My participation in the inter-cultural event in Palermo, Sicily, provided me a sense of pride coupled with a sense of pressure and burden due to the role that I was tasked with, which was to inform my international colleagues and their friends about Palestine in only 3-5 minutes.
I felt a sense of pride because I cherish and value the culture in which I was brought into and I enjoy sharing my culture and perspective about Palestine with everyone that I come in contact with.
Although proud, I also felt the sense of pressure due to the level of knowledge and misconceptions that many people have about Palestine since it is considered to be a somewhat complex environment due to the occupation that has been enforced upon it for the last 67 years. It was important for me to present the beauty of Palestine by using facts, images, and true stories while avoiding topics that stimulated heated discussions surrounding politics and religion since these were things that I was constantly faced with growing up in Palestine.
As one of my idols, the iconic Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish stated, “We love life” and that is exactly what I decided to inform people about during this cultural night. Therefore, I took it upon myself to join together with my colleague and friend Alberto Provenzano and recite poems by Mahmoud Darwish to the audience and enlighten them with his beautiful poetry.
The idea to do this was inspired by a time when I was preparing the invitation letter and press release for the event and decided to inscribe one of his beautiful poems on the back of the invitation letters. Alberto and I worked together as he translated the poems into Italian and we recited “We love life” “Challenge” and ” We have on this earth what makes life worth living ” together during culture night.
It was very emotional to listen to Alberto reciting Mahmoud Darwish’s poems, especially when he confidently recited the Arabic version of “We love life”. I felt very proud that I took part in such an important event, and was happy that the audience engaged in the Palestinian struggle through poetry. And now, we have three additional Mahmoud Darwish poems professionally translated to Italian.
Also, it was a pleasure to organize and present a photo gallery on behalf of the talented photographer Ms. Sara Ramos, who is currently in Lebanon for her mobility period, and whom I luckily met in Jordan through the mid-term meeting of CaBuReRa project In January 2015. Her photos made me realize that we should focus on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation through similarities which is in my opinion a very powerful method.