By Soad Fathi
Why do people always assume that being young means you’re not capable of thinking about serious matters, that we can’t decide for ourselves, or we don’t know certain things because of our young age.Why would we let numbers define how mature we really are? some believe that because of the young age the mind is like a blank paper with no knowledge and no awareness, or it can’t be useful for some things. Which leads to excluding youth in a lot of cases. We must acknowledge the fact that youth are big part of the community we all live in, now and in the future. And they can play a massive role in the society along with the other generations.
Nevertheless people still hold the perspective that we’re not yet adults nor mature enough to be included with the rest, they constantly keep setting specific limits on our abilities, on our maturity when sometimes we can offer a lot more than expected. But the problem here is that we’re not allowed to, we never were. You may think possibilities are very low to find individuals rational enough yet very young, but what if it’s not the case. What if the only reason it is like this because they were never given the chance to make a choice, or a difference for themselves.
We should make sure they know they can be involved, that their voices can be heard, and they are valued for their opinions, that their actions are more important than they think and the thought that they’ll be getting the chance to express their views will give them the courage to talk louder and speak up, the opportunity they will see in front of them will give them the power and the push to fulfill their potential.
A lot of things happen to young people all the time in Libya, where they are misunderstood, ignored and not having the attention they should from people. Youth often are disregarded for their thoughts especially young girls where they are disrespected and excluded even more for the mere fact that it’s coming from a she. Women and girls are affected since a young age by the community’s standards and sexism. Sometimes just for sharing an opinion they would be told they shouldn’t participate in the conversation because of their age and sex.
There once was a time where I heard a discussion being made about a specific topic that I happened to know some things about and I decided to voice out what I thought, but was shut off abruptly and was told that; I don’t know what I’m talking about, that I’m just a little girl, a child and I shouldn’t be talking. People wouldn’t care whether what you have to say is true or not, or if you have a valid point, these things happen on a daily basis. If only we were able to express our thoughts freely without thinking what people might say to shut us up, I see the way whenever me and a group of my friends would have an argument about something we would talk and share our perspectives openly with each other and it doesn’t seem to matter at that point if we’re wrong or right, it’s obvious that when we have the chance and not silenced, we speak.
That’s why I want to be a part of the Together We Build It (TWBI) organization, as it is an inter-generational environment, so it gives me and many others the opportunity. Through their newly established project of creating girls section supporting youth giving us the chance to be heard without feeling any less because of our age or sex. They listen and respect us, they know the importance of youth’s part in building a peaceful future where everyone has a part in it. Their cause inspires me as a young female of this society and it makes me want to be a part of the process. I want to be able to help people acknowledge the fact that diversity in age is something very important to have, to make a peaceful community and understand each other, and with working together everyone can have a chance. I want for the young girls and boys to start thinking of their potential and to know they have a role to play, that they could achieve what they want.