Many my age are well aware (or at least know of) the conflict between Isreal and Palestine. What many are not aware of, is the conflicts in Northern Ireland in the 80’s and 90’s, also knows as “The Troubles“; up until this trip, I was never aware of what happened here in Belfast.
Today we took a cab tour of neighborhoods in Belfast, Ireland. The drivers took us through both Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods, as well as showing us the walls and gates that divided them. The experience was very somber, but it came with a look of hope. Though tension still exists, the two sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland have taken a peaceful and political route to resolve their matters, and as time progresses so does the condition of affected areas. It’s only been 20 years since the ceasefire and it’s not time for the walls to come down just yet. But things now are better, and maybe in our lifetime, we’ll see the walls come down.
The conflict between Isreal and Palestine is very different from the conflict in Northern Ireland, but they do share similarities. In looking at these similarities a ray of hope can be found for a possibility of progress through peaceful means. The advancements made here in Belfast, Derry, and Northern Ireland can be a model for the rest of the world to look into and study. I would not say that the solution to every conflict lies here because every culture and conflict is different, but the peaceful progression in Northern Ireland can be a good indicator for others.