Omar represented children in conflict areas and living under occupation. Now he is an Honorary Adult Friend.
Omar said this when he was on the jury:
Life has been like a nightmare since I was eleven years old. One evening while we were watching TV we heard a helicopter circling overhead. Then they shot a rocket towards a neighbouring building, the headquarters for the Palestinian police and border patrols. They fired a lot of rockets and it felt like being in the middle of an earthquake. The next night, an F-16 plane came and fired rocket after rocket. Our whole house shook and all the windows were shattered. I cried and fell on the pieces of glass. The fourth rocket was the strongest of all – I flew right over our neighbour, whose house we had fled into.
We used to go on outings to places like Jerusalem and Jericho. Here in Bethlehem these days, there is only home and school to go to. But even though we have a right to education, we can’t even always go to school. During the curfew we can’t even leave the house.
One of the rights of the child is being able to feel safe and secure – but we Palestinian children can’t. All we want is peace, and to live without tanks and soldiers. I want to be able to feel like other children in the world.”