"Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place," said Rumi, the Sufi teacher and mystic centuries ago.
     It's found in ONE SONG, a stunning new illustrated book of this Muslim wisdom, and concludes:

"Your bright gaze will kindle this old shadow world to

blaze up once again with the fire of faith."

    "Faith," said another teacher of ours, "is not sitting down on a chair that isn't there."
     So look at the evidence
Jews and Palestinians with their feet on the ground and their eyes on people.

     For your season of light, here are three examples of change and cooperation among Arabs and Jews, revealed in:
                1.  New Film in the making
                2.  New University Thesis just finished
                3.  New Portraits of  youth on the move
     This evidence reminds us about "enemies" who, over time and this very day, have reached out to one another and moved beyond war.

     Let each of us one by one join this growing community of Cultural Creatives.
     Wherever you are, "be the soul of that place."
     Share these stories.  Be like these people. 

"Your bright gaze will kindle this old shadow world to

blaze up once again with the fire of faith."


====   1.  New Film in the making   ====

     The Zeitouna Movie Project is about, and by, the ongoing, successful women's Arab-Jewish Dialogue group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
     They are true to their promise, "refusing to be enemies."
     Zeitouna is authentic and dedicated, and they have skillfully and thoughtfully created their film's trailer and its Web site.
     For holiday inspiration, be sure to view the trailer at http://zeitounamovie.org .
     Already they have modeled what is needed in this precious public peace process excellence in Sustained Dialogue and and in film making to tell their story to the world.

====   2.  New University Thesis just finished   ====

     Scholar Avi Zer-Aviv ( AviZer@yahoo.com ) was born in Tel Aviv and now lives in Toronto, Canada
     In December, 2002, he wrote: 

"My interest in coexistence and dialogue stems from my own personal journey and experience.  Having been brought up with all the typical fears and prejudices around Palestinians and Arabs, it was not until I really listened to the 'other' that I realized how flawed my own perceptions had been.  Since then, I have been very active in coexistence initiatives, and in building bridges between these communities."

     Based on his personal evolution, grounded in authentic human relationships and in initiating landmark Toronto community gatherings of Arabs and Jews, this month Avi completed his university thesis:


Department of Independent Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, June 2005, 64 pages

In Avi's words, this manuscript is "a historical, personal, cultural, and creative journey on Arab-Jewish Relations in Ottoman Palestine over the last 400 years, with a focus on renewing the tradition of cooperative coexistence through analysis and grassroots peace building. There is much original research here, including three case studies and dozens of interviews with Israeli and Palestinian elders."

You can download and read the complete manuscript at http://traubman.igc.org/theses.htm#zer-aviv .

====   3.  New Portraits of  youth on the move   ====

     Nowhere in the world that we know of do Palestinian, Jewish and other young women become more human, more related, more effective agents of change than in the inspired "Building Bridges for Peace" program based in Denver, Colorado.


     Wherever we meet the young women of excellence from BBfP, they are reliably "the soul of that place."
     Read some of their stories -- http://www.s-c-g.org/newsletter/Portraits_of_Change.pdf .
    And be assured that each one's "bright gaze will kindle this old shadow world to blaze up once again with the fire of faith."