WHO IS NIDA’A NASSER?
“I don’t know if I was born in another country I would love to do this work“
Nida’a Nasser is Youth Leadership Project Coordinator at Baladna—the Association of Arab Youth, and research assistant at Mada al-Carmel – Arab Center for Applied Social Research. She was awarded a degree in Social Work from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2008, and an M.A. in Research of Conflicts and Struggles at the College of Social Sciences.
Nida’a has worked as a project coordinator in a number of civil society organizations, including the Society of Public Advocacy in Jerusalem, the Project against Early Marriage in Kufr Manda, The Menara Society to Support Friends with Disabilities in the Arab Community, and the el-Hawakeer Association for Agricultural and Community Development.
IN TOR 017 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- The complex social and political situation in which Nida’a oversees Baladna’s projects, which focuses on youth as well as Palestinian history, collective memory and identity.
- The threats faced by the Palestinian youth, including low education and incomes, indoctrination, and political rather than physical violence; and the small but decided steps Baladna has taken to promote political literacy.
- Why Nida’a prefers to work with international donors rather than local ones.
- Nida’a plans for Baladna, the development field in Palestine, and the local youth.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Youth leadership
- Grassroots organization
- Democratic values
- National identity, history and memory
- Content creation
- Political violence
- Haifa, Palestine
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Following after projects, interact with field facilitators, sustain a vision.
Currently 9 projects, the largest one is about Youth Leadership. Works with a grassroots youth organization. Youth is a focus of Baladna.
Israel and Palestine youth partnership work. Palestine, education for collective memory, history, identity, topics not discussed at school.
Fill the gap for national interests.
Baladna also works on social issues, promoting progressive democratic values, across all programs.
Workshops, training with the grassroots groups, social campaigns. “All youth are on Facebook.“
Baladna produces their own material, video, posters.
Members and partners also produce and are welcome to do so.
All programs gained funding by applying to international sources, which gives them more freedom. National or Israeli sources would come with too many strings attached. Nida’a prefers European or multilateral givers.
There is a full time professional fundraiser. Takes a burden off Nida’a’s and everyone’s shoulders.
With strong beliefs about what they do, stress comes too. Bringing funds year by year for decade long projects is stressful.
Strategic goals and complying
A vision for Palestinian identity and democratic values.
A program is against civil service. The Palestinian people widely oppose it, they believe it indoctrinates the Palestinian youth with Israeli values. The Israeli government also gives money to people enrolled, this is the main reason they join.
Baladna encourages volunteering. They do not think they should come up with alternatives, it is an expensive government program while Baladna is very small. All they can do is educate. Baladna’s influence is small and limited.
Why promoting national democracy among the young
Nida’a was a pharmacy student. “I did not belong there.“
Baladna did not feel like a job, social and political work was something she was passionate about, particularly in context. Sometimes in the face of injustice you have no choice but to do something about it.
First degree on community and social work, then masters in conflict studies.
Not threats of violence. “But there is political violence, the whole society is threatened.“
“People“. Be in contact, meet, field work. Weekly reporting.
Basic software compiles data and report. Google Docs.
Reporting for donors is straightforward.
Long days, lots of meetings and field visitations.
“We do more than the donors asks us to do,” the team often overloads.
Lots of calls and emails.
Program development is also intensive and ongoing.
It is a very demanding job, prone to burnout. “But we really believe in the work that we do.“
“I try to make sure I always remember what’s my vision and why I’m there. This keeps me energetic.“
Beladna must improve their reach. “We are not getting to the whole society,” not even the whole youth. Strategic thinking, prioritization.
“I don’t know what will happen.” Youth does not either, a sense of future, progression of steps.
“People who really feel connected to the issues can really break into the career.“
“But it’s not just about believing or passion.” There is a need for professional training, the subject depends.
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Jason, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask me directly, head on over to the Ask Stephen section. Don’t be shy! Every question is important and I answer every single one.
And, if you truly enjoyed this episode and want to make sure others know about it, please share it now:
Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes are very helpful. Please take a moment to leave an honest review for The TOR Podcast!