I have a dream, I dream of a world with no racism, with acceptance no matter what religion, colour, language, or ideology.
My name is Salam, I am 18 years old, and I was rejected my entire life by the people around me, something that made me so insecure.
I was born in a country that defines itself by religion. I was treated differently because of my religion, because of the way I dress. Basically, because I was not Jewish, I was never welcomed in the state of Israel, even though I am an Israeli citizen!
There is a whole wide community of undefined citizens just like me. I am a Muslim Arab that wanted to make my voice heard – to share my story and help my community – and found the perfect opportunity through this inspiring great program called Model United Nations.
I had a dream but I didn’t have a voice until I joined the Online Model United Nations program!
Why is this program so important to me?
Well for the first reason that it accepts anyone no matter who they are, for the first time in my life I felt like I was welcomed to something, that people actually accepted me for who I am. I was part of a greater community, and I felt comfortable sharing my story.
All the conflicts facing the world today could be easily solved by sharing our stories together, by meeting one another, because most humans are led by their government or leaders who decide for them who they are, but human nature tends toward a peaceful safe environment, deep down inside all human beings are the same, nobody cares about religion or colour or anything else for that matter, all these titles that were given to separate us, we all eventually just want to live a happy peaceful life.
And that can’t be done unless people realize who they really are. All people around the world should share their stories, especially in this time when it’s just a click away to communicate with anyone, anywhere.
Even though the status quo over here is somehow steady, I shouldn’t be afraid of sharing my story because it might jeopardize it, neither does anyone else, nobody should be forced to live hand to mouth, we all should share our stories. It’s the thing that gets us closer!
And we shouldn’t just not care about each other, I mean when I share my story I would love to get a response from someone else, telling me their story and how they can relate.
O-MUN gave me a voice, and the chance to meet students from all around the world and share my story, not just online but also in international conferences. I never thought I would meet students from Islamic and Arabian countries before, but I am so glad I did because it changed my whole perspective. Most things that are presented to us by the media are not true, we can’t jump into conclusion or start a conflict based on a misleading statement.
So let’s take an advantage of the Internet and let it unite us, such an incredible online program that united me with students from all around the world.
Hopefully someday we can all look over our differences, live together peacefully and create our own superior united government that unites us all.
We all should be free to be who we want.
Thanks to O-MUN for making my dream seem more realistic and achievable. And, of course, for the person behind all of this, Ms. Lisa Martin!
Now it’s your turn to share your story!
Previously in this series
- Upcoming guest series – Online Model United Nations
- Connected global youth and the Online Model United Nations movement
- The nuts and bolts of online debating
Salam Keadan is 18 years old. She is one of the Middle East and Africa Assistant Directors at O-MUN and hopes to study Liberal Arts at TAU International, She has recently started an O-MUN club at her school, Al-Qasemi High School in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Israel.
You can find her on Facebook and share your story!
You really inspire me and other MUNers, Salam. Thank you for sharing your story!!
I disagree with almost everything she said.
She claims to hate labels but labels herself and doesn’t speak of letting this label go to unite with those around her. She wants others to shed their religion and identity instead.
She wants everyone to be free to be who they want, but bemoans the state of Israel for wanting to be a Jewish state. Everyone wants freedom for themselves. The Nazi’s wanted the freedom to be Nazi’s. But she doesn’t appear to have wisdom or perspective to understand what it means to want freedom for others.
She talks of not fitting in Israel as an Arab Muslim but a Jew in almost every other majority Arab country would fear for their life and would never be able to safely complain.
Someone please teach her the historical failure of such utopian nonsense.
@Dex, Nothing you are able to disagree with, cause it isn’t an argument (this is what she have been living through)
But this way i could see you point, being mentally manbulated by higher rank ppl, a zombie i guess, but don’t think your a bad person. you are just doing what you have been told to do, what’s your nature tells you to do.
you are such a perfect example for what she have been pointing out for.
Thank you and i hope someday we could have a nicer conversation and since when calling for peace is a sin or a mistake..
i won’t make it longer cause saying aren’t like doing. time to move forward.
PS. we don’t need the knowledge you claim about, to understand how to be and behave as human being.
@Dex: I don’t understand why you need to resort to ad hominem attacks on such a beautiful message of self-determination and empowerment. Of course she wants to be free to be who she wants. Of course she would bemoan Israel curbing her rights to freedom of self-expression. Please put yourself in her shoes before commenting.
I believe you have misinterpreted her message. Her message is not one of wanting others around her to shed their labels. She wants labels to no longer matter in this world. Comparing her message of self-determination with that of a Nazi is just absurd and insulting to her message.
And her “utopian nonsense” is something absolutely worth fighting for, for the sake of a better world. Just because you have given up in fighting for this worthy goal doesn’t mean your negativity should be demoralizing others.
@Dex, please remember that this blog/website is intended for views that embrace diversity and as I understand it young bloggers are supported as we are a community of educators. Educators should set an example and bring a positive message of hope. I believe Salaam is very much aware of the day to day and historical realities of the society that she was born into.
Salaam, your message continues to inspire me to see that there is potential for positive peace and that youth such as yourself can act as agents for change in our world. Your ability to find ways to actively contribute to your local and global communities and to share you story will strike a chord with many who read your blog. I applaud you for finding authentic ways to use online technologies to work in the active pursuit of peace and understanding.
It has always perplexed me that one person’s assertion of their identity is seen as so threatening to others, particularly when the message contains a message of wanting to work together and to promote understanding.
Additionally, I would like take a moment to applaud Salam’s efforts on a very concrete level;she has taken considerable time out of her schedule to teach the basic fundamental skills needed for MUN: research, active listening, empathy, good writing and speaking skills. More power to her. The world needs many, MANY more like her!
Thank you for starting this dialogue, Salam. I look forward to many more voices joining you (through O-MUN and other democratizing innovations) in celebration of our shared humanity – our hardships and our triumphs, and even our differences … but always in an effort to reach across the aisles and work together for a better future for all.