2008 inherits wealth of 2007 communication,
citizen peace process breakthroughs
Sunday, 30 December
the 11th year of these e-mailed success stories of Jewish-Palestinian and
interfaith relationship building in the Middle East,
Over 500 of these victories of adversaries reaching across borders to each other are preserved at:
2008 must now include a grander CALL FOR QUALITY PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE COMMUNICATION all around Earth.
THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF
Humankind has been, and will continue to be, protected and saved from catastrophe by citizen-based communication.
Governments, big and slow, will not detect problems or solutions, nor respond early enough.
Citizens can and must communicate across all borders -- for survival itself.
You and we will detect and pass on information and stories that matter, to quickly reach a wide circle of humankind.
We citizens will continue to be the first to hear about and pass on early warnings of catastrophes, and leading-edge stories about remedies to medical, social and economic dilemmas.
As with killer diseases like smallpox and polio, early detection and early treatment are imperative.
A global exemplar in
GPHIN is a secure, Internet-based "early warning" system that gathers preliminary reports of public health significance in seven languages on a real-time, 24/7 basis.
SEE the inspiring 26-minute video of physician Larry Brilliant, MD, who describes how mass communication by many citizens eradicated smallpox.
Our future depends on similar networks of e-mailings, blogs and Web sites of you, us, everyone -- observing, communicating, cooperating.
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TO ENTER 2008
We offer the strength of six final 2007 stories of needed cures to eradicate the disease of human separation.
== 1 ==
Sharon, Massachusetts, USA
In September, 2007, high school students of INTERFAITH YOUTH ACTION -- http://ifaction.org -- gathered 400 Muslims, Jews, and Hindus to create "Sharing Sacred Seasons. "
This historic moment celebrated Ramadan, Jewish High Holy Day and Navaratri.
Over 100 Muslims broke fast in a Jewish sukkah, prayed maghib, then joined the larger community for a kosher-hallal south Asian Ifthar.
Three teens spoke about what the holidays meant to them.
The program and menu were planned by the high school students of the Interfaith Youth Leadership Program.
SEE the 1-minute video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn1NFdLoM5k .
It was "incredible," says Interfaith Action's Janet Penn (Janet@ifaction.org ).
== 2 ==
Arava Desert, Israel
In November, 2007, THE SULHITA PROJECT helped 85 youth from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza live together for a week.
SEE their short video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arem0Q00cHQ .
The boys and girls (15-16) from all religions and political backgrounds experienced listening circles, study workshops about each other's culture and political dilemmas, interfaith prayer, cooking, dancing, and making music together.
The desert, its seclusion and beauty, offers a unique environment that helps people connect.
Since 2005, Sulhita gatherings in the
The Sulhita descends from THE SULHA PEACE PROJECT -- http://www.sulha.com/ -- working primarily on the grassroots level.
The Sulha and Sulhita are preparing people for peace "from below" by complementing peacemaking efforts that are undertaken at the governmental and diplomatic level.
This healing and reconciliation of the children of Abraham, Jews and Palestinians, is inspired by the indigenous process of mediation (Sulha) to move beyond a specific political agendas, stereotypes, clich鳬 humiliation and despair which separate the people, and to build a partnership of trust while restoring dignity from heart to heart.
The next Sulhita gathering will take place in Spring, 2008, says initiator Elad Vazana ( Elad@havayati.co.il ).
== 3 ==
Since December 2003, the ALL NATIONS CAFE -- http://allnationscafe.org/ -- continues to innovate projects that allow people from warring nations to meet each other even at the worst of times.
Opening a coffee shop in East Jerusalem opposite al-Aqsa mosque at the height of the al-Aqsa Intifada; touring Jordan and being the first group including Israeli-Jews to perform at one of the biggest Arab Music & Arts Festivals in Jerash; Organizing a one-week Palestinian-Israeli Families Camp during the recent war in Lebanon and in Gaza; these are only few examples.
A safe place is created at Ein Haniya village on the border of
Palestinians come from towns, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank; Israelis come from Jerusalem area, the Galilee and even from settlements; and internationals come from Europe and the Americas.
Diverse women, men, and youth transform indifference and despair to optimism and hope, writes coordinator Dhyan Or ( AllNationsCafe@yahoo.com ).
== 4 ==
Between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
On December 5, 20007, Arab and Jewish children of the NEVE SHALOM ~ WAHAT AL-SALAM (Oasis of Peace) Primary School, together with parents and neighbors, celebrated the Hanukkah, Eid al-Adha and Christmas holidays as a community.
WATCH photos at:
== 5 ==
Silicon Valley, northern
December 16, 2007, the San Jose Mercury News article read:
For region's Muslims and Jews, rapport builds slowly but surely
WITH TENSIONS ABROAD AT FOREFRONT,
GROUPS FOCUS ON SHARED TIES AT HOME
Modeled are a Salaam/Shalom public
presentation series, and successful meetings of students and staffs from Muslim
and Jewish schools.
Evidence grows of continuing movement toward citizen engagement in
It's important to establish a relationship before tackling divisive subjects, for Muslim Maha ElGenaidi ( Maha@ing.org ) of the Islamic Network Group.
== 6 ==
PeacePlayers International -- http://peaceplayersintl.org/ -- brings young Palestinian and Jewish Israeli boys and girls together to learn about basketball and each other.
The Jewish coach is Yoav Shapiro, formerly a vengeful Israeli soldier.
He now encourages the youth and adults to re-examine assumptions about one another.
His Palestinian coaching partner and gifted basketball player, Ghassan Alayan, finds sports a good way to begin learning respect and cooperation.
READ the generous story:
and harmony: How PeacePlayers is changing the
Published by ESPN.com -- 29 September 2007
Ford is an assistant professor of conflict resolution at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
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Let us enter 2008 on the wisdom of an American rabbi and an Iranian intellectual.
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone warns about physical and emotional boundaries we maintain.
"Walls keep us safe, but lonely; highly functioning, yet disconnected The danger of our barriers is a kind of sclerosis of the soul, a deadening of our humanity.
Iranian scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo, speaks recently from the Center for the Study of Developing Societies,
"This is what I think is so important to people of the Middle East....They want to keep their own identity.
"They want to be proud of their past.
"But it's very important to open up to other cultures.
"Democracy is a result of this.
"Democracy is a government of dialogue."