Dear colleagues in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue and
During the week of April 2-5, 2001, an exceptional group of students at the University of the Pacific successfully organized and hosted their first Palestinian-Israeli Awareness Week. Their theme was: "An enemy is one whose story we have not heard."
The invitation to their campus and community affirmed that "college campuses, and religious and non-profit organizations, throughout North America have come together to ensure that essential dialogue remains intact for all people who are affected by this conflict and for those who are interested in learning about this regions dynamic human relations. As the violence continues and a peace process flounders, effective communication of ideas and concerns is more vital than ever."
Their week included documentary film, guest lecturers, and an unprecedented campus Jewish-Palestinian dialogue experience. Photos and more information are on the Web at:
Here is the outline of their week:
Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Peace of Mind, a documentary film created by Israeli and Palestinian youth showing their daily life experiences in their homeland. Preceding the screening, each one in the audience introduced herself or himself. This took time but was of great value.
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Historical Perspectives of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Guest lecturers Scott Segal of the Israeli Consulate, San Francisco, and Dr. Elias Rashmawi, civil engineer and Palestinian educator, Davis, California, presented their interpretations of events and needs in the Middle East. The speakers responded to audience questions submitted in writing on 3x5 cards during their talks.
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
"Palestinians and Jews in Dialogue
A panel presentation by two Palestinian and two Jewish participants from Bay Area Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue groups. Facilitated dialogue with the audience followed. Middle Eastern food was provided. There were educational exhibits about the history of the dialogue groups.
Thursday -- 10:00 a.m. Exhibit -- 6:30 p.m. Closing Ceremony
Palestinian and Israeli letters and photo exhibits on display all day. The evening ceremony concluded the week: Participants introduced themselves and said what they'd learned during the week. Letters from "back home" were read -- two Israeli, two Palestinian. Two wisdom passages were read: Rabbi Kook's "Song of Songs," read by a Muslim, and Ibn al-Arabi's "Love Is My Creed," read by a Jew.
The week was sponsored and supported by Bechtel Center, the Chaplain, Hillel, the Humanities Department, the Muslim Student Association, Open Assembly of the School of International Studies, the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Groups of San Mateo and San Francisco, Residential Life and Housing, and the School of International Studies.
The coordinating team was Dallas Frohib, Nura Khairallah, Sammar Miqbel, Sarah Maia Pooner, Jennifer Ullman, and Randi Kay Stephens. More information is available from Sarah Maia Pooner (Sarah_Maia_Pooner@hotmail.com) or Randi Kay Stephens (RandiKayStephens@hotmail.com).