Zohar Yaron: The Confidence to Speak Up

 

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Goededag!

My name is Zohar Yaron, currently living in Even Yehuda for ten years after moving back to Israel from the Netherlands. I am 17 and I study in the Wizo Hadassim high school.

Several months ago I discovered Debate for Peace through my English teacher, who had recommended me to go to a meeting in the US embassy.
After the meeting, I came out of the building overjoyed, knowing that I wanted to see what more Debate for Peace had to offer, and I wasn’t disappointed.

At the end of October, 6 students, including myself, were chosen to speak on a panel in Tel Aviv so that we could explain what Debate for Peace is and our experiences from it. I prepared a speech ahead of time, memorized it and still held it under my eyes so I wouldn’t forget anything.

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Speaking in front of a crowd always has been one of my biggest fears and so the biggest block in my road. Whenever I stand in front of an audience knowing I will have to speak I get tense and uneasy, stutter, choke and start mixing between all the languages I know.
But as I was waiting for my turn, I listened to my friends speaking from their hearts, I looked at the audience and saw all of their eyes shine with hope and pride, their words were touching everybody. They had not rehearsed their speeches; they spoke what was true for them and what they were feeling confident about.

When it was my turn, I folded the paper, took a deep breath and said everything that came to mind and when I looked back at the audience, their eyes were shining at me as well.

Debate for Peace has taught me plenty of new skills for debate, diplomacy and more. But most importantly, for life as well, and I intend to use those skills to give others hope, help solve conflicts and keep improving myself and my surroundings.

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