Peace Camp Canada for Israeli and Palestinian youth age 16-18 years -- -- 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 .
     Meet part of the exceptional staff at .

     After the 2-week camp together, here are two personal responses:

     "Peace Camp Canada is over.  The closing ceremony was yesterday and I want to share with you how it was for me. 

     I met wonderful 20 youth from Palestine and Israel and for two weeks we worked together on drama, and how we can express ourselves and work through conflict with creativity. 

     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 Israel with my background I just felt that this is the right thing for me to do, to be facilitating in drama between those two groups of kids."

                -- Ibrahim Miari

                        Camp Staff, Palestinian-Israeli, professional actor and drama educator

     "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."

                -- Elan Divon

                        Israeli Camp Co-director, graduate student in Comparative Religion, Harvard University:

     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  -- Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly -- on July 13 and 28, 2005 reported on the camp:
     You can see the story and photos:
13 July 2005 -- page 3

Peace Camp Goes Ahead Despita Reports of Conflict Inside Israeli Embassy

24 Aug 2005 -- page 2

Peace Camp

     But 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 Middle East, and the world.
     There are over a dozen other camp programs, and more brave, changing Palestinians and Israelis than you ever imagined.
                -- L&L

'Peace camp' brings Middle East youth together News Staff
August 16, 2005

     As troops dismantle settlements in the Gaza Strip, barriers of hostility are falling down in Ottawa. At the second annual Israeli-Palestinian Peace Camp Canada, youth from both sides of the Middle East conflict are learning about their common humanity.
     "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 Ottawa's Ashbury College. Thirty high school students from Israel and Palestine are meeting to compare their experiences and resolve their differences.
     Campers participate in daily discussions about the Middle East conflict, and learn about each others' religion and beliefs.
     Palestinian camper Bisan Salameh told Canada AM that just seeing the faces of Israelis has been an enlightening experience.
     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.