My Story of Peace by Sara Gamil, Egypt

When I was a child I used to believe in the idea of peace. I remember that I enjoyed going to any place and at anytime without being afraid we were walking in the streets until 4 am and it was ok. We didn’t have anything to be afraid to lose except our grandparents, thanks to a peace treaty, which stopped the war.

I grow older but I am still a child and when I heard about Suzan Mubarak’s international peace movement, I was fascinated and I asked myself for once does it include Israel? I didn’t know the answer at that time but as time went on, I was selected to enter a competition to write about peace and was lucky to win first place. I was rewarded many times thanks to that research. In that research I remember that I didn’t talk about Egypt alone but I talked about many countries, I remember that I brought some examples from the history of people who witnessed wars and then changed their opinions toward peace, and actually I mentioned the benefits of peace. For sure I talked about the old Israeli Egyptian conflict and how the peace treaty changed the life in Egypt toward construction and development.
When we begun to use the internet and we begun to talk to people across the world, I saw my friends tell each other not to talk to Israelis, even when they knew that they were talking to an Israeli girl they ended the call. I wasn’t interested in the chat for many years because I only concentrated my mind upon my study.
I can’t deny that there is curiosity inside each human to know the other side, I’ll talk about Israel because it is the side to make peace with.
For me to talk to Israelis was a risk, but after the first talk I had nothing to lose. I didn’t tell anyone that I talked to Israelis, not even my family – only people on the internet who know I tried to not make Egyptian friends who are peace activists to not put myself in trouble. I knew that being in a peace community would cause problem but the idea deserved the sacrifice. But actually sacrifice within my limits.
I wrote one day about my story of peace and how I started to think of peace because everyone in our communities passed with many stages starting from complete refusal to being ready to hear from you then to be ready to understand you and finally to accept the friendship.
I wrote that Hamas was the cause that made me seek peace because I can’t imagine till now that a government sacrifices her people just for propaganda in an unequal war. I left the peace community for months and then I decided to be back mainly because I missed my Israeli friends and actually unlike we were taught, I found them civilized, well educated, highly cultured and they were the nicest people I dealt with. I remember that I had an Israeli friend who I told my secrets, another one who was always with me when I was up or down, another one who I was complaining to when I was harassed by anyone, and of course I have a friend who I consider him and his family a symbol of Israelis families. After being back I was happy for talking to them again.

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