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Posted at 9:14 PM ET, 01/25/2011

I'm ready to go!

By Mai Shbeta

British Council Global Changemakers is a network of young social entrepreneurs and community activists from 110 countries worldwide.

My grandmother lives in Davos, Switzerland, so for as long as I can remember, I have come with my family to Davos. Today, I woke up in Davos again but I was not at the place I'm used to being at and not with my family. I am here to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. Wow... I still can't believe that.

Every year when we come here and pass the congress centre, my mom starts to explain about the Forum and how world leaders come here, and how the town is surrounded by the Swiss army and crazy security. I used to imagine myself coming here as one of these important people, and speaking about what I'm most passionate about -- peace in the Middle East and all around the world. But I never ever thought that I would actually have the chance to do that.

When I found out that I was chosen to go to Davos as one of five Global Changemakers, I started screaming and jumping around the house. My sisters got panicked because they didn't know what was going on but soon the three of us were jumping together, not believing the exciting news.

Well, now I'm here, and I can't wait for it to start. We had a few days of training in Zurich, practiced our Ideas Lab presentations and prepared ourselves for the different sessions and the "Davos Spirit".

I'm ready to go!

Mai lives in a Peace Village called "The Oasis of Peace" (Neve Shalom-Wahat al Salem in Hebrew and Arabic), which is the only place in Israel where Palestinians and Jews choose to live together as a community. Mai's father is a Palestinian Muslim and her mother is a Jew. Her activism focuses on fostering peace in the Middle East. She has attended numerous peace camps as a participant and a facilitator and has participated in and lead peace dialogues across Israel. Mai believes that since she was a child, her life's mission has been to promote peace because no one in the entire world can tell her that peace is not possible - she sees her family as living proof that it is. Mai has just begun her first year of legal studies and is planning to pursue a second degree in international relations before becoming a human rights lawyer.

By Mai Shbeta  | January 25, 2011; 9:14 PM ET
Categories:  Mai Shbeta  
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