In January 2004, "Breaking the
Ice" was the first, historic Israeli-Palestinian expedition to
Four Palestinians and four Israelis -- two women, six men -- set sail from southern
They conquered a storm and an unnamed, unclimbed mountain.
They raised both people's flags and named the place The Mountain of Israeli-Palestinian Friendship.
See photos and a 3-minute video at http://www.breakingtheice.org/index.php?page=journeys_antarctica .
You will find much, much more by searching the Web at http://google.com .
your calendars now.
In March 2006, "Breaking the Ice" will will embark on a four-week journey from
Call it "melting the ice," if you wish.
Look for ten men and women Christians, Jews and Muslims from
They will come together in mind, body and spirit to cross the
The successful conclusion of the expedition will be celebrated with an event in
A news broadcasting team will accompany the journey and transmit daily coverage to international TV, print media, radio and the Internet.
See more from update to update at http://www.breakingtheice.org/index.php?page=journeys_sahara .
Today Lauren Gelfond Feldinger, gifted Jerusalem Post writer, takes you into the middle of preparations for one of the great dramas of the dearly needed public peace process.
Lauren's March 2004 classic Post coverage -- "Polar Meltdown" -- is preserved at http://traubman.igc.org/messages/374.htm .
Published in the Jerusalem Post --
Tuesday 31 January 2006
On the Web at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1138622510052&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
A New Kind of Desert Storm
by LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER
It is the only training camp of its kind in the
A Palestinian raised in
As headlines ask if the Middle East peace process is once again at loggerheads, the unlikely crew of 10 is learning desert survival and conflict resolution skills at an unnamed location, before heading on a 5,500 kilometer-long desert trek across the Sahara to
The trek-mates hope to serve as an example of what is possible when rivals look past strong political opinions and painful and angry personal histories to help one another survive across unforgiving terrain.
Closely guarding its plans over the last months for security reasons, the team plans to publicly announce the participants and its activities on February 1 in Amman, in advance of the month-long journey, according to the international not-for-profit sponsoring organization, Breaking the Ice.
"For security purposes, we cannot reveal exact dates and locations until one day after the team has been there," spokesperson Alex Stayden told The Jerusalem Post from Amman.
The 10 participants include: Israeli pilot Gil Fogel, a prisoner-of-war in Lebanon from 1982-84, which included six months in solitary confinement; Israeli activist Galit Oren, whose mother was killed in a terrorist attack; West Bank Palestinian Muhammad Azzam Alarjah, who received his Islamic education in Saudi Arabia; Ramallah imam Ishaq Abd El-Jawwa Taha, who preaches across the West Bank and at the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem; a New York City firefighter who lost many friends in 2001's September 11 attacks; a highly decorated retired American military officer, who led investigations on a Muslim group that beheaded Christian teenagers in Indonesia; Iraqi Latif Yahia, who survived several assassination attempts after fleeing his nation and job as the body-double to Saddam Hussein's son Uday, and who later adopted his niece and nephew when their parents were killed during US attacks in Iraq; a Soviet soldier in the Ukrainian Army and expert on modern terrorism; and an Iranian expatriate who lost her best friend during the Iran-Iraq war.
"Islam versus Western ideology is the biggest conflict right now, and its results can be felt all over the world," Stayden said.
The group met each other for the first time in
"There is a lot of emotion," said Hezkel Nathaniel, an Israeli founder of Breaking the Ice, with the group in
Training and humor is apparently helping to keep tensions at bay. During the first argument, Iraqi native Yahia broke out a box of fine cigars, asking everyone to celebrate that they are human beings. At a campfire on Monday night, Israelis taught Sheikh Taha from Ramallah some Hassidic dancing.
Once they all begin the journey, a team of camels will help lead the way, while a zen master and an unnamed UN diplomat will play referee. Many angry debates about
Breaking the Ice brings together peoples in conflict for extreme sports adventures. In 2004, it was launched with eight Israelis and Palestinians braving the elements during an
This year, the elements will also be extreme, including sand storms, severe heat and foraging for food and water in the parched soil. But the landscape will have more historical relevance.
"The participants will confront physical and spiritual terrain that has witnessed conflict throughout the centuries," said a statement from the organization. "Testing themselves against the challenges of their surroundings and their own conflicting relationships, they can only succeed if they rely on and trust one another."
Although they have received positive signals, the group is still awaiting a final okay from Libyan officials for the final leg of their journey.