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September 27, 2017

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Palestine's new generation of creative resistance

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- "I joined (the demonstration) because I was afraid to lose anyone I loved," said Ahed Tamimi, a 15-year-old girl who has stood up and fought against Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh for the past seven years.

In almost all of the pictures and videos captured in Nabi Saleh, women can be seen everywhere in the march. "Women compose and breed our society. Without women, we will not be here. So it is important to have their voices heard in every occasion," said Bassem Tamimi, father of Ahed and one of the main organizers of the protest.

"I felt afraid in the beginning. But now I feel strong and confident. I never feel weak for being a woman because we are part of this family. I can't be silent in front of my rights. My dignity doesn't allow me to see soldiers stealing my land and hurting my family," added Ahed. She continued to tell us that she plans to study law and is determined to be a lawyer because she can "protect my family if they are detained and also protect my lands using International law from theft by Israelis "

Physically and Emotionally Strained

Located 20 kilometers northwest of Ramallah, many students from this West Bank village attend school in Ramallah. Owing to checkpoints on the way and roadblocks from time to time, they feel physically and emotionally strained.

But this has not stopped them from dreaming and joining the demonstration. Many youth like Ahed have participated in the weekly protest every week and contributed in different ways. Janna Jihad, a cousin and a close friend of Ahed's, is one of the young participants who have been inspired by Ahed.

This 10-year-old girl is not only taking part in the march, but is also the youngest journalist in the world. She loves playing football and dreams of becoming a football star like her favorite player Neymar Jr. of FC Barcelona. "But this can only happen if the occupation ends, I want to run freely on our land," Janna said. She further mentioned that children were often threatened by soldiers when playing in the village field.

"I want to be a journalist and send the message to all Palestinian children that we are able to speak for ourselves," Janna smiled and told us with confidence.

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