The reality of the colonization of Palestine experienced by young people

An exchange of young people in Dynamo International, the sharing of stories, cultures but especially the sharing of the reality that is the colonization of Palestine, a situation that must continue to denounce.

During July 2023, I had the opportunity to take part in a 10-day youth exchange organized by Dynamo’s mobility. This exchange brought together three associations from three different countries. Dynamo for Belgium, Alrowwad, a Palestinian association and Eufemia, an Italian association. We were 10 young people per association, and we lived together at JES, an hostel in Molenbeek.

During the exchange, we were divided into artistic groups : music, theater, screen printing (serigraphia), sewing, video and podcasting. I was part of the screen printing group during which we drew and printed an illustration of Handala, one of the symbols of the Palestinian resistance on T-shirts for all the people of the exchange.

It was a very enriching and emotional experience. I learned a lot about the occupation of Palestine and the reality and daily life of young Palestinians, for whom the only existence is resistance.

Spending 10 days with people of the same age as me, with the same interests, the same goals for their future but who live a reality so different from ours and daily repression was very striking. I really hope that everything goes well for them and that they can live free like 20-year-olds. It reminded me that we must never stop informing ourselves and talking to those around us about what’s happening in Palestine, because it’s true colonization and apartheid.

Another aim of the project was to write an advocacy and meet European MPs and politicians so that Palestinians could talk about their reality, for example, concerning freedom of movement in their own country. It was a very interesting discussion, even if it made us aware of the impotence of politicians in this situation, and of the absence of any clear, concrete position from states and political-economic unions on what is, in fact, accepted colonization by the Israeli state.

We realize that, once again, the economic and geopolitical interests of those in power take precedence over the lives of millions of people.

Beyond the artistic activities and the advocacy, this project has been a real exchange of experiences, cultures, music, dance, language and emotions, always around common values and with a great amount of caring. I’m very grateful to have been able to take part and to have met all these wonderful people.

Myrtille Benquet, Adice volontary service in Dynamo International, July 2023