Palestinian student plans political career

Deema Yusuf
Deema Yusuf

Deema Yusuf is an 18-year-old Palestinian native attending Lane as part of the Peace Makers Project.

“I was born in Jerusalem and spent my whole life in Ramallah,” Yusuf said.

Yusuf is Palestinian with an Israeli passport because her father is from Nazareth, she said.

“My dad is a teacher at the university, and my mother is a high school teacher in Jerusalem,” Yusuf said. “Both of them teach history.”

She’s majoring in Peace Studies and is a young leader with Creativity for Peace, along with her Israeli counterpart, Yaara Tal.

She’s following in her three siblings’ footsteps.

“All of them got their B.A.’s here,” Yusuf said. “My two sisters did their masters in England. Then they went back.”

Yusuf’s sisters hold positions at the World Bank and Bank of Palestine.When I saw them going, when I was little, I was like, ‘I have to go. I can’t stay in Ramallah,’” Yusuf said.

Yusuf’s childhood dream was to become the president of Palestine.

“When I grew up I found out I couldn’t become president, because I have an Israeli passport,” she said.

Yusuf still plans to work in government and politics.

“I don’t want my kids to live how I live, or how my parents lived. It’s been a really hard time,” she said.

“There’s a lot of people who still care,” Yusuf added.