Citizen diplomacy and engagement grows,

from Jerusalem to Singapore

Tuesday, 03 August 2010




     "'More person-to-person contact" answered "without hesitation"

Ambassador Dennis Ross, veteran U.S. Department State negotiator,

when asked what he would have done differently over the many years

he worked on the Middle East peace process.

     "Cultural diplomacy is one of the most potent weapons. . . yet its

importance has been consistently downplayed in favor of dramatic

displays of military might," the diplomat reminds all of us."

            Helena K. Finn, senior American diplomat

                        in "The Case for Cultural Diplomacy"

                        November-December 2003

    In the 1960s, we began to see and sing that better thinking and better living would make a better future.
     The Limeliters sang There's A Meetin' Here Tonight.
     Today, we see it was to be a Dialogue meeting -- lots of them, covering Earth.

     "Around this world we've lots of friends we know you'd like to know," the inspiring trio chanted in Proshchai.
     In Summer 2010, the vision of face-to-face meeting is coming to life on every continent among our diverse global community.

= = 1 = =
Israeli, Palestinian High School
Students Meet in MEET
     Palestinian and Israeli high school students are MEETing and getting along well.
    In Jerusalem this summer, 100 Israeli and Palestinian students are learning to communicate with the "other" while mastering basic science and business skills.
     MEET Middle East Education through Technology -- -- was youth-created in 2004 by students who dreamed of inventing a "social start-up" to engage youths from both sides.

     I had to fly over oceans to meet people who lived 10 minutes away from me [in Israel]," said Anat Binur, founder and member of the executive board, who grew up in the Israeli town of Herzliya.
     "We created relationships and a feeling that changed the way I looked at the world and my ability to solve problems.
     "It made it very clear to me that we had to create a generation for whom the reality was very different."

     Fellow board member Abeer Hazboun, a native of Bethlehem in the West Bank, said the aim was not necessarily to make the students best friends, but to teach them to work as partners.
     We wanted to create an alternative model for classical conflict resolution and try to bring students who we believe have the potential to be leaders in the future and invest in them, empower them, educate them, provide them with skills of 21st century, Hazboun said.

    It was a great opportunity in MEET to meet Israelis and see their point of view, said Rawan Abu Lafi, a 16-year-old Palestinian junior from Shuafat, a neighborhood bordering Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah.
     It was a great opportunity to meet Palestinians, chimed in Adam Ochayon, 17, from the Israeli town of Mevaseret and a fellow participant in the program.
     Participants come from both Arab and Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem and the Israeli towns of Beit Shemesh and Mevaseret. Those who live outside of Jerusalem reside in campus dormitories in rooms shared by Israelis and Palestinians.
     In the overnight its a great opportunity to get to know each other, said Ochayon.
     It really gets personal.
     "You sleep in the same room.
     "You cant really tell the difference.
     "It doesnt really matter if you are Israeli or Palestinians.

     The idea is to teach conflict resolution through computer science and business.
     Instructors come from prestigious American technology university MIT, the primary partner of MEET.

     On the first day I walked in and I couldnt tell the difference between the Israelis and Palestinians, but I noticed there were clear-cut groups already and they seemed to be speaking either in Arabic or Hebrew and it was hard to try and figure out how to bring them together, said instructor AnnaPremo.
     But after the first week and they knew each other better and it was easier.
      READ and SEE much more:


Israeli and Palestinian Teens Mix at MEET 

by Felice Friedson & Arieh OSullivan

THE MEDIA LINE: The Middle East News Source -- Thursday, 29 July 2010


VIDEO (3-1/2 min)

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Israelis and Palestinians
Meet for Startup Weekend

     Israelis and Palestinians joined forces for a Startup Weekend, to explore the possibilities of developing new technology businesses together.
     One hundred and fifty entrepreneurs took part in the Jaffa conference held at the Peres Center for Peace.
     Joining a worldwide trend, Israel last week hosted its second annual 'Startup Weekend' - an intense event when young entrepreneurs come together to pitch ideas and develop teams for new high-tech projects.
     What was different about the Israeli event is that it was attended by both Jews and Palestinians who join an international community of 15,000 entrepreneurs in more than 100 cities around the world.
     The July 14 to 16 event was held on the Mediterranean Sea at the new Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa.
     The meeting included 20 Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, out of a group of 150 participants, all in their 20s and early 30s. Watching from the wings were sponsors and angel investors, scouting for the next big thing.
     READ more:


Israelis and Palestinians meet for Startup Weekend  

by Karin Kloosterman

Israel21c -- July 22, 2010 (including photos)

= = 3 = =
Diverse Singapore
Teachers, Students
Meet, Skype-facilitated

     On 28 July 2010, via Skype, diverse teachers and students Singapore were facilitated from California USA thus joining the ever-widening global, communicating family.


Skype-facilitated Singapore School Dialogue


Video (55 mins)

     Service-Learning faculty and students of Republic Polytechnic in Singapore -- -- experienced face-to-face Dialogue with listening-to-learn.
     Sharing personal life narratives, participants experienced that "an enemy is one whose story we have not heard," and that "story is the shortest distance between people."
     Diverse women and men included Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians, and a Taoist and Atheist.
     The communication workshop was facilitated long distance via Skype from California by a participant of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue --
     A step-by-step, how-to facilitator's guide to replicate a similar Dialogue experience is preserved at

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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at