Wednesday, 26 August, 2009

Why wait for someone else to solve the problems? Anees Barghouthy gives an example of young Palestinians taking proactive action to make a difference in their communities.

I am a presenter for a TV show called "Speak Up", a show for young people in which we discuss their problems, expectations, hobbies, aspirations - anything related to young people.

Amoria is a village near Nablus and is surrounded by settlements. Besides this, this Palestinian problem, the village had two other problems which we wanted to do as much as we could to solve.

The first problem was water. Amoria’s springs were polluted and the villagers were suffering from using this polluted water. Added to that, there was no water system so villagers had to use donkeys or their own strength to transport water from a polluted spring. They had no other solution.

The second problem was transportation. The village didn’t even have even one car to use as a taxi to transport anyone from the village. Students had to walk for one hour in the morning to reach their school in another village, and one hour to return home.

So, I and other young people – a group called PAYALRA - started to work to solve these problems. We went to the village with our cameras to report on from Amoria. We interviewed people from the village and students who suffered from the transportation problem. We did everything we could to help solve these two problems. We stopped at nothing. We arranged a meeting between the students in Amoria and the Ministry of Transportation so that the students could discuss the problem with man who has the responsibility and the ability to solve it. We spent two days filming and on Sunday we presented our episode about this village and its problems.

After one week the government started to build a water system for the village and two buses were provided for the village people so that they could go in and out of the village.

It showed us that young people could use the media to bring attention to the problems that Palestinians face and could do something to solve them.

Anees is a 22-year-old student at Bir Zeit University where he studies media and political science. Anees is the host of a proactive TV show which targets Palestinian youth and addresses difficult problems. As a young Palestinian he thinks the world needs to understand that Palestinians don’t have minimum human rights. Email: aneeswal[at]

Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Elders or The Elders Foundation.

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