The 30th retreat of Israeli-Palestinian interfaith encounter took place on Thursday and Friday, June 10th and 11th, in the charming guest house of the Austrian Hospice, at the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. We are grateful to them for their wonderful hospitality. The retreat was jointly organized by the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Palestinian Peace Club from Yata (south of Hebron). The theme was: marriage.
The retreat did not start on time. Technical difficulties resulted in late receipt by the Palestinian participants of their entry permits to Jerusalem. So we first met each other during dinner. After dinner we squeezed two sessions into one: we briefly introduced the two organizations and the guidelines for our conversation during the retreat. Then we quickly introduced ourselves and heard a short presentation of the Jewish perspective by Ms. Shirel Guez. All this briefness left us nearly an hour and a half for good conversation in small groups – including more detailed self-introduction, sharing by each of us of a marriage story that moved us and a conversation following on the Jewish presentation. Conversation continued long after the session officially ended.
The morning started with the Muslim presentation by Mr. Raed Abu Eid and the Christian presentation by Ms. Raffaela Corrias. Participants then went back to the small groups to continue the conversation, for about an hour and a half, until they broke for coffee and cake.
After the break we gathered together for the closing circle, in which each of us shared a short sentence about what he or she is taking back home from the retreat. We went down for lunch and then fare welled warmly from our new friends.
The Interfaith Encounter Association
P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel
Ms. Evelyne Savir (Chair)
Dr. Shlomo Alon
Ms. Nadia Tutunji-Nuseibeh
Ms. Saheer Siam
Mr. Rizk Azam
Ms. Randa Zreik-Sabag
Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Executive Director
Mr. Salah Alladin, Assistant Director
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