“In my definition, there are two types [of peace]: negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace is the absence of conflict, the absence of war. Positive peace is people living together in harmony. Turning harm into harmony is my greater meaning of peace. It’s non-judgement. It’s love, it’s thinking.”
- Kareem – Palestinian Muslim participant, 15 years old
My name is Kareem Hijazi. I’m from Jerusalem, I’m 15 years old and I’m Muslim.
When I was really little, I used to hear about Kids4Peace a lot. My sister was the one who really encouraged me to go for it. She often pushes me to do these extra-curricular things. But even though she pushed me to do this, I felt Kids4Peace is trying to bring a change. The most important thing the program has provided me are the skills to speak my opinions, and how to speak in general— public speaking, debate, and listening.
We do a lot of good things—our projects in the community, for instance. I think it’s really a positive thing to learn about people of other faiths, of beliefs, other cultures, because everyone comes from a different background.
If everyone would truly follow their own religion, their own faith, and truly live the morals they are taught, we would have peace. Because all religions teach these things. The problem is, people think like scribbles, illogically, I mean, and they don’t even follow their own values that they claim to believe in.
You need both to be working, from the civic side and the leadership. Politics in today’s world, do rule everything. They are the ones making the decisions and laws. We need the politics to work, because even if the people take one step forward, the government has the power to take two steps back. The government has control—but the people do have an effect, if they want to take it on.
I think there are a lot of people in this world who don’t think, they just believe what they have learned from others. But telling your story shows them and gives them an experience that is stronger than their illogical misinterpretations.
Peace does not have one single definition. I see it more as a sequence of morals and values. In my definition, there are two types: negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace is the absence of conflict, the absence of war. Positive peace is people living together in harmony. Turning harm into harmony is my greater meaning of peace. It’s non-judgement. It’s love, it’s thinking.