Shoshana Berger ‘19

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On Monday November 27, Yahya Mahamid, a 19 year old Arab-Israeli and an educator from StandWithUs, came to speak to the Ma’ayanot students. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous to hear him speak, but also extremely excited to hear another point of view. I was extremely impressed by him and his speech. He spoke about his background, how he originally hated Jews and Israel because that’s how he was brought up to feel. He went on to explain how he distanced himself from that opinion and began to fight for peace between our nation and his, instead of fighting against us.
This was a huge eye-opener for me. Here was an Arab-Israeli man, really only two years older than I am, risking his life to speak about making peace. I found him very genuine and personable. I mean, there are people in his hometown who want to kill him for what he’s doing and he’s still doing it. And he’s so young! That won my respect immediately.
Additionally, it’s difficult for me, and I’m sure for many people, to always keep in mind that not all Arabs are evil. It’s difficult because we hear all the terrible news about how Arabs hate Jews, and that seems to be what’s happening most of the time. But this man served as a huge reminder to me that there might still be hope. And that’s something I think we all need to be reminded of time and time again.

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Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School