See, experience, act: Interview with Luwiza Makosa

Luwiza Makosa were one of four members of the Student Christian Movement in Norway (SCM Norway) who visited Palestine this summer, participating at the Journey for Justice youth camp in Bethlehem organized by the YMCA/YWCA.  I’ve asked Luwiza five questions about her trip to Palestine,  and you can find her answers below. But I also have an important question for you: Would you like to plan next year’s exchange and visit Palestine?

Why go to Palestine?
Palestine is one of the most amazing places l have been to, especially since I work with issues related to human rights and peace in Zimbabwe. Palestine is a place where you connect with people that are cheerful yet in so much pain, but they choose to be resilient. Palestine will make you appreciate human rights and it will also boost your Christian faith if you are a Christian. It has the historical evidence and knowledge of Christianity.

Was ‘Palestine’ like you expected it to be?
Yes, an no. My views on Palestine was informed by the media, and I thought it was going to be very scary and that I would see bullets everywhere. However, it turned out to be quite the opposite as I only met cheerful and humble people who embraced and welcomed us with love. Every Palestinian I met was open and willing to share their stories with us. Palestinians are normal people who just want their freedom. I also expected to see Palestinians fight back the Israeli soldiers, but instead they used non-violent resistance to respond to the brutal Israeli occupation and extensive abuse. I did not expect to see humans being treated like terrorists in their own land, but this is what I saw in Palestine when I visited Hebron. This tore my heart apart as I did not expect something like that. 

Did you meet any interesting people? What did they teach you about their situation?
Yes, I met a lot of interesting people in Palestine, including youths from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Argentina. All the Palestinians I met were very nice and welcoming. But there was one outstanding family that made me love Palestine even more: Tamimi’s family who shared a meal with us and talked about their 16 years old daughter Ahad who was sentenced to 8 months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier. She quickly became a symbol of the Palestinian resistance against the illegal Israeli occupation. I learnt how young people in Palestine are eager to bring about change, but at the same time showing love and appreciation to humanity.

What was the most interesting or challenging you learned?
I learned how I best can contribute to advocate for social justice in Palestine as a Zimbabwean young person.

Would you recommend taking part in the exchange between the SCM Norway and PYEM?
Yes, I would definitely recommend taking part in this exchange programme! I believe solidarity helps a lot in bringing about new ideas and putting pressure on governments for positive change. I also believe that young people can do that as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

Now, would you like to see with your own eyes what the Palestinian fight against the occupation looks like? An excellent start for such a quest is to sign up for the exchange committee in the SCM Norway by Friday 30 November. Click here to access the application form