Meet Lour

2022 Friendship Games Ambassador from the Middle East

July 26, 2022 Updated October 3, 2022

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Lour FG 2022 2

I live in Beit Safafa [an Arab community in Jerusalem] with my parents, my two sisters and a brother. Next year, I’m going to start 9th grade. I really love animals, especially dogs.

Q: What's the one thing that you'd want people to know about you?

I’d like people to know that I’m friendly and I get along with people really fast.

Q: Do you have a special talent that most people don't know about?

I’m good at telling stories or public speaking, like standing in front of people and talking.

Q: Who's your hero? Why?

My mom. My mom is really strong and she takes care of her own responsibilities of herself and the house and the four kids that she has, while I’m 14 and I barely can handle my own responsibilities, so my mom and my superhero.

Q: What do you think are the most important attributes of a leader?

I think a leader should be a social person who knows how to find the value of each person, and they can’t be a selfish human being.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about Friendship Games?

I’m excited to take part in storytelling [to tell my story on PeacePlayers’ social media] and I’m also excited to get to know new people from all over the world, with different backgrounds and cultures.

Q: Is there anything you're nervous or unsure about going to the Friendship Games?

No, just the opposite. I’m really not worried about anything, but on the other hand, I really like to meet new people and I’m excited for that.

Q: Why do you think PeacePlayers wants to bring together 130 young people from around the world?

It's really important to know new people from different cultures and also to get used to meeting people with different backgrounds and conflicts, because when we grow up or, if you want to travel, if you want to get a job, you really have to be used to meeting people different people with different backgrounds, different races, different colors so it really makes me more open minded with knowing how to react or to behave with the other culture.

Q: If you could do anything you wanted when you grew up, what would it be/what's your biggest dream for the future - for yourself, for your family, for your community?

I wish I could make more peace and more acceptance in the world. From a professional side, I want to get a degree from university, but most of all, I want to have my own project that involves people from all over the world to help them in a more financial way, to make job opportunities for more people.

Q: What's it like in your city/town/neighborhood? How would you describe it to someone who's never been there?

I live in a calm neighborhood [the Arab community of Beit Safafa on the boundary between East and West Jerusalem] where everyone minds their own business, but you always hear kids from the neighborhood playing outside together. About Jerusalem in general, the food is the best, and it's a very beautiful city, and has lots of historical sites that you can come and visit. It also has a lot of religions, like religious people and different religions, and religious sites.

Q: If you could time travel for one hour, where would you go? What would you do?

I’d choose to visit the place that I’m in now, but I’d want to see myself in 15 years to see if my decisions that I took when I was young affected my life badly or not, and if they did, I’d like to come back and try to prevent it.

We followed up with Lour during the Games to hear about her experience in real time. Here’s what she had to say! 

Q: What’s the most important thing you learned this week?

The most important thing I learned this week was to start talking and making friends with new people even though they speak different languages.

Q: Was it hard for you in the beginning to start talking to people and if so, how did you overcome that?

At first, it was hard to get to know each other because of the language barrier, but then I tried talking to one or two people, and they showed me that it’s ok, that they understand what I’m saying and that they would help me if I was confused with anything [they were saying], and gave me the courage to start talking to everyone.

Q: Did you meet anyone that you think you’ll keep in touch with after everyone goes home, or people that you can imagine yourself becoming close friends with in the future? If so, what do you like about them and what do you have in common with them?

I made friends from South Africa and Cyprus. We have the same energies, we are always joking and playing. I liked to be surrounded by positive energies.

Q: What do you think is the potential of having all these people from all over the world who are with PeacePlayers, learning and having them all in one place at one time?

When people from all over the world come together, you learn about new cultures and get to know people who are fluent in different languages. You know, you may have an image of certain people that is wrong about and so can improve after meeting them.

Q: What was your favorite part of the week? What was the most fun part?

The most fun thing we did this week was when we went down to the Dead Sea, and also the night before, we all danced and each site showed their own traditional dances and we all danced together.

Q: Are there things that you learned or experienced this week that you’ll take home with you – I know your home isn’t all that far, but still – either things that you’ll sort of keep in your heart, or things that may help you in your day to day life?

What I learned and will keep in my mind is that being out of my comfort zone allowed me to learn more things. You need to get to know things that you’re not used to in order to learn more and become more aware.

Q: What do you think basketball has to do with it? You know, basketball is sort of the basis of everything that we’re doing. What's the connection to basketball? Does basketball have some sort of an impact on everything that you’ve been doing and experiencing here?

So, in PeacePlayers, basketball is the thing that brings everyone together. When you play basketball, you have to see people as people. You have to defend other people on your team, you have to be generous.

Q: I know we’ve been talking a lot about meeting young people from all over the world, but has there been something that happened within your own Middle East team - the fact that your together this week, did you get to know other people on your team, did it bring you closer to one another?

It’s true that we’ve been talking abroad from other cultures. But, we here in the Middle East are also dealing with second cultures. Palestinians and Israelis, we are not the same culture at all. I mean that I am always dealing with a different culture, but today I do not want to see people as strangers. I enjoy [being with] them no matter who they are.

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