72 PHOTOS                         GRAPHPICS about Change
STORY -- Dreamers and Believers: Changing Reality

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The Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Groups of San Mateo & San Francisco
and co-sponsor Shinnyo-en Foundation

invite Bay Area adults and youth
to meet four Middle East citizens who refuse to be enemies

Changing Lives in the Holy Land:
Stories of loss, vision, and hope

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Wednesday evening, May 27, 2009
7:00  -  Exhibits & Refreshments
7:30 sharp-9:30  -  Palestinian & Israeli stories

The Commons of St. Ignatius High School, San Francisco


Mohammed Fayyad
Khan Younes, Gaza
Palestine

Ilana Meallem
Jerusalem
Israel

Huda Abu Arquob
Hebron, West Bank
Palestine

Elad Vazana
Nataf
Israel

Reservations
Libby Traubman - LTraubman@earthlink.net or (650) 574-8303 or (650) 200-8913
Nahida Salem - SettyNahida@gmail.com or (650) 921-3225


Directions
St. Ignatius is at 2001 37th Avenue at Quintara.
The Commons will be well marked 80 yards right of the flagpole.


From 19th Av. North: Right onto Ulloa -- Left onto 18th Av. - Left onto Taraval - Right onto 37th Av.
From 19th Av. South: Right onto Quintara -- Continue a mile to dead-end at school on 37th Av.

Detailed directions on the S.I. Web site


More about our guests

Mohammed Issa Abufayyad is a devout Muslim from Khan Younes, Palestine. As a young teen in the "Seed Peace" program, he traveled into Israel with other Palestinian youth to build relationships with Jewish peers. Later Mohammed was part of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Gaza Branch, helping families in the Second Intifada who lost homes and other life needs. At that time, he was also a medical rescuer with his family's Fayyad Clinic Center, carrying to the hospital severely war-injured children and adults, inspiring him to become a physician to his people. Graduating high school with the highest grades in southeast Gaza, with a full Yasser Arafat PLO scholarship in 2004-2006 Mohammed studied medicine at Cairo University and Sixth of October University, Egypt. In late 2006 he came to California for pre-medical studies in Physiology at San Francisco State University. A strong participant in the 2007 Palestinian-Jewish Peacemakers Camp, Mohammed sustains his dedication to ongoing Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue. Since age 13, eight of Mohammed's cousins have been killed in war - five in the past year. Yet he holds to his vision of expanding human engagement leading to the end of violence and beginning of a true Middle East community.

Ilana Meallem is Jewish - a dual citizen of both Israel and the UK. After serving in the Israeli Air Force, she became a scholar and builder of relationships among Jews and Arabs at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel. Now in leadership, she travels worldwide as a powerful global spokesperson for human engagement to end war and demonstrate sustainable living on Earth. Even during violent times, Ilana is known for gathering Middle East youth-leaders from across borders to gather near her home by the Dead Sea to seek an Earth-based eco-spirituality together. When all the planet must heal if any nation is to survive, Ilana is shepherding Spirituality Without Borders - citizens of diverse faiths from Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and beyond meeting face-to-face, building relationships, becoming creative. Ilana speaks English, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Huda Abu Arquob is a Muslim Palestinian from the West Bank city of Hebron, where her family has lived for centuries. Growing up under military occupation, Huda witnessed countless acts of violence, including assassinations, shootings of family members, invasions into her home, jailing of her father and uncle, assaults on her school, and daily humiliation. Despite these challenges, she was raised valuing human life of her own people and all others. Huda helped bring up her eleven siblings while earning a B.A. in Education and English Literature with a Palestinian Authority scholarship for teachers. She then became a Fulbright Scholar, earning an M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University. Huda successfully worked in numerous NGOs dedicated to high ethics of human rights and social justice. Since 2007 she has been Co-Executive Director of Abraham's Vision, working within and between the Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, and Palestinian communities to transform students' understanding of themselves, the "other," and their world. A model to both youth and adults of exemplary communication, Huda embodies the principles and courage our world needs.

Elad Vazana is a Jewish Israeli who served in the Israel Defense Force. He has birthed many independent initiatives and managed projects for (1) Youth Leading Change, (2) Sulha Peace Project uniting thousands of Arabs and Jews, (3) Gevim North - Mediaton Center, and (4) Makom Balev, a shelter for at-risk youth. Most recently, Elad has gathered youth from Palestine and Israel for Sulhita one-week desert journeys to build relationships and learn to identify with all humankind and Earth. He was a strong force in the 2007 Palestinian-Jewish Family Peacemakers Camp and in the 2009 citizen initiative to send needed supplies across the Gaza border to citizens in need following war. He speaks Hebrew, English, Spanish, and some Arabic and Portuguese. He defines himself as "a man with a calling...an initiator, a creator."


72 PHOTOS                         GRAPHPICS about Change
STORY -- Dreamers and Believers: Changing Reality