22 years old Samer studies Political Science and Sociology at Haifa University. He is one of the initiators and main activists in the campaign against the mandatory military service of the Druze. Samer said:
We are a group of Druze who refused to go to the army, and now we are active to abolish this law…. Through the campaign I want to reach out to youth and expose them to alternative options, because serving in the military disconnects the Druze from our nation. The whole idea to be active as part of a group came from Sadaka-Reut. There I learned what it means to work together, the importance of a group and the strength that comes with it.
Samer participated in the ‘Community in Action’ project in 2010-2011. When speaking about his experience he said:
I learned to see reality in a different way – more critically. Before I entered the commune I believed in partnership, but on a superficial level. In the discussions between Jews and Palestinians partnership means that I can speak my language… and not that when a Jewish person joins the struggle we need to switch to Hebrew or have to cater everything to his needs. He is a partner in the struggle, but a joint struggle means that I can speak my language – and he can understand, and that I am entitled to call out slogans in my language like he can.
He added that from his perspective the reality in Haifa and in the university can, at most, be defined as co-existence, but not as partnership.
Arabs and Jews live side by side, study together; I live in a building that is populated predominately by Jews, yet this is not partnership. Partnership will be achieved when my culture will also be part of the dominant culture…
He concludes and says that bi-national activism should be similar to what he experienced at Sadaka-Reut.
My opinions today and my approach were shaped in Sadaka-Reut. The commune changed my personality, leaving home and living on my own with friends strengthened my sense of responsibility and of independence.