The Institute for Middle East Understanding
Generation Oslo: Fadi Quran
IMEU, Mar 14, 2011
As protests rage across the Arab world challenging authoritarian regimes and bringing some to an end, it has become clear that the age group dubbed "Generation Y" or "Generation Next" is playing the largest role. For this generation of Palestinians, the Oslo Accords of 1993 played a major role in shaping their perspectives on paths to peace and achieving their freedom. This profile is part of a series exploring the political views, aspirations, and activities of "Generation Oslo."
Quran and his cohort-using Facebook and traditional organizing techniques-are demanding Palestinian political unity as a step toward a renewed liberation struggle vis-à-vis Israel. They are preparing for a major protest on March 15 in both Ramallah and Gaza.
"The call for March 15th is for democratic elections and a whole new restructuring of the Palestinian National Council," he explained. "So there is one body that makes decisions, something similar to the ANC-the African National Congress."
Quran says it was the upheaval of the second intifada that thrust him into politics.
"I was in the seventh grade when it [the uprising] began. Prior to that I was very interested in science and in physics, in doing physics research," he said. But when the uprising came, childhood friends were wounded by Israeli gunfire; others were forced to emigrate to the US.
Quran followed his passion for science to Stanford, where last spring he completed a BS in Physics and a BA in International Relations. He then returned to Ramallah to pursue a master's degree in Palestinian law at Birzeit University and work on an initiative to bring renewable energy to Palestine.
Back in Palestine, he also became active in encouraging urban Palestinians to support the "popular resistance" movements in outlying West Bank villages. With the momentum of the Egyptian uprising, his activism has consumed him.
He is inspired by the spirit of revolutions past: "We want democratic representation first and foremost and then move to nonviolently challenging the occupation in the same sense that Martin Luther King Challenged segregation in the south, and in the same sense that Gandhi challenged British colonialism in India."
"We're trying to move toward that goal. March 15th is seen not as an end in itself but the beginning of a new generation of struggle."
Fadi is active with: March 15th Movement
In his own words: "The vast majority of Palestinians who are refugees really don't get these opportunities to become a physicist, or to have a normal life. The lack of freedom sucks the life out of their dreams. I realized that to achieve our goals, which are the goals of all humanity - freedom, justice, dignity - I needed to first get rid of the oppressive structures that exist in Palestine. That's when I began doing activism."
To get in touch with Fadi, email ContactFadi@imeu.net
To read other profiles from "Generation Oslo: Palestinian Youth Rising",