Sahar & Deema - Mobilizing Youth Tour, a conversation with Palestine & Israel

From the 16th to the 25th of March, Deema Darawshy (a young Palestinian woman) &Sahar Vardi (a young Israeli woman) will be partaking in a speaking tour throughout Ireland.

The women will be speaking about the current situations in Palestinian and Israel, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign and how Irish people can become effective advocates for this conflict.

Deema Darawshy is a young Palestinian woman who was born within the 1948 borders. Deema was always interested in human rights issues but while studying in Hebrew University she got more involved with Ta Adam a Students for Human Rights group. Throughout the years Deema has been active with many organisations including B'Tselem, Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group and most recently working with HaMoked - Centre for the Defence of the Individual.  Her work has led to her giving testimonies to the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs in the Occupied Territories.

Sahar Vardi has been a peace activist since she was 12, she was raised in a home that taught her that equality and justice are at a premium. Today after having finished school, and spending 2 months in prison for being a contentious objector from the army, Sahar is full time activist in the eyes of many. She works for a Jerusalem municipal council member, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, New Profile, Anarchist Against the Wall, Shministim, and many many more. Sahar and some of her friends who are also contentious objectors are now working on a new educational brief for Israeli schools, which they feel don't promote critical thinking, instead serve as a tool to militarise the country. This is a clear objective in Israel as conscription is a huge part of the Israel life and psyche.

Anarchists against the wall -

The Shministim -

The Shministim (Hebrew: שמיניסטים, translated as twelfth graders) are adolescents who are refusing to join the Israeli army due to conscientious objection about military aggressions in Gaza being against human rights and their values and beliefs. They usually get arrested because of that refusal, since conscientious objection are not considered by Israeli law a reason to negate conscription, a fact which is attracting worldwide attention, solidarity and support. On December 18, 2008, a worldwide campaign was launched in order to request the freedom of Shministim, including the delivery of more than forty thousand letters, to Israeli embassies, appealing for the youngsters' cause.

Both women represent strong young voices against the occupation which has its own rewards and problems in each society and I feel both have a vast amount of knowledge which they can impart to youth in Ireland.

16th March: 6 pm Trinity College Dublin. Maxwell Theatre, Hamilton Building. (Science end of campus near Westland Row)

18th March: NUI Galway. 7pm, The View, Aras na Mac Leinn/Student Centre. (The View is situated on the first floor of the student centre, which is the building next to the college bar.)

20th March: 1 pm Belfast. Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre

22nd March: University College Cork, 6pm, Room G10 in the Civil Engineering Building. Near the Boole Library and Main Restaurant and adjacent to College Road.

23rd March: 7 pm University of Limerick, Room TBC

24th March: 7 pm University College Dublin, Room TBC

25th March: 7.30 pm NUI Maynooth. Meeting Room 3 & 4 Student's Union. (Building 23 on the map)