Ibraheem Sarsour

Ibraheem grew up in the northern Israeli town of Kfar Kassem. He was nine years old when his father died, leaving his mother to bring up three boys and a girl. She receives only basic financial support from the state, so Ibraheem and his brothers and sister grew up knowing that they must all work hard and help to support the family. Against all the odds, all four children have secured places at university.

However, Ibraheem appreciates that Moshal has helped him with much more than financial support. “In my first year I attended the workshops on practical tips for university study. It was extremely helpful to learn how to work under pressure and how to avoid feeling pressured by other students. They suggested many different study tips that I have tried and found useful, which has made me more efficient and productive.”

The other aspect of his degree course that has enriched Ibraheem’s experience has been the university’s compulsory volunteering program. “During my first year, we were expected to volunteer for 100 hours and I elected to visit my old elementary school in Kfar Kassem to help younger children with their studies. For my second year, I have joined a social activism project in Beer Sheva, where my university is located.”

“In The Path of Dialogue – Networking Schools Against Racism” is a program in high schools to combat racism and promote equal human rights in Israel. Ibraheem is one of the volunteers who is learning how to facilitate workshops in Jewish and Arab high schools. He will spend 40 hours this year presenting the course program and leading discussions with teens in grades 9 and 10.

“This bridge-building program has broadened my horizons and encouraged me to help change perceptions among the next generation of young people in Israel. I joined the program because they wanted to bring more Israeli Arabs on board, so that Jewish kids can meet people who are different from them and hear the other side of the story. In fact, we show them that we are all really the same and we all want the same things.”

On the Moshal Program, Ibraheem has made friends with scholars from different backgrounds and ethnicities. “Through Moshal we have become friends and brothers, and forged strong bonds of shared dreams and aspirations. As well as helping us all individually, Moshal helps to build bridges between Arabs and Jews, Bedouins and Ethiopians, religious and secular students, and encourages us to changes our opinions of one another. I believe that if we can learn together, we can live together. Moshal has really changed my life in so many ways.”

“Today, I feel a tremendous responsibility to succeed and score good grades, not just for the sake of my family but also because of the money that has been invested in me. It has encouraged me to expand my horizons and strive to build a better society. My ambitions are to work for Google one day and to make a difference in the world!”