Hi, my name is Ayelet, I am 14 years old and this is my seventh year in PeacePlayers. When I was little, I was the kind of girl who didn’t fit in in dance classes like the rest of my friends. I was looking for something different, so I decided to follow in my older sister’s footsteps and joined a basketball team. By joining PeacePlayers, I found exactly what I was looking for. When I play basketball, I love it; the satisfaction of winning a game not only as an individual, but as a team, plays a major role in that. While choosing basketball I wasn’t looking for friends, but I found them.
Even basketball players love shopping, so when my [Arab] teammate and friend Keynana turned twelve we decided to celebrate at the mall. We tried on clothes, we ate, we chatted – it was a very fun night! During our stroll in the mall we bumped in to some [Jewish] friends from my school. They came up to say hello and realized Keynana had an accent. They were shocked as it was their first time speaking to an Arab person their age. For me it was just a night out with my teammate, but for them it was a very unusual experience. The next day in school they asked me a bunch of questions and after telling them about Keynana, her hobbies, her likes and dislikes and after showing them a couple of photos of the two of us, they started to understand that she is a teenager like us and a great friend of mine. In that moment I realized what PeacePlayers is all about. I might have joined only to play basketball, but it turned out to be so much more than that.
Peace shouldn’t come from the politicians but from two girls playing basketball and going shopping together. On April 6th, we celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, but in PeacePlayers, I feel like we are celebrating this day every day!