Hala, from Israel, says that, regarding Palestinians and Jews, “I have my beliefs and they have theirs, and we have the conflict between us, but in the end we just worked it out, we lived together and we also loved each other. You can live with everything, if everyone is on the same page.”
Currently: Hala is in her third year of university studies in Turkey. She’s finishing her BA in Psychology and hopes to continue on to a Master’s in Clinical Psychology to become a licensed therapist.
From the classroom to the community hall: For a school project, Hala conducted research on violence against women in the Arab community–a taboo subject. She was so troubled by what she learned that she bravely took action. She invited women from her town to come together to speak about their experiences. She feared no one would come–that the unspoken taboo would keep them silent. But this 17-year old girl did it: 100 women showed up to speak and be in solidarity with each other. This is what knowledge, plus confidence, plus a belief in a better future can do!
Curious about the world: She looks forward to traveling and working in new places around the world, and since she’s fluent in four languages (Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Turkish) she can go far!
So much learning at GHIS: Growing up in a town that didn’t have much diversity, where people lived peacefully and coexisted with each other, meant that GHIS was a big change. She learned to speak up and not be afraid of speaking her mind, even if it meant getting into heated conversations.
Roommates bringing the world: Her roommates (from other conflict zones) opened her eyes to what people outside of the local area experience: “there are so many conflicts, so many wars, it’s so crappy in so many places, but we can work it out.” This gave her a new perspective on how Arabs and Jews in Israel are dealing with their situation.
Growing in so many ways: For the first two months at GHIS, she wanted to go home. There was so much to adjust to and everything was hard (living on her own for the first time and the challenging IB program), especially compared to how easy it was at home. But her teachers and the staff–everyone–made her feel welcome and that it was worth it to fight to stay. The GHIS environment ended up being the catalyst for her development. She said, “you learn a lot about yourself in these situations. You see that you have more in you than you realized.”
Summing up 2 years at GHIS: “It was a unique experience that will teach everyone about themselves and about where they are in life. It pushes you into reality.”
David joined GHIS because he was looking for the right educational establishment to develop personally and professionally. As soon as he heard about GHIS, he realized that it suits his values.
“As someone who has always been committed to coexistence in Israel, I see GHIS as a great vehicle to bring young people together in an accepting and non-prejudicial way.”
As well as being a teacher, David is also trained in special needs education at all school levels.
David holds a joint Honors B.Ed. in Special Education ages 6 to 21, and BA in Literature at Oranim College