My friend and a Real Wonder Woman
I met Rania in Paris while studying International Relations at the Sorbonne in Paris. In one of our tasks as students, we had to choose between various themes to write a paper and we both chose to work on the challenges of the Oslo Agreements in the Middle East. She did it from an Arab-Syrian perspective and me from a Palestinian-Israeli perspective.
Rania was my first Arab friend, and she taught me so much about the wider Arabic culture. As a Palestinian growing up in a tiny French-Israeli bubble, living in Israel and studying in a French-Jesuit school, I had little exposure to the Arab culture.
I still remember how shocked Rania was when I used to refer to myself as an Israeli and not a Palestinian. We had passionate political conversations filled with disagreement and love for each other. At the time, my identity as a Palestinian with an Israeli passport was a contradiction in terms for both of us.
Rania inspires me by her amazing knowledge and culture, her unconditional generosity and wide heart, her love for life and for people, her ability to adapt and create harmony. Our friendship grew stronger as the years went by. I always felt loved and supported in my life journey by Rania. Even when our roads weren’t going in the same directions, and we weren’t sharing the same views, we still managed to meet each other in-between travels to celebrate our birthdays and friendship whenever possible.
Regardless of how far we are from each other and how much time goes by without us seeing each other, there is a deep connection beyond time and space and a sisterhood that is present and that we both deeply appreciate.
I love you, Ranoushti!