Aziz Abu Sarah grew up in East Jerusalem. When he was 9 years old, his older brother was arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks and died shortly after his release from internal injuries sustained during his time in prison.
“For eight years, my life was focused on revenge,” Aziz told Blue Marble. But when he was 18, he decided to study Hebrew.
“I realized that the students in that class didn’t know any Palestinian before, didn’t know my story, and I didn’t know theirs,” he said.
“Suddenly, we had this conversation where we were able to learn about each other and understand each other and realize this binary division of ‘us versus them,’ Israelis versus Palestinians, is not really accurate.” Today he runs a travel company with Scott Cooper, a Jewish American who he says became his best friend. Together they tell the story of the region from both perspectives. “Our staff are Israelis and Palestinians who work together every day, and they are not allowing even these moments to divide us.”