Personal Stories- Table of Contents

Meet the People and the Stories Behind The Parents Circle - Families Forum


  Aaron Barnea - "My Dear Noam"
For seven long years we do not meet and the letters to you, these oneway letters, are growing further apart. This is a special letter since it is designated to be read by others, as opposed to the previous letters.



 Nir Yesod - "At the Top of the Steps That Lead Down from MIsgav Am to Ramallah"
It was important to me to meet Arafat. I feel that we are obligated (however difficult it may be) to remove from the public discourse the mutual hatred produced by the crimes we have committed against each other so that we can try to prevent further bereavement and make conciliation a possibility.


 Aisheh Aqtam - "Thirty-Six Days After the Wedding"
The pain and the loss are unbearable and therefore we must put a stop to the mutual killing. Loss has been great on both sides. Almost every Palestinian home has suffered loss. Arabs or Jews, Palestinians or Israelis, armed or not, everyone has a family.


Aziz Abu Sarah - "A Conflict Close to Home"
Like many in Jerusalem, I grew up seeing many people die because of a 'worthless conflict.' I felt sad for them, but I continued to live my life just as before. My reaction was the same as others who see an accident on the side of the road, think 'how sad,' and drive on. However, my life changed forever the moment the disaster struck my house and my family, and the casualty was my brother.

Jalal Khudiari - Disasters of the War
I went to Jerusalem. There were Israeli and Palestinian families. All spoke about pain, and of what we had not gained with violence. That influenced me a great deal. I saw that there was a human aspect, which I was to discover more of. As of that moment, I felt that I had a mission, a national duty. The release of land is not done only with rifles. The Israeli community must be able to see in me somebody who holds tightly onto the hand of peace.


 Robi Damelin - "A Chain of Change"
David was killed by a sniper, along with nine other people. I suppose all of my life I spoke about coexistence and tolerance. That must be ingrained in me because one of the first things I said is, "You may not kill anybody in the name of my child." I suppose that's quite unusual, an unexpected reaction to that kind of news.



Mazen Faraj - "Not Allowed"
I was thinking this morning when I was smoking and drinking my coffee. I was thinking about one word. You can take from this word many, many, many things: "It is not allowed."



Mashka Litvak - "The First Rain Fell Again"
We met in the middle of Gaza's main street. Around us people were still shooting, we hugged and cried. Thirty eight years passed by and only now have we left Gaza.


 Anat Marnin-Shaham - "Long ago, I loved the Autumn"
Words written by Anat Marnin-Shaham, sister of Pinchas (Pinki) and Yair, both combat soldiers in the Armored Corps, who were killed in the Yom Kippur War on 7.10.73, during the defense battles in the Golan Heights, and in the attempts made to rescue the soldiers situated on the Bar-Lev Line in Sinai - commemorating thirty years to the war.


Roni Hirshinzon - "I Have no Privilege to GIve Up Hope"
One day, while walking in the street I saw an advertisement which belonged to one of the extreme right wing campaign headquarters. My son's name was there together with pictures of all the victims since the signing of the Oslo agreements. The headline of the add was "The Bloody Agreement" and in the middle was a photo of Rabin and Arafat shaking hands.


Mohammad Elpaw - "In the Name of Allah"
My story begins when I was 12 years old. One morning I was on my way to school with my brother Firas who was a year younger than me. On the way we heard the noise of gunshots and I said to Firas: come lets get closer and we'll see what's going on.


 Osama Abu Ayash - "With High Hopes"
To all who are interested, my name is Osama Taleb Abed El Magid Abu Ayash. I was born and live in the village Beit Omar, Hebron. I got to know my relatives and my mother's family who come from Nablus (Shechem). I came to know my country, my national home Palestine.



 Chagit and Ya'ara Shapira - "The Shapira Family"
It was dusk then, as it is now, and I did not know that in five hours I would be speaking to you for the very last time in this lifetime of mine.





 Niv Sarig - "Despite all, Dialogue"
We convey our hope, our partnership, our mutual understanding, our aspirations for peace and our unreserved support of non-violence to school children through joint lectures.




 Amneh Abuawwad - "A Prisoner of the Occupation"
From the day you are born till the end of your life you are a prisoner of the occupation, surrounded by its conditions, and hurting the pain of others because when I see members of my family, neighbors and friends being killed, systematically humiliated, losing their lives and homes I could go mad.


 Avraham Shomroni - "The story of Avraham Shomroni, Jonathan's father speaks of loss and the legacy to fight for peace"
My parents did not live where they were born, nor were they allowed to die where they lived. I was not allowed to live where I was born. I want to ensure that my children should be able to choose.



Rami Elhanan - Replacing Pain with Hope
We must be prepared to listen to ‘the other'. Because if we will not know how to listen to the other's story we won't be able to understanding the source of his pain and we should not expect the other to understand our own pain. Here is where it begins and here it will end.



 Merav Yaron Bar-Niv - I Could Open the Great Pain
After lunch at the children's house, I showered, and while I was combing my hair in front of the mirror, I heard the low hum of a conversation coming from outside between my nanny, my classroom teacher and a woman with educational authority in the kibbutz. I had an inexplicable, gut feeling that they were talking about me.