Peace Camp Canada for Israeli
and Palestinian youth age 16-18 years -- http://www.peacecampcanada.org/ -- was born only last summer, 2004.
It was conceived by a confident, determined 18-year-old high school senior.
She would not be denied her dream, idealism and personal experience that meeting face to face changes people.
This year's co-directors -- both
students -- were Palestinian Dalal Erakat and Israeli Elan Divon.
Read their invitations to other youth at http://www.peacecampcanada.org/word/ .
Meet part of the exceptional staff at http://www.peacecampcanada.org/staff.html .
After the 2-week camp together, here are two personal responses:
wonderful 20 youth from
During the dialogue sessions which I was present I was moved to tears. . . The media covered the camp extensively and the kids were proud and so sweet and spoke so sincerely.
Personally, coming from
"The camp, as you heard from Ibrahim, was absolutely amazing.
We can say with confidence that we succeeded in our mission, only now there is even more work to do since the camp is growing, people want to help and come aboard, and there are many good things planned for the future including various follow up programs in the region."
The news media respected and
extensively covered this student initiative.
The Ottawa Citizen's August 17, 2005 banner read: "Across the Great Divide; Divided Youth all friends now."
Le Droit announced August 11: "Palestinians et Israeliens se cotoient sur la colline parlementaire."
And Embassy Magazine --
You can see the story and photos:
13 July 2005 -- page 3
24 Aug 2005 -- page 2
here is your real proof and inspiration for today.
See, hear and savor the intelligence, courage and maturity of this new breed of youth.
Watch and listen to these youth in three streaming videos from local and national Canadian TV news at:
We conclude with the transcript of one of Canadian TV's several broadcasts.
More of these stories of change await you, the
There are over a dozen other camp programs, and more brave, changing Palestinians and Israelis than you ever imagined.
'Peace camp' brings Middle
East youth together
CTV.ca News Staff
August 16, 2005
As troops dismantle settlements in the Gaza Strip, barriers of hostility are falling down in
"I was raised in an environment which was all the time afraid of Palestinians, and paranoid, and so was I," camper Giora Roukavishnikov told CJOH News.
Roukavishnikov had never met Palestinians before coming to the camp. Now, he is able to recognize a shared experience of violence.
"I understand them. I know how they feel. I pretty much feel they're the same as me," Roukavishnikov said.
The 10-day event is being held at
Campers participate in daily discussions about the
Palestinian camper Bisan Salameh told
She said he has been able to see "the human side of the Israeli not being my enemy, but the Israelis themselves. Having the same hopes, having the same interests."
Aside from participating in dialogues about the conflict, campers also engage in more traditional camp activities, like soccer, volleyball and swimming. Camp directors say the social activities help break down stereotypes.
Elan Divon, one of the camp's directors, is optimistic that the camp will be a success. Like the campers themselves, Divon was born in the region and grew up in the same violent environment.
"Who would have imagined 60 years ago that Jews and Germans could reconcile after the Holocaust," Divon told CJOH News. "Or the Japanese and Americans. I think everything is possible. The bottom line is that you need education to bring peace."
At least one camper can already attest to the camp's ability to bring enemies together.
"I began to cry, because they are my friends now," participant Nidal Salameh said.