Generation of potential: Hamza

May 2, 2018

Hamza, 29, grew up in Shu ‘afat refugee camp, Jerusalem. Though still referred to as a refugee camp, after decades of existence this area has become a neighborhood in Jerusalem, where facilities and infrastructure are nowhere near good enough. After a challenging youth in Jerusalem, and some experience of working abroad, Hamza now works with Jerusalemite youth himself.

In his work, Hamza aims to involve youth through film-making, music, and art, to let them gain confidence and most importantly, to teach them how to express themselves in different ways. As he explains: “Don’t try to change whatever the youth believes in, because that’s for them to decide. Focus on [teaching them] how to express themselves.” Hamza feels that teaching youth how to express themselves and giving them a platform to do so, is the most essential, because “one of the biggest issues is representation. Young people are being pushed to the side-line. They’re not being represented in any way.” Youth needs to be offered alternatives to the violent realities they know, according to Hamza.

The key to a more positive future is the space for young people to express their ideas on this future in a safe space, to include them and make them feel represented. Then, they can go beyond throwing rocks, to expressing their feelings in “more beautiful and sophisticated ways”.

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