Kids4Peace Jerusalem Coordinator for Boston Group
Not the routine check at El AL as our Kids4peace group of Israeli and Palestinian kids and staff from West, East Jerusalem and Ramallah arrived to the airport yesterday. Greeted by an amazing young woman who embraces rather than intimidates our group as she checks us through reminding us of the essence of what security can mean. She literally embraced us as you can see in picture below.
She asks the usual security questions and notes immediately our many passports of different colors and countries of origin. She pauses at Mariam’s (our Christian Advisor) and can’t believe that she is holding the document of a Palestinian from Ramallah. Today standing in front of her, Gaza in the background while our peoples continue to kill, but Mariam in front of her standing for peace.
She can’t restrain herself and praises Mariam and the work we do. We start talking and learn more about this amazing young woman, security agent currently working at the airport to earn enough money to go on her post-army trek. She shares with us her morning coming from Kfar Sabba where she has lived her life, having grown up a few doors down from Hadar Goldin (z”l), knows his brother Yuval, having grown up in the neighborhood together. She was crying all night and this morning when hearing that kidnapped Hadar has now been declared dead. A relief though, she said, that he is at least not a captive, alive. His funeral can take place without the body.
Our lovely security agent then tells us that two other friends of hers were killed in Gaza this last month. Devastating. And to add, she taps into earlier traumas of her young life, almost blown up twice in two near miss bombings. “Near misses ” that left their mark. Putting all of her trauma and loss aside, she tells us how important our work is and that we should reach out to thousands more. I suggested that maybe next year she could jump over to the other side of her security -check podium to join us in our work!
We asked for her details and if we could take a photo to remember this very positive moment as our journey began. She said, YOU all have made my day– of course! Mariam outstretched her hand giving this agent her Ramallah phone so that she could input her details. What a twist of events!!!!
As we were boarding our plane to Rome, I sent the photo to our new buddy/security agent, and this is what she wrote back to me…
“I’m so happy for you guys
Always remember that your cause is very important
May we all have peace soon
Every day people like YOU make this day come closer.”
Amen to that.