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Interview with Ameed Al-Masri pt 3
Interview with Ameed Al Masri about the Israeli Palestinian situation and negotiations INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 01:02:12>>>,Well there's a whole set of actions that are not helping the situation at all such as the wall that um that is actually dividing the land. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 01:22:25>>>,There's a whole set of actions by the Israeli side that is not helping the situation at all nowadays. Such policy as the wall that is actually dividing the territories um that is dividing the territories unfairly cause a perfect scenario for a perfect solution was to ah to construct a state a Palestinian state upon the land of 1967 occupied territories. And ah that's not what's happening. I mean the wall is crossing is it is actually crossing the lands of the 1967 territories. Not mentioning the 200 settlements within the 1967 territories. Um if you're looking for if you're looking for um a good scenario in order to be ale to ah to proceed with, with peace I think um such policy is not helping. I mean it's probably it's probably motivated by security ah security measures that the Israeli side sees but in order to reach your own security you're insecuring other people. You're isolating other people in small in small um in small pieces of land. AMEED AL-MASRI: 03:17:13>>>,It's it's like AMEED AL-MASRI: 03:31:10>>>,This division is not seem to be fair by Palestinians. And um it's not it's not what they look for. It's not um it's not something that um that actually implements division of a Palestinian of a Palestinian state. I mean um other things being equal this is an obstacle but the situation is other things are not equal. AMEED AL-MASRI: 04:10:08>>>,You have ah you have settlements that is a main source of ah provoking for Palestinians. You have assignations that are continuously taking place. You have um consequent invasions in cities of the West Bank. You have um a complete a complete I mean un recognition of the right of of the right of return for Palestinians to come back one day where they lived once. You have un recognition of Jerusalem to be of any social and to be of any ah social significance or any um historical significance for the, for the Palestinians who are Muslims and Christians as well. I mean Jerusalem itself is is sort of it's of the conflict it's sort of ah it's sort of the struggle. I mean um nobody can just lay Jerusalem aside and then look at things neglecting the fact that Jerusalem is um is part of the whole thing it's part of the whole picture. So um if you're willing to propose a scenario for a good solution for both sides you have to consider that you have to consider all parts of the all parts, all parts of the thing all parts of the picture because each side just happens to um to compliment the other. AMEED AL-MASRI: 06:09:12>>>,And whenever is just complimented just to form this form this um form this combination that forms the shape of a Palestinian state of forms ah forms, forms the shape of a total solution. It's um you have just put everything on the table and talk about everything. Talk about everything in order and um and try to be as fair as can be about a, about a retractor that um about a retractor that um that constitutes the conflict. So um a perfect solution might be in my point of view is the right of return since it's a historical since it's a historical right for Palestinians the way they see it. I think it's impossible to just get all Palestinians out of all the Arab countries all the Arab neighbor counties and just tell them ok you can be in tell Aviv you can be in Natan you can be in Haifa you can be in I don't know what else this is impossible. I mean um you have huge masses. You have more than 5 million Palestinians in these countries you can't just take them and um and just say that ok it's their right I mean let's look for some kind of compromise here. AMEED AL-MASRI: 08:02:00>>>,If they are to return ok they are to return to um to the territories of if to become to be a Palestinian state and um on the other hand you have se
Interview with Ameed Al Masri about the Israeli Palestinian situation and negotiations INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 01:02:12>>>,Well there's a whole set of actions that are not helping the situation at all such as the wall that um that is actually dividing the land. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 01:22:25>>>,There's a whole set of actions by the Israeli side that is not helping the situation at all nowadays. Such policy as the wall that is actually dividing the territories um that is dividing the territories unfairly cause a perfect scenario for a perfect solution was to ah to construct a state a Palestinian state upon the land of 1967 occupied territories. And ah that's not what's happening. I mean the wall is crossing is it is actually crossing the lands of the 1967 territories. Not mentioning the 200 settlements within the 1967 territories. Um if you're looking for if you're looking for um a good scenario in order to be ale to ah to proceed with, with peace I think um such policy is not helping. I mean it's probably it's probably motivated by security ah security measures that the Israeli side sees but in order to reach your own security you're insecuring other people. You're isolating other people in small in small um in small pieces of land. AMEED AL-MASRI: 03:17:13>>>,It's it's like AMEED AL-MASRI: 03:31:10>>>,This division is not seem to be fair by Palestinians. And um it's not it's not what they look for. It's not um it's not something that um that actually implements division of a Palestinian of a Palestinian state. I mean um other things being equal this is an obstacle but the situation is other things are not equal. AMEED AL-MASRI: 04:10:08>>>,You have ah you have settlements that is a main source of ah provoking for Palestinians. You have assignations that are continuously taking place. You have um consequent invasions in cities of the West Bank. You have um a complete a complete I mean un recognition of the right of of the right of return for Palestinians to come back one day where they lived once. You have un recognition of Jerusalem to be of any social and to be of any ah social significance or any um historical significance for the, for the Palestinians who are Muslims and Christians as well. I mean Jerusalem itself is is sort of it's of the conflict it's sort of ah it's sort of the struggle. I mean um nobody can just lay Jerusalem aside and then look at things neglecting the fact that Jerusalem is um is part of the whole thing it's part of the whole picture. So um if you're willing to propose a scenario for a good solution for both sides you have to consider that you have to consider all parts of the all parts, all parts of the thing all parts of the picture because each side just happens to um to compliment the other. AMEED AL-MASRI: 06:09:12>>>,And whenever is just complimented just to form this form this um form this combination that forms the shape of a Palestinian state of forms ah forms, forms the shape of a total solution. It's um you have just put everything on the table and talk about everything. Talk about everything in order and um and try to be as fair as can be about a, about a retractor that um about a retractor that um that constitutes the conflict. So um a perfect solution might be in my point of view is the right of return since it's a historical since it's a historical right for Palestinians the way they see it. I think it's impossible to just get all Palestinians out of all the Arab countries all the Arab neighbor counties and just tell them ok you can be in tell Aviv you can be in Natan you can be in Haifa you can be in I don't know what else this is impossible. I mean um you have huge masses. You have more than 5 million Palestinians in these countries you can't just take them and um and just say that ok it's their right I mean let's look for some kind of compromise here. AMEED AL-MASRI: 08:02:00>>>,If they are to return ok they are to return to um to the territories of if to become to be a Palestinian state and um on the other hand you have settlements. I believe that as long as settlements do exist with in the territories of the 1967 this forms a, this forms an obstacle for Palestinians to conceive that conceive that now they have their own state. They feel alienated within their own homes. I mean you live in a village but when you look put to the sky or when you look up to the mountains you see a huge compound of settlements laying there just above your head. That's helping it's not um It's not something you can live with even as an average Palestinian. If we're trying to reach a compromises here we have to to be fair enough for both sides. Jerusalem in an whole is of religious significance for both sides as well. AMEED AL-MASRI: 09:23:09>>>,Um both sides claim and both sides want Jerusalem to be the capital for their own state but there's only one Jerusalem and there's 2 states here. So once again there's an obstacle. Probably a perfect scenario would be that Jerusalem needs need to be operated by the UN or any other international organization that um guarantees the rights for both sides to come to Jerusalem um to form their duty to god just look around and see this, and see the beauty of such city and just appreciate it and share it which is the most important aspect of the story. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 10:33:00>>>,Well it's sort of ironic you know I mean I've been around in the world I've visited different countries within Europe within Asia ah never, never, never that far but um it's really ironic to see that within the same globe within the same world there's people who are living in total harmony who are living in ah in total peace you know. Who have nothing to who have obligations of course. Who have their ah responsibilities of course as well but it's really ironic to see that both settings happen to be in the same mold I mean some people waking up and sleeping with this nightmare over and over again everyday. And to see that actually people who live in peace who don't have to ah to worry who don't have to worry if ah ok if there's gonna be checking point to stop them from going to their work or if there's gonna be ah somebody on the bus who's gonna blow himself you know. AMEED AL-MASRI: 11:46:07>>>,I mean from both sides it's it's really stable. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 11:53:24>>>,I've actually applied um to various universities within Europe the United States and Canada starting last December. That was a point when I decided that ok I realize my potentials and I think that a perfect way to shape this potential is to ah is to get high education and um experience what is it like to be in a western country. What is it like to be in a capital country. What is it supposed to be what is it like to be um in um I a first world country in, in some other side of the world you know just to, to learn as much as I can just try to implement what I learn if in the future I I can be in a position that ah enables me to to do some changes. AMEED AL-MASRI: 13:04:06>>>,So right now I'm working on my ah general management degree at the university of York in Toronto um. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 13:17:01>>>,Right now um right now I'm working on my general management degree at the university of York this is actually my first year. Um I believe that in different circumstances I would have pursued a political science degree but since I had my share of politics already it's hard for me to ah we just live it in the books you know after living it in the street, in my house, in my supermarket down the street it's just as for me it's just taking a break. For future reference I might um I might pursue a degree in political science as well. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 14:31:25>>>,I believe that that was the summer of ah the year of 2000 specifically in July I went to a summer school in Nathana in ah in a small neighborhood called S--- um it was mainly an English summer school in which um most of the students were Jews and I was one of probably 3 or 4 students who are Arabs who came there to get some education with their, with their ah with the other students from Israel. Probably I was the only guy from the West Bank the other came from ah from Nazareth. Came from ah from the cities from the city of Natala itself because we all know that there is Arabs in these cites. They live there as a minority but they but they actually exist. AMEED AL-MASRI: 15:41:16>>>,So it was such and experience for accouterment because you get to know the other side thinks. You get to live with them, you get to sleep with them in the same room. You get to ah you get to talk about everything. You get to ah you get to do all these activities I mean it wasn't strictly an English summer school it was of course we actually had many other activities like um I don't know it was um next to a water park and um it was actually held in a hotel. So you know I've lived this um I've lived this experience with them like next door to me you know I mean I'm in room 911 or 904 and they're in room 905 both together. We wake up in the morning we go have breakfast together, we have lunch together. We ah play soccer together, we go swim together. We ah we attend the same class together. It was such a meaningful experience and it's, it's good to see that what media today had lead us to believe all these over exaggerated stereo types all these over exaggerated views that at the end eventually they're all human they're all human beings I mean there's no such evil. There's no such pure um hatred I mean after all they were 15 years old people as old as I was and and despite the fact the anti fata started 2 months after that I was still in contact with these people I mean I had many friends I had many friends from that event I still have contact with them today. AMEED AL-MASRI: 17:59:10>>>,So doesn't mean that ok if one sad full event came into place that this is the end of the world. No there's space for hope there's always space for harmony. There's always space for 2 people 2 nations 2 countries that can just live from now and forever in peace. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 18:51:20>>>,Ok um. Well that was an experience when I was 15 years old and now I'm becoming 17 this November. I've been in Toronto for longer than 2 months today and it's such an ironic thing but yet it's not it's not weird for me it's not awkward. I mean most of the friends that I have here happen to be Jews. I mean ah probably the neighborhood that I live in is mostly populated by Jewish Russian by um by Jewish people as well but still um it's not this doesn't just it doesn't make it um it doesn't make it INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 20:14:27>>>,Well a stereo type is meant to stimulate your feelings in order to um by different means of course I don't know by pictures by um by news on TV by a whole set of a whole set of means like meant to form a certain picture in your head about somebody. I mean whenever you hear the word Arab probably for some for somebody who's not really familiar with Arabs just the first thing that would pop into his head is probably a camel desert, a woman all in black you know. I mean the concept of stereo type just lays aside all the humanitary aspects of the human it just puts aside um all the aspects about another person. I mean you can't deal with the same you deal with ah with crowds of people form the from, from one point of view you can't just deal ah you can't just deal with them from ah from a certain picture that you formed about em in your head. So um it's really sad that in a world that is become integrated globally, financially ah through communications and um through even economies I mean this whole world is becoming like a global village. This whole world is um is becoming really small all the dimensions are shrink everything is just is just becoming is just becoming um INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 22:26:26>>>,Ok on my first day in campus during the frosh week I was just sitting there in line waiting to get ah waiting to get my ah my undergraduate kit like to participate in all the events during frosh week. And the line up was really big. So I just decided to take a break sit on a bench and wait ah wait for an hour or something like that until there's less people in that line up. So I'm just sitting there and ah I see a bunch of guys just sitting there's a stereo next to them they're playing music. They're ah throwing an American ball around and they have this flag ah which basically um which is basically the flag for their fraternity and I just I wasn't until that moment familiar with the word with the concept fraternity. So I just ah break in and I was like hi guys um what you doing what is this all about like the flag. And then we just started talking and I actually didn't realize that this person that I was talking to for over an hour and a half was a Jew. So he's like what about your background. I was like I'm Palestinian. He was like um impressive I'm a Jew. AMEED AL-MASRI: 23:56:17>>>,I was like um well it's good to hear it I mean what's there's nothing wrong with that we'd been talking so. And ever since I've been hanging around hanging around chilling out with these people and ah we really became like close friends. We play poker together. We go play billiards. Ah we just chill out we talk. Sometimes we talk politics and we get real deep into politics. I mean it's really amazing how these people have some perspective have some really deep perspective I mean the kind of education that they have, the kind of um the kind of um background that they have formed this shape formed this kind of thorns that is not sadly widespread among ah among other people I mean. It was it was good to see that there's someone in front of me who can tolerate the fact that I'm Palestinian and meantime I can tolerate the fact that he's a Jew and we just bonded together. AMEED AL-MASRI: 25:20:21>>>,And um just talking about everything and um just having discussions I don't know about what just just about everything and um we could actually bond we could actually comprehend what each of us was saying and um it was impressive. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 26:28:10>>>,Well this is the actual kind of bonding that we're all seeking for nowadays. Now that the situation is sort of desperate this is the kind of relationship the kind of relationship that we should seek for if we're looking for peace if we're looking for a compromise. What we want is two people from both sides being able to, to comprehend what each say what each side has to say about the struggle. What each side thinks about it. How how they think about. I mean this kind of understanding is like the basis for any kind of solution that is to become in the future fortunately and hopefully. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 27:48:00>>>,There's actually one thing that I would like to add. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 27:51:18>>>,I want to talk a little bit about my family. INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE INTERVIEWER:,INAUDIBLE AMEED AL-MASRI: 28:12:19>>>,My family was ah was of great importance for me to push me towards what I became today. I'd like to thank my father my mother because the way I see them is they're intelligent people though they kind of lived in a close minded society. They still had the kind of spirit that I now have in my blood that I now have in my veins and look forward for everybody like to perceive it and um and live it in their everyday life. It was a recourse road that I had to take and yet they were supportive in everyday and every way and they were always there for me. And um it was really hard to live apart from them during a really sensitive stage of life which is teenager. Don't recall that. Um there has some times that I wouldn't see them for a couple of months or even 3 and um during the last 3 years of my life I didn't them much I didn't see my little sister growing up. And every time I just go back home whenever that is possible I would look into my little sisters eyes I would look into my brother my smallest brother who's 13 now and it and it hurts somehow that I wasn't there like to see them grow up. I mean I would go back and see them talking. I would hear my little sister who's who's 6 years old talking in terms talking things that that sounded um that I heard for the first time. AMEED AL-MASRI: 30:25:00>>>,I mean I was never I was um I wasn't it was sort of a sacrifice that, that I had to ah that I had to give in order to pursue a life of my own but I'm really thankful and god bless them all.
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