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Jan 26, 2018

Poetry to Heal a Split Society

Hadassah opens
Hadassah opens

Nearly thirty people came on an early summer evening to this very special event of public poem reading and dialogue, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, jointly organized by Jerusalem YMCA and the Interfaith Encounter Association.

The event was the realization of a two-year vision of Hadassa – a poet herself and a very long-term participant in IEA groups. It opened with a welcome and introduction by Hadassah and an opening poem “Nowhere to Stand/Or?”, written by Hadassah, read in the three languages.

The reading part of the event included ten carefully selected poem from the anthology "Before There is Nowhere to Stand" of Israeli and Palestinian poets who respond to the conflict. The poems were divided into three parts: what unites us, what divides us and to what we aspire. Each of the poems was read in English, Arabic and Hebrew and after each part there was a pause and time was given to participants to write down their impressions and thoughts.

Finally participants divided into small groups where they shared their reflections and connected.

Hadassah
Hadassah
Reading poetry
Reading poetry
Small groups conversations
Small groups conversations

Links:

Jan 8, 2018

New group!

Playing together
Playing together

A new group is now being developed. The idea came from Yuval, a Jewish musician from Jerusalem, and Marwan, a Muslim musician from Abu Dis.

Yuval and Marwan know each other for a long time and have played together in the past. As they came to know about the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA), they wanted to create an opportunity for more people - Jews, Muslims and Christians - to play and perform together. the intention is to aim for young audience, who will not be passively listening to the music but be inspired to meet new people and hold conversations while the music is being played.

We are now working to recruit participants for the group as well as appropriate spaces that will host rehearsals and performances.

Links:

Dec 11, 2017

Model UN Interfaith Encounter - 5 encounters

Some of the students
Some of the students

9.6.17

Our summer continued with more diplomatic visits.

 

On Friday June 9th, we brought a small group to the Embassy of Taiwan to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, and Taiwan's own history of reconciliation with China.

 

 

7.7.17

On Friday July 7th, we held a follow-up session with Yoni Eshpar from UNSCO, hosted once again at the American Embassy. Another 20 students joined, and following the discussion and Q&A with Yoni, and some words from US Embassy representatives, the students split into 2 groups to discuss what a post-agreement Palestinian state might look like, and how to address inequalities within Israeli society.

 

 

14.7.17

On Friday July 14th, a group of students was hosted at the Embassy of Cyprus, and spent two hours meeting with H.E. Ambassador Thessalia-Salina Shambos. We presented the ambassador with a bouquet of flowers in congratulations of her recently being named "Ambassador of the Year" by Israel's Ambassadors' Club, and spent two hours discussing the occupation of Cyprus and conflicts with Turkey and within Cyprus, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian context, and the role of religion. The Embassy gave all of the students a gift of a special book published on Islamic heritage sites in Cyprus.

 

 

21 & 28.7.17

Finally, to close off the summer with a bang, 20 fantastic students, from Daburiya and Sakhnin down to Gedera and Gan Yavne, all met at the Charney Resolution Center in Kfar Hayarok youth village for 2 consecutive fridays, July 21 and 28, to participate in an "Israeli-Palestinian Congress" with the Minds of Peace program. The first Friday the group met with Palestinian peers from Nablus and Jerusalem, and spent 5 hours on icebreakers and confidence-building negotiations. Because of tensions over the Haram al-Sharif (AlAqsa-Temple Mount area) situation, the second friday only a small number of Palestinian students from east Jerusalem came. We went ahead with our negotiations anyways, with some of our (Israeli) Palestinian students negotiating the Palestinian side, at times joined by Jewish students who were role playing. After another 5 hours of negotiations, we had two signed negotiations, and all of the students received special certificates. What was particularly interesting was that unlike most of the Israeli-Palestinian Congresses, we brought both Jewish and Muslim students from Israel, which made our group more representative, and added to our ability to build linguistic and cultural bridges. At the end of the program, 6 students: Zohar, Marsel; Fiona; Omri; Yafa, and Aviv, were announced as students chosen to travel to the European Parliament in October to present our program there.

Links:

 
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