What did you do that made you feel good

By Ramzi Kurzum (14) – son of Edward & Lila Joubran Kurzum

Growing up I have always been told about the importance of family. Being from Ramallah, family comes before anything, and I always know I have my extended family if I ever need anything. My immediate family including my parents, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all there to support me. They are my advisors and playmates. They help encourage me to be my best.  When I see my friends with broken families I feel bad for

them, but what is even worse is having family that doesn’t want you or no family at all. An example of this is a boys orphanage near my home.  I visit them with my youth group often throughout the year. There is no better feeling then bringing the concept of family that I know and love to these boys that don’t have one.

The boys are like my brothers. By being a role model and a friend makes me feel good. We visit and hang out together, play games like football and basketball. We also meet at the park with my youth group for picnics and barbeques and always have a great time. At these outings we play games, eat food, and hang out and at the end of the day everyone has a smile on their face. It makes me happy to share this family experience with those who don’t have the opportunity.

The holidays and birthdays are possibly the best time to be with a family. Besides the presents, there is the food and my mom always makes my favorites like grapeleaves, tabooleh, and kefta. We eat and laugh and have fun all night. It would be easy just to buy presents for these boys but that would be missing the point. We get together with these boys, share meals, celebrate the holiday, play games, laugh and give gifts.

By visiting these boys often a relationship has developed between us. Every time we look forward to get together looking for revenge in one on one basket ball or volleyball, some just want to hang out but whatever the choice we both enjoy each other’s company and that is what family is all about.  Whatever the itinerary for the day is everyone has a great time. It is the best feeling in the world that I can take the idea of family, something that is such a key part of my culture and my life, and provide it to boys that don’t have one.