A Mother for the Public Peace Process
Mother's Day 2002 reveals a model "mom" for Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls.
Melodye Feldman (BBfPeace@aol.com) in Denver, Colorado has shepherded hundreds of the Middle East youth to the BUILDING BRIDGES FOR PEACE summer camps in the U.S. since the early 1990s. It is on the Web at:
The women, ages 14-18, have come from Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for 21-day intensive communication workshops in the mountains of Colorado. They return home and sustain their relationships as well as they can.
Melodye is devoted to the young women and spends a large part of her life encouraging them and helping them sustain their communication with one another.
Will the present violence and darkness deter Melodye and the young women from doing what must be done -- healing the "big disconnect" and building human relationships? No!
Melodye is determined to convene BUILDING BRIDGES FOR PEACE, as well as continue her work supporting FACE TO FACE/FAITH TO FAITH with the Auburn Theological Seminary which brings together youth from the Middle East as well as other nations in conflict.
Here is today's e-mail from Melodye -- a "mother" to Palestinian and Israeli young women, equally. With nothing less than a mother's love.
From: <Melodye Feldman> BBfPeace@aol.com
Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 12:51:39 EDT
I'm doing well and lots is going on here.
We are preparing for our Face to Face program for this summer in New York.
And when I thought it impossible to have a Building Bridges program this summer, the kids are proving me wrong.
Emails from participants in Jenin, Ramallah, Jerusalem and so forth are begging to have another program.
So, I am seeing what we can do.
I have two people in New York who have offered a "home" they own (more like a mansion) as a place for the girls to be housed while here, as well as helping with finding funders to "adopt" a girl to cover costs.
In times when it seems so dark, I can see what eight years of effort can bring about.
For these participants who have been through our program, it is a little light.
One of the girls in Jenin writes that "every day I am getting more comfortable with the decision I have made, and that is the way of peace. I just need your support."
Today there is a big demonstration in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, and our girls are there in force today. They called this morning before they left Jerusalem.
And, I have been asked to write a book about the program, using the girls voices and explaining the building blocks for building peaceful communities. We have 13 publishers interested in the book.
Anything to get the word out that there is a lot going on to promote peace.
Anything to save the next generation.