Marzuk Suaed, Master-Sgt., a Bedouin father of three, “Mostly, I want the Bedouin/Arab sector to understand and internalize that military service will only do our society good. Social distancing and separation will lead us nowhere.”
Master Sgt. Marzuk Suaed, 37, a Bedouin father of three residing in northern Israel, sees his job as a recruiter of Bedouin, Arab, Christian and Muslim youths to the Israel Defense Forces as a personal and Zionist mission.
Chief Sergeant First Class Marzuk Suaed: “I really am very proud in what I am doing” – Photo: Hagai Aharon
“I really am very proud in what I am doing,” says Suaed, who hails from a large family in which everyone enlisted into the IDF, many of them serving in combat units.
“I am a citizen of the state, it doesn’t matter whether Bedouin or Jewish, and am proud to lend my country a hand. Yes, this is my country, and I want to serve it; and, on the way, mostly, I want the Bedouin/Arab sector to understand and internalize that service in the army will only do our society good. Social distancing and separation will lead us nowhere,” he says.
Suaed enlisted into the IDF in 1995 and was assigned to be a Gadna program instructor for Bedouin youth. The army’s Gadna program allows Israeli high school students to spend a week experiencing military life before their compulsory service. He said his only goal at that time was to encourage them to enlist.
In 1998, upon completion of his compulsory service, Suaed transferred to the air force in an administrative capacity. In 2002, while still in the air force, he discovered that the enlistment numbers for the Bedouin reconnaissance battalion were very low.
“I added the numbers up and I immediately came to the conclusion that the battalion was the most important thing for me. That’s how I decided to try and help it and promote enlistment to the battalion,” he says.
Saued goes from door to door in the Bedouin and Arab villages in northern Israel, while also working to increase enlistment in the south of the country. He tells the youngsters he meets of the importance of enlisting and contributing to the country’s security. Initially, Suaed’s goal was to get all of the enlistment-age men in his extensive family to join the army.
“At one time there was zero awareness in the Bedouin community about enlisting, and if they did actually enlist, they would go become trackers,” he says. “Today the Bedouins serve in a considerable number of combat units. I am proud to see them in senior positions. From my perspective, I see this as a personal, social and national success.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=11361