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My name is Basha'er Othman I'm from Illar, Tulkarm, Palestine I'm 21 years old and I recently graduated from An-Najah National University I majored in Radio and Television My name is Basha'er Othman Illar is a small town in size, but big because of the heart of the people in it and in the accomplishments of the people who are working night and day to show Illar in its best picture Illar's population is 8000 but its accomplishments defied the accomplishments of cities here in Palestine and in the world Whoever visits Illar would probably ask who are those working in Illar for it to become like this In this small town, women find their needs, children find their needs The youth find their needs Anyone who needs anything can find it in Illar In short, because in Illar children of 6 or 7 years of age to the elderly of 60 years all work together for Illar to be in its best picture and in order to send a message that Illar is not only a local rule or municipality or society We are all working together to show that Illar is a perfect town that can be emulated and whoever comes to Illar would say this is not my first or last visit no, on the contrary, I want to come back once or twice or three times Illar is a plain area It is green It's true that we don't have the sea but with all the simple places that we have including the parks, trees and agricultural area we were able to have even more beautiful than the sea I don't want to be perfectionist, but actually what distinguishes Illar is that it is a plain area with valleys as well It is distinguished with its green nature I think Illar is one of the most beautiful places that can be visited in Tulkarem and Palestine in general this is the feedback of whoever comes to visit and say its beautiful indeed My feelings toward Illar I love Illar not for a specific place in it I love Illar because it's Illar I love Illar for its coherence I love it for affiliation because everyone in Illar makes me feel their belonging to the town and how much they love it However, if we want to talk about a tangible aspect the most thing that I love in Illar is the park and waterfalls where we were yesterday because it is the result of our work in the youth council in Illar municipality and we saw our dreams, ambitions and goals are being achieved My family is from Illar and we live in Illar I have three brothers and a sister I'm the youngest at home My father is a farmer and my mother is a nurse My family encourages family ties and encourages each one of us to go ahead and achieve our ambitions In any field we like I'm here today because of my family., and I'm talking about the achievements of my life maybe it's because I'm the youngest at home made some people think I'm the spoiled daughter but it's the opposite on the ground My parents raised me as the youngest and I must count on myself and like my brothers who were able to achieve what they wanted in life I too can achieve what I wanted and I should achieve better results than them When I was the president of the youth council, mayor and minister the community here doesn't easily accept the women going out to work until now despite all the objections, I found the support from my family My family always told me that despite all the beliefs that we have we should begin the change as long as you're not doing anything wrong, don't listen to any gossips or anyone who would give a negative comment You are able. We took the first step and we were able to have a daughter like you In the future, all the houses in Illar will have a new girl to give to Illar a new thing All the words and support they gave me was unforgettable and gives me more responsibility that I must succeed and achieve to prove to everyone that this family who allowed their daughter to go out was right Indeed, it was the first trial in Palestine and then we saw not only in Illar in Palestine in general, that women began to participate in the local government field In all of Palestine, we started having girls going to the governor office and municipalities Even in Illar, young women my age used to imitate Basha'er Basha'er is succeeding and we want to be like her through my family who trusted me and allowed me, a lot of girls took the same approach Another point is the masculine mentality that we have we were able through the trust of my family in me to go out without paying attention to all the gossips, they began to accept the idea of women being in the local government institutions and that we exist and we can give as men and even more So, today as you saw yesterday in Illar, women are as equal as men in the Illar municipality and local community As much as Illar's men are giving, the women of IIlar as giving even more When we talk about Palestine, we talk about something big We talk about belonging of every citizen living in it despite of the irritations despite of the obstacles despite of the hassles we adore challenge and we adore Palestine we love everything in Palestine because it is part of our heart we were able to reach a phase where not only planting olive trees would prove that Palestine is for us we are planting our roots here to tell everyone that Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people with our insistence and existence The most thing that I love about Palestine is Jerusalem Jerusalem is the place when you visit you'd feel the spirituality there and feel beauty of the place there and get a feeling of the civilizations that lived here and the people who tried to occupy this land but we are steadfast here, steadfast in Jerusalem with its landmarks and everything even though I've been to Jerusalem only once, I will never forget the details of the visit from waking up at 5AM until the iftar in the evening It was a difficult day but I wish every day would be like it to see Jerusalem once again One of the important challenges that I remember is the day when I became the mayor of Illar One of the audience said that we will not be ruled by a girl I will never forget this word as I hear it every day Sometimes, we would be insisting not to develop and advance This sentence gave me a huge motive in my life to continue and that governing is not for males or females, it is for those who serve more This may be the most challenge that I faced in my life Two months later, the same person told me that we want the youth to continue and this girl is able to continue in Illar and in the path she started this is the biggest challenge and change in my life The second challenge was when I wanted to study media and journalism I knew the profession was very difficult the career would need me to be responsible Everyday I studied media, or even everyday or every time I had an assignment or a responsibility, I used to think how would I employ my studies to change the society and to deliver the right message about Palestine so basically these are two responsibilities in my life that I faced and were the biggest challenges in my life which I was able to overcome My society is facing a lot of challenges everyday because we're a country which I don't want to blame a country with a lot of challenges, with many disorders with occupation being the most important I don't want to put the idea of occupation on the side because the economic problems that we have is the reason of the occupation the political problems is also the reason of occupation our tourism problems is the reason of occupation So, occupation is the barrier that stands in front of any problem in all other fields Also, another problem that we're facing is in law development I see this problem as related to the youth that the laws here don't allow the participation of the youth because some people, I don't want to generalize, who are clinging in some positions and do not give the chance for other people who can give to reach the right place or the right position but I am optimistic as people who can give who are optimistic that in a short time, and in the coming stage, to be able to change the law and to change the minds of some people who are in the positions that the political participation of the youth is a right and not a gift from anyone When they began the project of local youth councils I remember the mayor of Illar, Sufian Shadid, came to the schools He told us that there is the idea of local youth councils This idea comes for you to develop your personality and to have a role in society He also explained the idea of the local youth councils There was an application form for the general authority membership I did not hesitate and participated directly because when you have a principle and when the chance arrives you grab it I needed a chance to be able to give and to prove that the youth need access and this was my chance I directly participated then I participated in the local elections I won as a member After that, the president of the local youth council resigned then, there were another elections among the members and I won the presidency of the local youth council in Illar Because it's the first trial in Palestine that gives the chance for the youth to enter the local government Also, the local youth councils was a new idea and was under the umbrella of the municipality The municipality open its doors for the youth and was ready to help in anything they needed but achieve something as this is your first step to strengthen your personalities and to have leadership skills in the future. This was the first step. The second idea is that you serve Illar and the country through the local councils The local councils that were founded were parallel to the actual municipal council there was communications between us in every step, activity and initiative So we achieved the goals that were in my mind and imagination When I entered the youth council, I wished that the youth would have a role and indeed they gave us that role to be able to lead and we were able to be leaders and to change in the community The youth council was able to change in Illar and outside of Illar The first idea is always, or the first step, or the first project you would always find supporters and people who would reject the idea because it's new but the challenge was whether we wanted to hear from the people who trust that we can give and continue or hear those who distruct and who reject the idea and want us to give up We continued Those who were rejecting were stubborn refusing the idea of youth council because it's a new idea and they doubted doing anything new However, with each activity and as days passed, the local youth council in Illar were able to prove themselves and were able to work in parallel with Illar municipality to change Its existence beside Illar municipality in every initiative and activity and its independence despite there was no funding and no support to continue its work Even when some of the local youth councils in Palestine stopped, we continued we were able to proof that Illar youth council is responsible today in Illar we see the respect of the society towards the Illar youth council it is the same respect and appreciation of the Illar municipality for two reasons, first is that we continued and were able to prove ourselves The second reason is that we see today that the Illar youth council was able to produce leaders Today, I finished my education. Some people who were [in the council] are now known lawyers others who were 15, 16, or 17 are now members in the municipality others are the deputy mayor today we see in Illar the respect shown to the local youth council is not less than the respect to the municipal council because we were able to prove ourselves the Illar youth council was able to achieve its goals which are to have leaders every one who was in the Illar youth council, is achieving their goal until they reach what they want One of those who were president is a lawyer I too was able to reach my dream and achieved what I wanted and changed the society Some of the members who were 18 or 17 years when they were members at the council They are today members of the municipality and one of them is the deputy mayor This mayor's campaign was based from the Illar youth council that we are able to change and the control of Illar will be in the hands of the youth therefore you see the mayor here is 32 years old the members of the municipality council all are younger than 35 years old So we today were able to prove that Illar has 60% is youth we can say that 90% of the achievements in Illar is by the youth I remember once in the youth council we were trying to work on the development of the human resources aspect more than the infrastructure aspect. In the Illar youth council and in coordination with the municipality once we had a meeting or a workshop for the citizens to put forward their suggestions because you are part of Illar municipality so you should participate That day, the Illar mayor had a speech where he said we were working we are constructing, lighting, we we we so that moment I was incited that we in Illar are still talking about things that are the responsibilities of the municipality anyway and it's available in all the counties, so you did not make anything new That day I stood up and told the mayor of Illar Sufian Shadid that you are saying that you pave roads, put lights, and give water These are normal services and basically they are the right of the people What did you do to Illar that when you finish, people would say that Sufian Shadid did an unforgettable thing in Illar He mockingly answered that if you don't like it come and take my place so I told him if you did not interrupt me, I was going to request in front of everyone and with official attendance and the citizens that I want to be in Illar in your place to show you what the youth can do He was shocked and was surprised from the idea He told me OK, I don't have any problem, come and show me what you'll do So, I went and was given the Illar mayor for two months with the acceptance of the minister of local government of course and with the support of the citizens I was able to be the mayor of Illar for two months. The available responsibilities or the responsibilities had to take is the responsibility of any mayor in office I was a mayor with all the powers with the resignation of the mayor Sufian Shadid What was requested from me was a lot I was requested to supervise the paving of the roads When the electricity is off, I was requested to see what the problem is and connect with the officials to solve it I was requested to plan a whole initiative since I was in the youth council and the Illar municipality and get funding I was requested to think how this trial in Illar would not be normal and to prove for who told me come and let me see what you'll do that we indeed are able work in Illar and that every person who said that we won't be ruled by a girl that the responsibility is there for either female or male what matters is to give During this period, I had submitted proposal for three projects One of them was the idea of the park and waterfalls of Illar We planned it from a to z in the youth council in coordination with municipal council The second project was to found the idea of building stone factory in Illar to have more jobs and make use of the available resources the third project was to coordinate with other municipalities to be a network to coordinate offering water, electricity and the basic services These are among other responsibilities that were in the Illar municipality and which the mayor does The mist important responsibility is to convince the citizens that you are connected with them and that you are responsible of your position and that you can prove yourself For me, when I was the mayor, it was not hard for me to have an idea or apply for tender or make a new tender or even to meet with the municipal council Indeed, the biggest responsibility was to change the minds of people and show that we can and that we're working So I used to go to the houses of the people if there is any problem I did not wait for them to come to the municipality and tell me there is a problem. I went to houses and bring the parties involved in the problem and we sit to reach an understanding and compromise In my opinion, the biggest achievement was creating the idea within the people to understand you and understand a new idea to change Basically when I was handed the position, I was 15 years old When I was 15 years old, I was conscious enough that the position of Illar mayor was assigned not honored [her comment] I don't know how you will explain it for him So, I was always trying to bear and continue this difficult journey Everyday, there was a new experience When we come to talk about the feelings of a 15 year old girl she should be playing with her friends or studying or whatever Indeed, there was the feeling of huge responsibility and fear but at the same time, the feeling of happiness as I am able to achieve and it was a unique experience If I prove myself and prove my worth, it will not only be in Illar but outside as well Indeed, we were able not only to get it outside of Illar in Palestine It was a unique experience in all of Palestine and beyond We were able to convey the local youth councils' experience to abroad and to prove that the youth aree able to achieve, succeed and prove themselves When I was a mayor, I said I wanted to do something for the youth We wanted to do something, the youth council members and I that the town will not forget How the city will not forget it that everyone can use it the elderly, the youngsters, the males and females everyone would be able to visit the place and say its the achievement of the local youth council of Illar We thought how, and we did the park and waterfalls of Illar which today not only visited by people from Illar but also from outside and everyone knows this is the achievement of the local youth council of Illar the park is not only for people to come to it we as the local youth council and Illar municipality use it for the events like the one of yesterday it was an event especially for elementary school students it was a fun educational day that raises awareness to maintain environment in coordination with Illar municipality and the local youth council We were able to organize the event which aimed to teach children the importance of environment and the importance of keeping the environment because if we want to change in keeping this country we should begin with the younger generation and that's what we did, we brought them and taught them and told them that this beautiful place were you came and enjoyed if you don't preserve it, the next generations will not be able to come and preserve it The event was planting trees and teaching them how to water them also, we had storyteller who told them about the importance of keeping the environment clean of course according to their level of understanding In addition to the fun part, we asked them to draw photos related to the environment issues This all was made possible with the efforts of the local youth council of Illar and the main supporter was the municipality of Illar which always gives us the chance to work and change with their support in all stages After I became the mayor of Illar, I remember we had a normal activity the former minister of local government, Dr. Khaled Al-Qawasmeh, came to it with a formal delegation including Tulkarem's governor and others That time I blamed the governorate of Tulkarem that we at Illar have a unique experience a youth council who is governing the town, the mayor resigned even though he was always there for us why don't you support the young leaders, why didn't we see you visit us to support us and you did not even invite us to formal events so, the minister of local government interfered and told me that this is not among his responsibilities and you know that there is pressure in work So I told him if we suppose that it is not among his responsibilities as a governor of Tulkarem to follow us up, then you as a minister of local government your responsibility is to follow up with the ministries was it not from your responsibility to come and visit us to support us even in a very small way even morally so he became quiet and told we hope this would be in the future and this was forgotten and after a short time the minister was changed Dr Saed Al-Koni became the minister who already heard about my story with Dr. khaled Al-Qawasmi and what I told him, so he came here and that day I was going to explain about our achievements in Illar So, Dr. Saed Al-Koni was the top supporter of the youth and their thoughts He told me I very much appreciate the efforts of Illar municipality and your efforts in giving a new experience in Palestine therefore, I want to enrich your experience by inviting you formally come to be the minister of local government in Ramallah for one day You will not be able to take decisions or change in one day but we went a step forward in changing the mentality of the people that the youth can and are able to achieve open the doors only [the doors for the youth] This was my story with the ministry of local government and how I reached it here as I said that any step would be faced with people who construct and those who deconstruct For those who want to deconstruct because they are not convinced with the idea, I used to tell them that Bashaer or the local youth council were able to reach Illar municipality when they were 15 or 16 years old they were able to become the mayor of Illar and they were able to reach the ministry what did you do to change yourself and to develop Illar? Here, those people who were not convinced would stay silent because they become convinced that thinking and age is only a number not more in every phase in my life, either as president of the Illar youth council to the municipality of Illar until I reached the ministry of local government even my studies today, I am always convinced that we can give and that success did not stop here and this is still the first step This is the message which I used to send wherever I was, that Bashaer has more ambitions than this We were able to reach here but we can continue and reach a better thing We will continue step by step and that's what I was able to achieve If I had enough with being the president of the youth council, I wouldn't have reach any other step I say it again that it's not a shame to say that we started from point zero with all the barriers in the society where deconstructors are more than the constructors This phrase which I'm convinced with and always told myself made Bashaer reach here and Bashaer still sees herself as not achieving a lot and that there are more things to do on the way I'm now continuing my journey, continuing to support Bashaer from the inside to let her be an encyclopedia of knowledge in the local government and on the personal and studies levels in order to take the next step which I'm planning to and that I'd be one day the minister of media this is my ambition, a minister of media, and to be able to change in our media because our media is the only means that connects the society with ideas I have a lot of ideas that I'm developing I want to see Palestine in its best pictures but I am continuing first my education in order to hold the responsibility of the position I plan to hold or not the position, the responsibility that I want to make changes in and to be able to achieve this responsibility other than that I have a big ambition which I'm working on myself in the field of local government I'm always in connection with the youth council and with the Illar municipality and in the coming period I will be founding an organization for girls which I would manage so as to let Illar rise in the women field and to have a big role for women in Illar and other places in addition, I'm working to achieve my dream which I always dreamt to achieve to be a film producer, film that have massages, films that can change the Palestinian people and to change the thinking of the whole world Very soon you will here something new about Bashaer, I promise I recently graduated from An-Najah University majoring in Radio and TV but because I have passion in a particular thing, I went to the documentary section in An-Najah broadcasting channel I'm now an intern and almost hired My responsibilities is to make a documentary from scratch ideas to interviews to taking the video My responsibility according to the job description is prepare, research and coordination of documentaries which An-Najah channel produces but we do much more than this, that we research, coordinate times of interviews and do everything everything related to producing documentaries we will be there from a to z until the end result The most important thing I learnt from my experience in the local youth councils is to have an idea or goal that you're convinced in to be able to prove yourself I kept this the whole period of my media studies and in my job today To have an idea and be able to plan for it, to be able to convince the director to convince the people to react to it The network of relations which I built when I was in the youth council of Illar and in the municipality of Illar has helped me a lot know how to deal with new people and how to communicate with them in helping you with their experiences how to find a story? How to make simple thing which the people see from one angle to show them the whole picture When I look back at what I've gone through in the Illar municipality from the experience to getting the position to tasks to everything I remember that the goal or dream can be achieved one day by perseverance and fatigue at the same time, I remember that the Palestinian woman in general was raised in an environment that makes her strong and reach every dream or goal in order to prove to the world that nothing would stop her and that she can continue her journey My message to everyone, to the young people, that you are able, don't give up to anyone who tells you no I always say that the participation of the youth in the local government institutes and in all fields is a duty, the officials should give it to the youth and it is the right of the youth and it should be claimed My message to all the youth in Palestine in Illar or anywhere is that you are able to give you are able to succeed there are two messages in one which are the youth participation in all fields especially the local government is a right of the youth and you should claim it and my message to the officials is that it is your duty to put the youth on the right track and open the doors in order to have easier access and to help them in order to have one goal, one message, and one result which is serving the homeland, serving Palestine the officials should support the youth by adopting their ideas I say that the youth have ideas and Palestine brought up famous people unfortunately they are abroad because they did not find anyone to adopt their ideas and support them so they searched for other ways to go abroad and giving it to other people Therefore, listen to the youth and give them the chance, train them so that one day that chair will not have the wrong person but the right one we need the psychological support we need welcoming of our ideas, we need trainings we need to feel that people are partners in decision making ineverything related to Palestine in Palestine which most of its population is youth so, we become part of this decision which you take in any field in that is related in Palestine in all aspects [chatting] When we want to define a leader in general for me I have a special definition the leader is not the person who seeks to sit in the front row he is the person who sits behind and let his accomplishments in front of the people this is the leader the leader is not the one to issue orders but the one who contributes to change through his hands he is not the person who see life as the perfect country no, he is the one to seek to see the mistakes, know it, and to try to solve it and to create a great thing from the bad that all the people would see and say there is still hope and life will continue and that this project is good and to able to attract people who were our opponents to become supporters If the leader believes in his idea, then even if he found everyone to be opponent he will be able to continue What makes me continue is that I'm a human who believes that change starts from myself I don't wait the people to change, I begin the change What makes me continue is that whenever I believed in an idea and say I would succeed and I succeed in it what makes me continue is that Palestine needs the change because Palestine is a great thing and we should give it all what we have in order to increase all the achievements everyday so we'd be able to develop this country as much as we love it I'm living in Nablus for four years now because I was studying and now I'm an intern and will hopefully have the job I live with my friends, we are four girls living here Each one of us has her own goals and ambitions, we all support each other to achieve Living in a residence or the independent life continues what I'm working on which is how to depend on yourself in a different city but as always I can pass any challenges Nablus taught me a lot and living independently taught me a lot most importantly is how to depend on myself in every personal thing and to be worthy the trust of my parents who at first were not approving living here because it's far but now they tell me go wherever you want, they don't have any problem this experience, as simple as it might be, has left a great effect on me for me being independent teaches you how to depend on yourself on everything One of the funny situations that I remember from the residence or in my independent life which was a difficult life We did not know how to cook or anything but life in residence makes you try once, twice or three times and that you want to work and have fun with your friends until we reach what we wanted Also, being independent is that you go your work or studies, and you go wherever you want within the framework which your principles allow a very beautiful experience It teaches you a lot, it teaches you how to be strong and prove yourself and to live with people who have different habits and culture How would you accept the other with his advantages and disadvantages Also how to live in a strange city where you start building relationships and get used to it and to love this place in order to continue The idea of living in a small town with social cohesion between family members first and then between all the society the idea to get out when you are 18 years old and be independent and live alone living alone as a girl as a female with your friends is not something accepted by everyone because they are afraid or a lot of care from your parents and the society that where she is going and how but when I was able to convince my parents I told them that I was the mayor Wouldn't I be able to live by myself and live in residence with my friends I can do it, I can so I started to convince them slowly and a lot of girls in my age took me as an example and that we lived together and we can be trusted and there isn't any problem So, we came to a different city and we lived 4 girls together My friends and I , and we were able to depend on ourselves and live together and to like the city that we came to and we want to continue as this is what we chose and this is the decision we took so we wanted to show a beautiful picture about us and our decision that we indeed are able and we continued the journey And here we are about to graduate and now our parents don't mind us going anywhere and on the contrary, our society started to accept the idea and now we see a lot of girls from Illar or somewhere place, their girls go out to live independently while studying This is not something bad, this would strengthen our personalities and depend on ourselves significantly Normally, I love writing. I love to write. So you see me writing every small thing that happens with me If I was irritated, I write. If I was happy, I write. If I had anything I would write Maybe the media field led me and helped me in developing this thing to have a clear message and to send it through writing I consider that a word is better than a million words that's why I write there is no specific style which I write in I write short stories, I write reflections when I am annoyed sometimes I write some unread things but it would be expressing myself I write articles and in all fields I had a failed experience in writing songs for one time when my friends saw it, they said Bashaer do not repeat it as you'd lose yourself I took their advice and stopped writing songs a lot of things, life is beautiful and I do a lot of things to have fun but the most thing that I like is to be near the people I love If I want to have fun I go with my friends, we get together This place is very dear to my heart, Rafidia. I adore Rafidia especially at night, the silence. I feel there that I have my own world, I go for a walk with my friends Two places which are very special are Rafidia and Sama Nablus, I love them so much When I am very annoyed and want to enjoy, I go to these places When you are used to someone like a friend, you would do anything that would make you laugh we laugh, tell jokes My friends would enter the Guinness records for boring jokes Also, we love to go walk in Rafidia and we tell stories on the way We talk about what we went through or what annoyed us What I want to say is that I am a Palestinian woman with ambitions, hopes, and goals We are a people who love life We continue despite everything around us We are living and steadfasting, we have a goal and a message We want to reach our dream and ambitions People are starting from zero everytime we fell, we stand up again Bashaer is a normal citizen but with an abnormal ambition My dream, on the personal level, is to develop myself in documentaries and to be a producer of documentaries special films with messages Also, on the professional level, I dream to be the minister of media I'm not looking for the position, but because I have many things to develop in our media a lot of stories should be covered in our media but in the right way in order to reach the people If you are able to control the media, then you'd be able to change the culture of the people and their reference which is very important in order to send all the messages and most importantly the youth messages that I already mentioned In these difficult circumstances, I wish to continue to have hope and ambitions and to continue with the same will that I had before and to continue achieving success after success until this success would not be for Bashaer that this experience would be benefit for other people For Palestine, I wish that it develops through the hands of its youth who are people who love life and the good but they need better circumstances in order to be able to give We hope that Palestine would be liberated always and forever and that every person living in Palestine to live in peace and living in peace is a right and not a dream for the children, women and elderly living in Palestine

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Duration: 1 hour, 44 minutes and 41 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Posted by: bhenretig on Sep 26, 2017


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