My experience being an Arab Woman at the European Parliament

Maybe I don’t agree with many of Europe’s (European Union) foreign policy towards the Middle East and “Third World countries”- as they call them-. But I have to admit that being given the chance by the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament to attend its meetings in Italy being part of the School of Democracy, and going to Belgium to attend the group’s meetings in the European Parliament has been one of the best things that happened in my life. I got to know Europe’s real engine: not 18297109_1455818817825541_281808137_ofrom books, not from politicians on TV, not from my European professors, but from European Youth the same age as me –maybe younger maybe little older- who have the guts to openly describe their political projects openly and precisely to the core. Sometimes we could disagree about some topics but honestly I enjoyed listening to them explaining why they believe in what they are discussing and then later on we can express our opinions freely and openly with the president of the European Parliament and the President of the Socialist and Democrats Italian group. Actually, I have never been looked down on –being a young inexperienced youth as they call us here before and after the revolution-, but as a person who has an idea, any idea with a constructive organized outline and I have the room to discuss it with people in the field (politicians we see on TV and active youth our age). I won’t say this is because of democratic politicians in Europe, but because of Europe’s youth who decided to make for themselves a constructive room that their politicians know they can’t keep moving forward without them being part of it.

Actually, following up now with the French elections, European Parliament’s elections, or any kind of political, economic, cultural …….etc. related topics, I can relate better and 18280176_1455817837825639_647471779_nengage more. I can guess how different social classes in Europe would react to different events and why. I get more proud with my European friends who really work hard to reach their political aspirations (whether I agree or disagree with them). I very much liked the sense of community I experienced in with the Socialist and Democrats group members. I hope to invite them one day to our region and give them the same chance so that they can experience a world they only hear of on TV or read about in books; a world that is way far from reality on TVs. I wish to give them the chance to experience our political systems and relate to it on the real grounds, so when we discuss refugees crisis, global warming, economics, famine ….etc., I won’t keep saying: “it’s different from books and ideologies”. As global citizens, we have the right to share this and experience it together. We are not divided by continents if we really are aspiring for a better world.

I am not that Middle Eastern who got fantasized by Europeans because I still believe that Europe’s culture is different from that of the Arabs, Latinos, Asians ….etc. and each can has his/her own way of success or failure, but I experienced something that I have always been aspiring for my own country, region and continent, and that added a lot to my personality and gave me more hope. “Just a little more hard work Esraa, nothing is in vain” what I always tell myself. I am really grateful for each and every single person who helped me and encouraged me to be there.



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