Dear friends and readers,
With everything happening in Tunisia and the world, I decided to take to the time to share with you the story of a remarkable young man who just made his mission to bring positive change in the lives of his community and beyond.
Funny how this article seems so relevant to me after spending a whole afternoon listening to a politician lecturing me about how young people lack effectiveness, creativity and are more likely considered as a burden instead of solution holders!
Well, Saed Karzoun, 26, a young Palestinian person who invested in his musical, photography and social media skills to spread his ideas and visions in a creative way.
Studied journalism and media in Birzeit University, he now spends his busy days making short movies and documentaries. Saed also hosts a weekly radio show on Raya FM called “Palestine Al-Shabab” or “Palestine of Youth”. He can also be found teaching young kids how to play musical instruments or volunteer somewhere at a youth led organization.
His latest project is training young people on blogging and using social media to promote positive social change.
However, “Beautiful Palestine” is a particular initiative that I want to drag under the spot light.
“Beautiful Palestine” a project initiated by Saed through which he hopes to spread impactful messages around Palestine that would bypass the borders around on the place where he lives to echo in Europe and the USA.
Let me tell you, I have a syndrome that pushes me away from people who get too much attention or if you wish to call them super stars. I’d rather be with and speak about “invisible” people or those representing minorities and that’s what attracted me to write about Saed Karzoun.
He mentioned “I desire to be known as Saed, a simple human being who is not separated from the ordinary people, I want to be identified as the regular Saed who works and volunteers with people who act all together as a one hand”.
Saed had a funny start with music, being a bad student at school, his father –a music professor and song writer- decided to teach his son how to play the Oud at the age of 10.
“The school of Music was very different to me, I was seeing and interacting with new and different people. The study of music was different itself, I had to pay extra attention to the musical notes and how to play them” says Saed Karzoun.
He also shared his attraction to this one girl at the music school and how he worked his ass off to learn how to play just to impress her. At the end, results came disappointing as the girl turned out to be older than him yet looking at the filled part of the cup Saed did learn something at the end.
At a later stage Saed thought that music alone isn’t enough to promote his ideas and that’s how he turned to writing articles in his unique style by making a combination between the sensitive musical universe and the reality that is made up of the people miseries but also happy stories.
It’s on September 2010 when a number of his articles started being published on local Palestinian newspapers. He says he likes to reflect reality through his writings in an innovative vibrant way, cutting down with the classic and desperate type of articles.
Usually young people are not taken seriously, even newly graduate students when they show up with project ideas they get ignored and considered as nobody. There is no reason that makes corporate listen to them as they lack experience or mostly in our world, they have no connections!
Saed Karzoun says that he been always aware of that point and sends out and advice to young people telling that a person should work on building a strong profile and that can happen through volunteering in an NGO or starting own initiative…those are excellent ways to gain experience, skills, self confidence and connections . But furthermore, a person will be adding to your country and benefiting your community on the way!
Samer Jradat, one of Saed’s friends says “Saed is an ambitious person and that’s what I like about him. When I sit with him -even during early school days-, he fills me with positive energy; he always has some ideas and new stuff. I certainly like meeting him when I’m stressed or tired; he gives me power to carry on”.
Saed Says “Beautiful Palestine project is not something for the elite. When I first started it, it was a gallery of photos and articles done in Europe and Palestine. I made sure that the people working with me would be newbie’s and of mixed cultured and backgrounds and such diversity was really beneficial. I had the French Cultural Center impressed.”
Beautiful Palestine Project is both executed offline through a series of gatherings, galleries and festivals and online by a campaign promoting the image of Palestine defeating the thought that it’s a hostel place where only bombing happens.
To finish, I would add that one of things that touch me in all this is the very poor cultural and artistic life that we have in Tunisia. I believe we have so much to learn from Saed and Palestinian artists and change makers.
Thank you Saed.
Check out this TV package about Saed Karzoun (in Arabic):