It’s hard to not be molded by our experiences; we carry them around with us. Things that happen in our youth can haunt our consciousness for years. Anees Mansour, a twenty-seven year old Palestinian from Gaza, is here in America to learn about treating childhood trauma while participating in the Leadership Studies Fellowship. The Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank has a horrible effect on the lives of Palestinians, especially the youth. In 2010 a Médecins sans Frontières study claimed half of all Palestinians under the age of 12 need mental health intervention.
What are you doing here in Olympia?
I am here for training with RCF and other NGOS where I will learn about management skills and how they deal with the youth and learn about American culture and see the city Rachel was born in.
How did you meet Rachel Corrie?
It’s a strange story of how I met Rachel. She was my best foreign friend. She was walking in a street where I used to stay and she asked for help. She used my phone and called her friend and she translated that her phone was stolen. I gave her a ride to where she needed to be. After that I wanted to learn from her, I started to learn my English through her. Day by day we became close friends. She was my best friend.