Some time ago I wrote some thoughts on the being pro- or anti-something. Often when we are dealing with various conflicts people are either found pro- the one side or anti- the other side. We see it in the debate in Europe about Islam and Muslims, where people are either taking the side for or against, mostly. Not very many are attempting to stay nuanced and balanced in their approach to European Muslims or Islam in Europe. The schism is focused around the meeting between Western Culture on the one hand, and Islamic Civilization (as I’ve seen it expressed) on the other hand. In this meeting the contrasts are very outspoken, for example in issues such as freedom of speech vs. not making blasphemous and hurtful comments, as well as the way of dressing, dressing sexual provocative vs. covering up in hijab and the like. Another good example is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where people are often either for Israel or for Palestine. Or that is how it appears. I’m inclined to think that there are a lot of people who are pro-Israel/anti-Palestine, as well as a lot of people who are anti-Israel, without necessarily being pro-Palestine. Why? Well, when the whole focus is on how bad Israel is, without thinking in wider terms of circumstances of the Palestinians, such as in Lebanon, Syria and other countries, while the whole focus is on how evil Israel is, then people don’t come out as pro-Palestinian to me, but rather anti-Israel. Their focus is Israel, not Palestinians, and only in the negative. For example, why don’t you see these people promote Palestinian culture? Or struggling for the rights of Palestinians in for example Lebanon? Because their focus is against Israel, not for Palestinians. The only reason they are “for Palestinians” is mostly because the Palestinian is used as the opposition to Israel. Sadly.
Okay, why am I stating all this, and what does that have to do with my title? Well, once in a while I do come across a true pro-Palestinian person or approach. I admire the few who take this approach, wanting to represent the Palestinians for their best. Maha, who has a Youtube-channel, where she teaches Arabic (as well as Italian and Hebrew once in a while), is one of these persons. I believe that we would come a long way, if only more people would take her approach, attempting to show the best, especially if it happened on both “sides.” We don’t need haters, we need lovers. Not necessarily lovers of both sides, but at least people who love their own side, without having to succumb to hatred for the other side.
I have to point out, and apologize to Maha in advance if it is going to be the case, that she hasn’t herself expressed any of the above views, those views and thoughts are mine or based on how I understand and experience things. I don’t want to catch her in a political fight, I’m not aware of her political views, the sole reason for promoting her, is that she – for me – come out as a positive example, that more people should strive to become like. She might hate Israel and Israelis from all of her heart (I don’t think so), but if so she has chosen not to let that be what defines her, rather her love for the Arabic language, Palestine and Palestinian culture. Whether I agree with her or not, I truly do respect that.
So, all of you out there reading this, please check her channel out, especially if you want to learn Arabic and how Palestinians also can express themselves. It’s definitely a visit worth.