CFP_E&MThe Arthur B. Schultz Foundation (ABSF) believes deeply in the premise that educating girls is one of the most powerful ways to address global poverty.  Educated girls transform societies.

Earlier in the month, we highlighted the organization Creativity For Peace, an organization that prepares the next generation of female leaders and peacemakers in Israel and Palestine.  ABSF has provided scholarships for two young Palestinian women from Creativity for Peace to attend a university in Ramallah.  They recently graduated and are actively pursuing higher education opportunities.  We are extremely proud of these young Peacemakers and believe they will help to bring peace and understanding to their region.

One of these young women has gone on to a Masters program in Management in England.  She sent a letter to ABSF expressing her gratitude for tuition support and I found myself deeply moved by her passion, maturity, and belief in a better future. We will hear more from this young woman in the future as she goes on to make her mark in this world and her efforts to promote peace and understanding among all people.  In her words…

Although I am a female student, living through difficult conditions in Palestine, I consider myself a strong independent woman who is able to overcome all obstacles that come my way…. As a Palestinian student I have suffered severely from the Israeli occupation and this endless Palestinian-Israeli conflict. When I was just a little girl in 2002 Israeli soldiers invaded my house and I almost lost my sister on that horrific day. These terrifying incidents continued throughout my life.

Now after many years, after truly growing up and experiencing other hardships in my life, I realize that it is not a weapon I need to fight back with, I need for my voice to be heard. 

I will one day be able to challenge one-eyed media, these that never show what Palestinians go through on daily basis. Everyday, my private belongings get searched, and I get stuck on the street with many others for no apparent reasons but the will of the occupation army. Feeling as if you have no value to the person in front of you is the worst feeling you could ever feel, it makes me angry to the point where I imagine myself shaking the soldier in front of me just to remind him that I am a human being just like him, the only difference is that we were born on different sides of the line….

Today I understand that through my education, I can have my voice heard so the world would hear my story and the story of my people. Many people only hear distorted stories about my people through the mainstream media. However, I believe that individual voices like mine, ones that speak the truth of personal experiences, will be able to challenge mainstream media stereotypes and distorted facts.

She goes on to describe her dream of establishing a nonprofit in Palestine, which would support people in poverty, based on the concept of giving back to their community in any way they are able.   She is currently well on her way to achieving that dream as she has gone on to a Masters program in England where she is studying management and economics.