Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA)

The IEA works to promote real coexistence and human peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East through interactive inter-religious dialogue. We believe that, rather than being the cause of the problem; religion can and should be a source of solution for conflicts in the region and beyond. We do not believe in blending all traditions into one undifferentiated group, but in providing a table where all can come and sit in safety and ease, while being fully who they are in their respective religions
Dec 5, 2011

Oil for Peace - Olive Harvest in Jayus

On the weekend of October 14-15 we went to harvest olives in the village of Jayus, near Tsofim and Matan, fine minutes east of Kfar Saba.

The village itself is east of the security fence, but many of its land are west of it. Consequently, most of the village's farmers do not have access to their lands, since they do not have entry permits, and their ability to harvest their olives depends on volunteers.

After leaving the road we took a dirt-road between different fields and stopped near the plantation of Nafouk family, where we joined them for the work. Ali, sports' teacher, his wife and their two children explained to us what to do and offered steaming Sage tea.

Work was pleasant. We used Plastic rakes to bring down the dark olives to the Canvas sheets, and from there into the sacks. The sun warmed us gently and the afternoon breeze from the west kept our weather and spirit in excellent conditions.

During the field lunch we had a spontaneous interfaith encounter. Ali told us about a fable related to Moses, who according to Islam was the only prophet who could speak directly with God. The moral of the story was that the one who keeps well what he has – gains richness.

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Dec 5, 2011

Educators' teams from Dekel and A-Sallam Schools

The two educators' teams, some 30 teachers from Dekel School in Karmiel and A-Sallam School in Majd el-Krum, met on Tuesday November 15th in order to plan together the joint students' activity around healthy existence.

First the educators had their own conversation about the nature of healthy existence and nutrition and how they are guided by the Jewish and Muslim traditions.

Then they planned the activities of the students: designating groups of students that will research kinds of traditional foods as well as preparing a booklet on medicinal plants and how they were used traditionally and for what purposes. Each group of students will focus on the research of one plant and write an entry in the booklet, which will finally be published for all students and parents.

Each of the teachers will now return to his/her class and explain to the students the whole concept, so that they will have good understanding of the ideas and goals of this project and the way it integrates the Jewish and Arab culture and tradition, shows the common in healthy existence and brings the two communities closer together.

The encounter was very successful!

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Nov 6, 2011

Preparatory encounters for the new school year

Preparatory encounters

Four preparatory encounters took place in preparation for the new school year's cooperation:

1. On 15 August 2011 the leading teams of the two schools met. These included the two principals and vice-principals as well as the leading teams of educators from the two schools.
The encounter occurred in the beginning of Ramadan. The History and Islam Teacher Mr. Nader Taha explained the meaning of Ramadan, why do Muslims fast in it and the importance of charity and good deeds.
Then the teachers broke the fast together as they heard the call of the Muezzin.

2. On August 22nd, some 20 educators from the two schools came together in order to plan the joint activities during the coming year.

3&4: On October 13th separate encounters took place in the two schools, with the participation of some 60 students, guided by the schools' counselors.

The students shared what they liked and did not like about the encounters of last year and what they expect from the encounters in the coming year.

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