Rula a Palestinian woman, 30 years of age, lives between Ramallah, Jerusalem and Haifa. She works as a curator, an art teacher in colleges and is the academic director of the Arab students at the Bezalel Art Academy. Rula conceptualizes her work as means to impact and change reality:
When I choose the topics I curate it is important for me that the issues bring about change. Change is not only achieved through demonstrations and shouts but also through awareness raising and art. All the themes of the exhibitions I curated deal with a social problem… we need to discuss issues, not avoid them; we need to be more political.
Rula was a participant in Sadaka-Reut’s youth groups in Haifa when she was 14-15 years old, and continued to be a part of the movement until she was in the 12th grade. She said that the relationships she made back then continue with her till this day. Through her participation in the group she learned how to define herself and her identity in more complex ways:
I learned which words to use, and the meanings that stand behind these words. I learned how to debate and express my opinion.”
The activities made her feel more independent, and so at the age of 19 she moved out of the family home to Jerusalem.
Her participation in Sadaka-Reut exposed her to other social change organizations, later joining the Palestinian youth movement Baladna, where she facilitated a group focusing on issues of identity and democracy, and curated an exhibition of students.
Partnership, says Rula, means that I can be with the people around me without having to hide my identity.
These are basic things that I learned at home and also in Sadaka-Reut: all people are equal, no-one is better than the other, all religions are equal… all barriers that existed between people would shatter at Sadaka-Reut’s seminars….