Generation of potential | 30 april 2018 | by Tessa de Jonge

Salam outside of a café. Photo by Tessa de Jonge

"Young people feel they are responsible for the future of Jerusalem"

Generation of potential: Salam

Salam, 24, is a student of Middle Eastern Studies in Jerusalem. Born and raised in Al-Issawiyya, a neighborhood in the east of Jerusalem, Salam experiences the issues young Palestinians face on a daily basis. Witnessing an increase in house demolishing in her neighborhood, she feels frustrated not only with the Israeli government, but also with the Palestinian authority, who together agreed that this would not happen anymore.

She feels young people are responsible for a better future in Jerusalem, but knows from her own experience how difficult it is for them to do something: “Screening movies about Palestine, or having discussion groups, we do it secretly, because if you do it openly, the police comes to evacuate the place”. This is very hard for Salam: “We always feel our voice is not heard. You don’t want to live without raising your voice”.

Furthermore, to Salam it is crucial to unite young Palestinians, as they are currently very fragmented. For her, the key to doing this is awareness of belonging: “When you go to a school that doesn’t discuss who you are, you grow up being someone who doesn’t know who he is. That’s why it is very important to raise our kids to know their history and identity”.

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