Q: Rania Kadamani from East Jerusalem, worked as a director for the UN Global Developments for Women and Youth during 4-5 years and she also has worked for ONG’s Save the Children for 3 years. Meaning she focused on refugees visiting other countries and discovering the world. This was the conversation we had with her regarding some difficulties in the middle east.
Q: Why did you choose this work?
A: Thank you. Since I was a small kid, I used to love children, go to the neighbours houses and unite the kids and play with them, giving them some food. So when I grew up and became a teenager, I volunteered and a lot of comities working with small kids and in university I studied as a social worker to help vulnerable or weak people and I finished my master degree in education administrations. This shows my love to small kids and weak people, so I started to begin working with women and youth so I worked the UNDP which means the United Nations Development Programme based in Jerusalem. We used to go visit villages and see the women there, you know the problems, try to help them. Since women in the occupied territories they suffer a lot from poverty and unemployment so we tried to give them a little bit of help by giving them some lectures and sessions to strengthen and empower them, this was my basic work with women. On the other hand we tried to give them rehabilitation, find them good jobs, start a project with a small amount of money to give them the character they need.
Q: Rania what made your work more difficult? Like what were the difficulties you faced on a daily basis during your work?
A: I used to work with 2 sectors, women and youth. You know that because we are under occupation the people that live in Gaza Strip can’t enter for example the West Bank or Jerusalem, so the movement for our people was very hard and sometimes its forbidden, they cannot enter because they need a lot of permission from the Israeli side because of security reasons. Always, moving around Palestine was very hard, for example: when I wanted a group of the Palestinian youth to travel to Europe and go meet other international youths, in Sweden we worked with the (Swedish) Save the Children, it was hard for us to make visas and grant them permission and all of the time they wanted to check them even really young kids around 12/13 years old so all this being under occupation as you can imagine what this means or how do we live everyday in Palestine, kids cant go to school easily, they’re always late because they go through the checkpoints; the life is hard.
Q: Do you have any specific type of experience in concrete that you have learned by doing this work?
A: Yes I leaned a lot, how much the people are in need for help, if you’re talking about the women, they need a lot of help so its hard to see them also when they travel outside to see other cultures, how the people are living, how other kids are really growing without any problems or obstacles. I always learned new things, always from my work and this gives me a lot of power to continue. I love my work and I hope I can give and benefit them more.
Q: What do you think about the situation of refugees in Palestine and Syria?
A: This is so complicated, its hard to imagine how they will sort this issue, they cannot go back to their homelands, I don’t know what will happen its so complicated. I cannot tell you more politically about it because I don’t know but I can tell you that they are suffering a lot economically, socially and they have a lot of diseases around them. We are trying to help by sending them food, medicine but at the end of the day, they’re not living their life rightly in their own land.
Q: Rania from your point of view, what could be a possible solution or a way to improve the situation?
A: Can I tell you something personally about my life. I was born in Jerusalem and I’ve lived there until I became 35 years and now I cannot enter Jerusalem, can you imagine? Because they have a law the Israelis that if you go live outside for 5 years or more, you lose your right to go back and now my kids can go but I cannot go, I cannot visit my place, you know my home, the place where I was born.
We always hope, always hope, we all also want to have peace to let the people live their life. Nobody likes the blood or the killing or terrorism, we don’t like it we are always against it.
Q: Do you think that the situation of the children is getting better or worse?
A: No, I don’t think that its improving, for me its becoming worse because they have a lot of psychological distractions, they are not living the right life and no they are becoming worse for me. Everyday a kid sees his mommy or daddy being killed in front of his eyes or some kids cant even go to school. I remember that when we have problems in Jerusalem, that one time I was 8 years old when for 3 months we didn’t go to school, so they are not taking the right education and the right life for them to live.
Q: Rania thank you very much for being with us Europea Radio. Thank you very much for your work and your life dedicated to the children and the suffering of people and thanks a lot for being the first in this year/course to be the personate that we are interviewing thank you so much.
A: Your welcome, I wish you all the best.