on taking Palestine to the modern world. We now run elections every 4 years and always on time, and have never had any delay even for a one day. The last presidential election brought a Christian young woman to become the president of Palestine. She is just 32 years old, an intellectual full of determination who wants to improve the political and social justice situation of the country. The parliament has many brand new political parties. The biggest one is the Green Party, whose main aim is to ensure the wellbeing of our environment as well as ensuring the freedom of citizens and non-citizens of Palestine. Although Palestine is a country that relies on small business projects, the high tech industry led by young businessmen and businesswomen is doing very well.  The Green Party leader has just submitted a draft for a new law that would facilitate the process for asylum seekers to get refugee status. We shall never forget that Palestinians were refugees for decades too.

Jerusalem is like the city of Berlin. It has West and East parts, despite the fact that it is the political capital city of two completely different countries (East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine and West Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel) people are living in the city as if it was united. We normal people don’t know how they made this system work but everything is working perfectly. I often see ministers from the Palestinian government and the Israeli government sitting together in a café in Jerusalem not knowing if they are in their own capital or in the other state’s capital. Who cares? Food is good!

Ramallah is the youth center of the Middle East. Saudi women love to come to have fun in Ramallah, they love the beauty of the city and all kinds of weekend concerts.  It is a city that allows intellectuals to meet and to express themselves freely without any concerns or limitations.

Palestinians are everywhere; wherever I go I find a Palestinian restaurant or doctors. They are in America, Brazil, and France… etc but they never forget their Palestinian identity. They often come to share their experience in Palestine and they make a point in participating in the building of the new state. Their generous contributions, know-how and financial support actually helped the state of Palestine to develop quickly.

The Gaza strip is no longer the most populated area in the world. What the government did was to encourage young couples to move and live in the West Bank. 700,000 inhabitants moved to live in the West Bank.  This is what freedom of movement does: where you live doesn’t matter anymore. Palestinians from the Gaza strip appreciate their new life so much! They are very smart people and their projects are very successful.

In the past, during the conflict, I used to be engaged in people-to-people peace meetings that helped build trust and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. We thought that once our dream of peace would be achieved, our job would be done. But it is the opposite that happened. We found out that our new job now is to share our experience with other people in the Middle East and help them resolve their conflicts. There is a sort of mutual peace ministry that works under both governments. They support our work and run peacebuilding programs. This Israeli-Palestinian peace team has offices in every country in the Middle East.

Life is beautiful and we are really lucky in this region. We have more than enough resources to live, and life is good. It is our responsibility to further our development and positive change.

Palestine is green and you must see this to really enjoy it!

Hamze Awawde,

YaLa Young Leaders

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