The art of listening and dignity

for campus, city, Middle East desert

Sunday, 21 March 2010


"This is the true joy in life the being used for a purpose

recognized by yourself as a mighty one;

the being a force of nature

instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances

complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community,

and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can."

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

     Worldwide, increasing numbers of traditional "adversaries" are crossing old lines and borders to meet face to face.
     We are becoming forces for nature -- the unity of all life, the interconnectedness of people and all creation.
     Citizens insist on engaging and refusing to be "enemies" any longer.
     They are moved by the soul's oldest memory -- union.
     And the soul's deepest longing -- reunion.
     The truth of our unity can be best understood and illustrated in the art of children everywhere on our planet.

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of international youth
everywhere on Earth


Lions International Peace Poster Contest: 2008-2009

4-minute video


     Each year, around the world the Lions International Peace Poster Contest invites local schools and youth groups to encourage young people to artistically express their visions of a world beyond war.
     Children ages 11-13 use charcoal, crayon, pencil and paint to express themselves, including own life experiences and cultures.
     Twenty-four international finalists are selected each year, from the work of more than 350,000 young participants worldwide.
     Posters are shared globally via the Internet, the media and exhibits around the world."
     SEE the inspiring grand prize winners of past years:


Peace Poster Contest

Grand Prize Winners (1988-2010)


     LEARN MORE about the contest at

of youth and adults
in a city
on a campus
in the Negev Desert

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     In Fresno, California, eighty diverse youth and adults engaged in authentic Dialogue with a new quality of listening to learn --
     Face to face, they experienced that "an enemy is one whose story we have not heard."
     This successful, civil public evening can be replicated anywhere on Earth, as a first step to building true community.
     The Facilitator's Guide is at
     VIEW the new video:



29-minute March 2010 how-to, documentary film

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     At the University of California, Berkeley, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, very diverse students, teachers, and staff set a new standard for campus communication --
     Similar to the Fresno, Calif. meeting, they engaged at the beautiful International House auditorium in face-to-face Dialogue to create a communication model to transcend campus polarity.
     CROSSING CULTURAL LINES showed how a new quality of listening to diverse personal narratives can transform relationships from disdain to dignity, blame to empathy, confrontation to cooperation, and give new meaning to "a circle of life" where "an enemy is one whose story we have not hear."



University of California, Berkeley

52 photos - 17 March 2010

    = = 3 = =
     In the Holy Land's Negev~Naqab Dessert beginning Wednesday, 17 March 2010 was the URI-Sulhita Youth Leadership Seminar for young adults --
     Forty-four Palestinians, Israelis, Jews, Arabs, Muslims, one Jordanian, and two Americans gathered in Mizpe Ramon deep in the desert.
     Their longing for union overcame (1) increased Jerusalem tension, (2) West Bank closures, and (3) last-minute cancellation by some participants due to media reports of violence.
     The first day they wrote: "After a very long journey, our bus full of courageous young leaders arrived here yesterday evening full of energy and ready to build meaningful relationships and explore our collective power to transform this conflict and build a brighter future for all."
     "Our first day focused on self-leadership, with powerful listening circles, team-building activities, and creative workshops opening us up to each other's unique personalities, talents, opinions and experiences."
     The following days helped them master group leadership and communal responsibility.  
     These young Jews and Arabs have said loud and clear that they want to build a culture of respect, mutual understanding, justice, and love for all. 
     SEE PHOTOS from the first day, with more to follow:



Negev~Naqab Desert, Israel

Photos - 17 March 2010


     This program is the fruit of cooperation between 8 organizations -- Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian.
     It is sponsored by the United Religions Initiative (URI) -- -- and led by the Sulhita team.
     Three similar gatherings are planned for the the coming year including in Jordan and Palestine.
     READ participant responses:


Palestinian boy, 19 ,West Bank

"I haven't been in Israel for 9 years and was afraid that the bus would leave without me because of the check point at my village's exit.  I was scared about the political situation and at the same time I was scared I wouldn't manage to get to you.  I was very surprised when finally I made it to the bus and saw that the Jewish people were waiting for me there.  I feel that even though the situation is so tense these days, there is a place for my point of view in this circle."


Arab girl, 22, Yaffo

"I love that we speak in both languages.  I know Hebrew, but the fact that I can speak Arabic here gives me the freedom to be what I am and the feeling of being respected."

Jewish Israeli girl, 19, Kiryat Ono

The Sulha is like home for me; it doesn't matter where it is, I immediately feel at home. I come to listen and to learn more about other people.  I connect with people, to know them well, to enjoy, and to make music. 


Arab boy, 19, Sakhnin

"I never met teenagers from Palestine before. Now that I did and listened to them, it gave me a very good feeling and a lot of things I thought have changed.  I can now start to tell to all the people I know that there are some people who are trying to make things better and did not forget. The smile of the soul, everything from the heart, no business or monetary things, we see in their eyes the will. Their desire for "Sulha," reconciliation, surprised me and it is the most amazing thing."

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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at