Dear Colleagues in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue and relationship-building,

     Despite Middle East violence that cannot and will not work, some Arab and Jewish youth refuse to abandon each other.
     The young women and men find each other and provide one other with empathy, backing and strength.
     With adult support, they escape the harsh reality of killing and immaturity, to a world of the never-ending search for partners for joint activity. 
     Two examples are:
          1. CROSSING BORDERS, the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Youth Magazine
          2. The Centre for Creativity in Education and Cultural Heritage     
     We thought you'd want to know.  And we hope you will build your own bridges wherever you live.  After all, it is The Citizen's Century.
                   -- L&L
1. CROSSING BORDERS, the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Youth Magazine

     The January-February 2002 issue of the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian youth magazine, CROSSING BORDERS, in English, was released this week.  You can see more about it at:

     Copies of CROSSING BORDERS are available upon request from Shimon Malka (, with the Jewish Israeli partner in the project, the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva, on the Web at:

     The Palestinian coordinator for CROSSING BORDERS in Beit Jala is Samia Araj ( OR
     The young women and men meet in a bi-monthly workshop to discuss the issues which interest their age group: culture, education, music, science, hobbies and of course, politics and current events. 
     Together they create a magazine in English through which they express their feelings, their desires, their fears, their hopes, and anything that comes to mind.       They express the ambitions of their age group and discuss the alternative reality they would like to see and help create in the region. 
     The magazine is printed in 30,000 copies and distributed in high schools throughout Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. 
     The participants in the workshops express mixed feelings -- from anger, fear and helplessness, to hope, faith and mutual strength. 
     They believe that through this project and similar projects they can contribute to the creation of a different atmosphere which will assist in breaking the cycle of alienation, hatred and violence. 
     These young Jews and Arabs are a living example of dialogue, openness, dedication and a wide-ranging, pragmatic and to-the-point outlook. 

Questions may also be directed to:
Mohammad Darawshe, Spokesperson
The Jewish-Arab Center for Peace
Givat Haviva,
Tel: 972-(0)4-6309266
Fax: 972-(0)4-6309305
Mobile: 972-(0)64-475437

2. The Centre for Creativity in Education and Cultural Heritage 

     Simon Lichman ( and Rivanna Miller, husband and wife in Israel, work with Palestinian and Jewish youth about discovering and sharing cultures.  The children's parents and other elders participate and contribute heavily with traditions from their heritages.  Below, Simon describes this exemplary, intergenerational education and community-building:
     "The situation in the country right now is as difficult as it must seem to you from afar.  Every morning the country wakes up to bad news which is compounded throughout the course of the day.  In our work, we struggle with the atmosphere of despondency and fear that surrounds and the need to proceed with delicacy and tact in both the Jewish and Arab communities, being careful to take into account a myriad of perspectives. 
     "In contrast to the news, last week for example, we held a meeting between one pair of the 5th Grade classes with whom we work.  25 Moslem children, accompanied by their teacher and 6 parents (five mothers and a father) spent the morning in a Jewish school in the centre of Jerusalem with 25 Jewish children, a grandmother, 4 mothers and a father.  The Arab visitors were obviously nervous to come to the centre of the city since there have been so many suicide bombings in recent weeks.
     "As planned in the programme, the parents and grandparent (in mixed groups) showed small mixed groups of children how to play various outdoor games according to the traditions of their own childhoods.  While the structure of the day is carefully planned, we can never be sure what the actual atmosphere will be like. 
     "The Jewish class had prepared a wonderful reception for their guests who, for their part, had come determined not to allow the overall mood in the country to affect their anticipation of fun and meaningful contact.  It is customary for the visiting school to bring a gift.  On this occasion the visitors brought a sapling which all the children helped to plant in the school yard.  The teacher explained that they had brought something that would grow as has the relationship between their two communities.
     "To see yet one more group of people meeting each other, with the expectation of finding friendship, is what keeps us all going in these terrible times.  The natural curiosity of children and their ability to enter into play inspires the adults with a renewed faith in humanity, even if it is on the level of this specific pair of classes meeting each other in the context of this one project. 
     "While the children talked about how much they enjoyed getting to know each other in the concluding feedback session, the parents talked about how watching adults from the 'other' community play with their children and watching the children beginning to form relationships, gave them a sense of hope that hitherto had been missing from their lives."