13. I am a Palestinian (Part 1)

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I am a Palestinian. I am a Palestinian because my father was born in Palestine in 1947 and I am a Palestinian because all the atrocities going on make me want to tell the oppressed that I am with them with every fibre of my being. Growing up I went to a wonderfully cultured and tolerant school, where we were vegetarian and meditated before the day began. It was a place that did more than just teach me the curriculum, instead it taught me confidence, tolerance and integrity. But there was one area where I felt I was always stifled: Palestine. I was never given the opportunity to debate the events that were the fuel of my identity. I was passionate about Palestine and the Middle East, passionate about politics and the Left and passionate about debate and discussion. I felt those things got somewhat sidelined at points, hell my head of sixth form wrote on my end of term report: ‘less passion more poise.’ It was a difficult restraint to bear during my formative years.