It has been over a week here on the Island of Lesbos since my arrival. I find myself in awe of the situation, the people who save the lives of refugees, the refugees themselves and my small part observing and helping in all of this. Although, war is terrible and aweful, I have found hope in here. I know how we all talk about peace in the abstract. We hope for peace, we advocate for it. But few if any are in a position to promote it. A lady here recently told me: “Mirit you won’t change anything, we are not here to change” and I must say my experience has taught me she was wrong, that ordinary people can indeed make change.
I have made peace here on the Island of Lesbos in every possible way peace can be made; I have learned other people's languages, about different cultural approaches and I cared. I was not afraid to say who I am and where I am from. I gave a smile to all who needed it. I have made friendships with people from every corner of the world. Yes, I have made friendships with Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqi, Iranian, Afghani, Kurds and I must admit none of them ever said to me anything bad to me when I said I am Israeli.
There was one Syrian woman I spent time with, my age with a child the same age as my own child. She asked me where I was from and I said I am from Israel. She stopped what she was doing and she came to me and hugged me ever so tightly. She said to me "God bless Israel". I was in tears. She was in tears. I really don’t know what is peace if that is not that.
I have so many stories to tell you, not all are easy to tell, not all have happy endings but through many struggles, debates and cultural differences there are important lessons to understand. We are all human. We care for our families, we all need to make a living, to provide and to live a respectful life. We do have different ways to understand each other, different mentalities, different customs, different languages but we all want to feel that we belong.