Suzanne Abdelkader Bashara: “I love what I do and believe in my vision”

I, Suzanne Abdelkader Bashara, married and a mother of three sons, lives in the Arab town of Taibeh, Israel.

I joined Women Wage Peace (WWP) four years ago after I had heard about the movement on the radio and loved its activity. At first I participated in the March of Hope to Jerusalem and since then, I have taken part in many WWP activities.

Two years ago I organized and moderated a large conference with about 300 Arab and Jewish attendees in the municipality of Taibeh. I participated in activities beyond the Green Line and met with Palestinian women in Beit Jallah. I also participated in the second March to Jerusalem (Journey for Peace) where was invited to the stage to talk about cooperation between the two nations and how important it is for the future of our children. Last year I organized many parlor meetings in my Arab neighborhood and participated in others in Tel Aviv and Hod Hasharon.

This year I increased my activity, organized two visits of WWP members at Taibeh Market, one of them for the Sharon group who came to the lively market in one of the Ramadan evenings. We walked around the lanes of Taibeh Old City, participated in the cooking workshop and and concluded with dancing  together Jews and Arabs, hand in hand to the sound of Arabic music. We served the WWP members Quayk sweets, a popular traditional candy that symbolize the month of Ramadan.

The same Ramadan month I organized another visit of 15 Jewish women who came to Taibeh women’s club under the auspices of Taibe Municipality and co-worked with Arab women in preparing the holiday cakes. The women learned about our mentality in a pleasant and happy atmosphere.

Last but not least, I want to share with you that my activity is quite exceptional in our Arab society. It takes a lot of courage, self-confidence and support. Fortunately, my husband who also believes in peace between the two sides supports my activity and encourages it.

At first I had to face a lot of obstacles and pressures to leave. But my determination and faith helped me to overcome them and to proceed in bringing peace for our children, because I believe in peace, in coexistence and in co-operation.

I do hope and believe in a future day when we all celebrate peace and be safe. I love what I do and believe in my vision. I characterize myself as a Muslim Arab woman, I have self-confidence and belief in what I do.