Monday, March 28, 2016

Oh a Palestinian ? Bring on the complications.

I was supposed to write about something depressing but i just found out i have reached 220 page views in one week !

Do you remember my friend who applied to a program for the american embassy in tel aviv but the was transferred ?
Thats what I've been thinking about all day long. For the past 3 days we've been sending out emails trying to explain his lousy situation.

During the process i got an email from a school I've applied to.
This school is in tel aviv and is a boarding school. It is international so it combines Israelis, arabs and the whole world.
When i got the email i expected an answer to wether i was accepted or not but was surprised to find a man arranging an interview.
You see I've already did two interviews and they told me to expect an answer.

When i talked to the man explaining to him the situation (I've been doing lots of explaining lately). He told me that he knows nothing about what i should do and that i applied as an Israeli not as a Palestinian.

You say what ?? When i want discounts, not stopped at check points and a visa for Europe I'm a Palestinian but when it come to scholarships I'm an Israeli ?!!
(Palestinians get better scholarships. We have no money.)

How was i supposed to know that there is a "special" application for Palestinians ? Should i have read your mind ?
They sent me an application. I filled it out. Paid 50 bucks and was asked for an interview. I didn't know i should've said no. I was supposed to make a good impression.

You see this whole story happens daily to hundreds of Palestinians. The changing nationalities whenever they want. The your a Palestinian your different situation. They don't get that we also don't know what we are supposed to call ourselves and where to go !!

Me and my friend have lost scholarships and were refused to many programs not because we are not qualified but because of the where I'm supposed to apply question ? Am i a Palestinian, Israeli,  Jordanian or just a jerusalemite ?
We both don't care. We don't call ourselves Palestinians but then these programs define and refuse us so aggressively for no reason that we have to fight back.

When is this ever going to end ? I know that when i apply through the Palestinian team it is going to be based on who is most beneficial for the interviewer not how qualified you are.

To end this day i visted ramallah. Going back home we had to kneel down because there was shooting at Qalandia check point.
Whats ironic about it ? Its not between the Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.
Going to hug my Harvard shirt to sleep.

Good night

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Problems that me and my friends share.

As a start today i want to talk about my friends. I have been observing my friends these past few days thought about their problems.
My friends have the same agony as most teenagers. The girls cry about how much their period hurts and how much they eat.
The guys they or at least my friend is shy about his acne but is always trying to solve that problem  by not eating chocolate which didn't work out for a year (i would never do that i prefer not to be seen then prevent the sweet taste of chocolate on my tastebuds.)
But there are many problems my friends seem to have that might relate to being a Palestinian and being an Arab and i want to discuss these.

First :

The inability for their parents to take them seriously.
You know on vines where the teenager says i want to be a singer and the parents reply by ohh a doctor thats good for you.
As a matter of fact thats true when my friends say i want to use my talent if its not a doctor or an engineer then its a no go.
Their parents accept the idea of doing nothing if we are not going near the borders of "tradition" a sentence i like to recall is: How am i gonna walk the street being the father of a model ?
I dont have that problem with my mother she is pretty open minded.


Inability to do activities in public areas.
Its not just public areas but organization too. I've touched this issue of not having enough non-formal educational programs briefly. Our clubs are too precise its either basketball or football for sports and music.  Arts in general are not accepted and these groups are not founded. Gyms, pools and parks are hard to find so the teens stay at home or on the street where its not better off.

For me and my friends we don't go out much. Its either at school or in each others houses. Cinemas, parks and malls are a no go because our parents are too worried. If we talked in arabic (which i do loudly) we might face discrimination or even violence. Our parents are not ready for that they dont want to be the parents of martyrs. So we can only dream of a social life like what we see on television.

Third :

Our fear of politicalizing everything.
Just the name Palestinian can politicalize everything we do. As if everything we do is really thought through or has a meaning. We are afraid of being used to politicalize stuff. To send out messages that we dont mean. Its normal for teenagers to deliver the wrong message but here we pay for it.

For me I'm always considering boycotting but find it very difficult because I'm afraid of being fooled by smart shopkeepers but that doesn't mean that the guilt doesn't follow me around. I promise that this guilt follows all my friends.

Another example is my friend who applied to a program outside for writing. He applied to the american tel aviv embassy. He then was transferred to the one in jerusalem because he has no Israeli passport but was refused without having an interview because the Palestinian deadline is different than the Israeli one. It probably was a surprise for him when he knew he was considered as a Palestinian.
My friend really knows nothing about politics and doesn't care but he was prevented from going because well of political issues

Its funny how in other countries the teenager doesn't know who he really is but is starting to discover himself. It is expected from us to know everything about us and choose the ideology we will take on for the rest of our lives .

Fourth :

Inability to connect with anybody from outside.
We are seriously disconnected from the Arab world. I've visited two Arab countries and the difference is so definable. The walls that have been built on the west bank (the only real Arab region) are really seen when you find how much we've been missing out wether on tv shows, candy or clothes
Of course we can't really connect with the Israelis.
We are not from the foreign world. They don't really want us unless we are extremely smart.
The thing is when I'm asked for my nationality i don't know what to answer and there are millions like me.

Fifth  :
People like me and my other two best friends.
We are put aside when compared to our class. we grew up differently by saying thank you, sorry and not hurting animals.
The people who speak good english and generally don't curse.
The people who are undecided about their religion. They read and started talking about college 4 years before their classmates did.
The difference is strongly felt between us and the rest of our people.
We are looked at as weirdos for being polite and articulate. We are laughed at for speaking english. We are laughed at because we try.
We collect each other as groups and i believe each school has 5 or 6 people like us.
The people who grew up the "foreign way " as my classmates call it.
We are proud to show the difference to everybody around us. Unlike many others we don't hide. This is considered as improper.
The problem here lies in our wanting to go outside and them wanting to diminish our existence due to reasons i will discuss later.

This may only apply on me.
I sadly feel like i posses nothing here. I and my family don't own a house nor a garden not even memories. There is nothing to look back on.
Its like nothing of my existence was engraved here. As if my childhood and teenage years have been lost as if they passed in seconds.
I'm afraid that these memories that I'm making now or will be making will also be lost into the void if i stay here.

I don't want to generalize. This might only apply on me. I hope people can relate.

27th sunday

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Is my palestinain name being exploited ?

Today I want to talk to you about sunday.I didn't have a blog last sunday but now that i do and i make the laws here.I shall do what i think is right.That is talk about sunday.

I was invited to an 11am open day in a school in tel aviv that i had just applied to. it is an international boarding school and is using the IB system which isn't remote from the IGCSE that I'm doing.
After an hour and a half trying to explain to the app 'ways' where we are going and getting lost and paying for roads we are not even supposed to be on. We arrived.

The place does not look much like a school. It has an easy aura to it and doesn't have many classrooms. After seeing the other parents we were ushered to a room where we sat like students on chairs with our parents by our sides where three teachers stood in front of us.
First a tall gray haired man came forward and introduced himself in hebrew i couldn't catch his name but was able to translate what he said in my mind very slowly.
He said as we only invited Israelis today we will be speaking hebrew. Does any body have a problem with that ?
My cheeks went red i raised my hand and said that i can only understand english. He raised his eyebrows at me and studied me.
"well, then lets talk in english". He said unenthusiastically with a heavy accent. Now i know why he wanted to speak in hebrew i thought.
I think i had a bad first impression on him. Something that i didn't really care about but should have. Considering that i was supposed to impress them.
You see there are many mistakes in his sentence :
First, clearly you didn't just invite Israelis as a proof I'm here.
Second, even if you have invited "just" Israelis this is an international school.You shouldn't teach them to speak hebrew between themselves otherwise the others will feel left out.

As he continued talking i could listen to him no more. In the background i think i heard the words peace and Canada but i was shocked that they invited me as Palestinian but then chose to speak hebrew.Shouldn't they have prepared for this ?
When a new student entered the room the teacher told her to sit down but not forgetting to say: I'm sorry but we will be speaking english as a girl here doesnt know hebrew. Pointing at me.
I felt embarrassed but why should i ?  Should i be embarrassed because i want to understand ? I'm considered here as an  ignorant for not knowing hebrew ?Isn't this an international school in english ?

I despised him.He was bringing us here to humiliate us. To get more sponsors by saying see we are bringing the Palestinians in our classrooms now give us your money.

While walking i heard an Israeli girl asking her mother why did they bring us together ?
You know what ? Yes ,why did you bring the filthy palestine with the perfect amazing Israelis ?
Look at the hierarchy. Palestinians are at the bottom .In fact why should you offer them food on the table ? Throw it to them thats better.

Then when asked why did you come to this school ? The same girl raised her hand and said in a squeaky i know it all. I'm going to get into this school cos i know what you want to hear : well ... the media doesn't offer a whole picture of what is really happening and i dont get to meet the other side (they never say Palestinians ) so i thought i should get to know them better.

Of course not put in this way she couldn't put two words together minding the correct grammar but really get to know the animals better ? No darling you don't need to change your whole entire life and get into a boarding school just to get to know "them" better. Was it a required characteristic to be a hypocrite there?

The whole day my mom ignored the subject of the school knowing that when mentioned i'll lose it.

Are all programs like that ? Do they really use us as a propaganda to get money ? Why don't we have our own Palestinian programs where we do the same thing to Israelis ? But then they will be closed because the media will only show the terrorists traumatizing the poor Israelis.

I'm in many peace programs. I'm proud of it sometimes i enter to know what Israelis think and believe others to learn and most for my college CV but I'm hated for this. My classmates say that people like me are trying to show that there is no conflict but there is. I'm just trying to do something with my time and be productive otherwise i'll turn out like most jerusalemites judging people because i have nothing to do but gossip.
Simply put we have no non-formal educational programs for only Palestinians.

After i went back home i packed my stuff and went to the west ymca ( the Israeli one) to meet with my arts group.It's composed of many teenagers with many different personalities which makes it interesting all the time  the special thing here is that we both speak our languages all the time and we have translators to understand each other. It does show the culture but sometimes you feel like some people are gossiping behind your back in the other language. The funny thing is that i have a rusty hebrew where i can understand everybody but nobody can understand me. So i understand when they say here comes the Palestinian with her knives or ohh your acting like a Palestinian you are gross.

When talking to our instructors about our show we told them that we feel like nothing is ours we are only bodies that are being used to say what they want to say which is "we want peace and love and marshmallows on top" we tried to tell them that we don't want to say what they got to say we don't want our words with their agendas stamped on them. Again here i felt like I'm a body only used to deliver others ideas. Like I'm an animal with no mind or feelings.

Going back home i walked 5 stations from ymca to my moms work because there is a "suspected object" somewhere i bought an expensive ticket for nothing. Had to walk in the wind while thinking of how unproductive but eye opening today was.

Maybe the action that is always happening in jerusalem keeps it interesting but i need to clean up my bedroom because my friend is coming over tomorrow i might also catch up on some reading.

Yes we have cars !!

I hope that sounded nice enough.
My name is Malak (means angel in arabic). I'm 15 years old. And yes I'm a Palestinian jeruslemite. That means i live in the east side of jerusalem where people say terrorists come from. My opinion on that will unambiguously be shown later.

I've noticed lately that non of the people outside of jerusalem know what is really happening here. It is a closed up place. We don't produce that many authors and we don't like to believe that there is anybody but us Palestinians and our conflict in the world.

A pen friend once asked me if we have supermarkets in jerusalem. Believing that we still go to schools on donkeys and haven't witnessed the great invention of electricity. Well, hate to break it to you we have cars ! and even a train but it is shut down most days because of "suspicious objects".Thinking about it I've never really seen a donkey

When my mother heard about this panfried she nagged for weeks for me to start shooting videos of what is really like here. I would sit and talk thinking that people want to listen to me.
I know myself, I talk a lot and haven't been blessed with the gift of a fine voice but I can write. People even seem to like what I write.
So today I'm writing this blog desperately hoping that I will stay attached to it because i have a lot to say and i hope that i'll be of good use. At least today you learnt that we have cars !!