Dialogue & Our Stories:
The shortest distance between people, to equality
21 May 2016
"Story sharing is the most democratic activity in the world.
All our personal stories are equally valid.
When you tell your own story, others are best inclined to listen.
If we lose our stories we lose our life, especially our life together."
~ Dana Snyman, South African writer and storyteller
"Dialogue is the container in which pain and anger are honestly expressed.
It is the lens through which we can see beyond the flames, beyond right and wrong,
deep into the sacred space where stories make us human again and explain the source of our pain
and make us see the human being who struggles to cling to hope –
his or her only life jacket in a sea of conflict."
~ Chris Spies, South African facilitator and mediator
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In 2013, two businessmen a Palestinian Muslim and an Israeli Jew created and profited from a solar energy venture that catalyzed citizen movement toward coexistence.
The new business began with sustained face-to-face relationships and growing familiarity that lead to trust and cooperative creativity between the two, courageous individual citizens.
It was all fiction -- a vision on film -- just three years ago reported in The Jerusalem Post -- http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Israeli-Palestinian-TV-to-simultaneously-air-film-about-conflict-327845
Under The Same Sun
Trailer -- 1-1/2 min
and available at
2016 -- in real life, three years later -- Muslims and Jews in the U.S. as part of BUILD ISRAEL
PALESTINE -- http://www.bipnow.org -- are
constructing solar electric panels to solve farming problems of water
availability and of unreliable, expensive electricity.
They say: "We are Muslims, Christians, and Jews. We build together."
Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims are on the technical team in this first project.
Helping people on the ground in Israel and Palestine through cross-border water projects, they intend to partner with locals in Israel and Palestine insisting that "both sides must work together as partners, creating trust. . .Working on our common challenges leads us to focus on our common humanity."
Solar Project Pairs Muslims and Jews to Aid West Bank Farmers
The New York Times -- 14 May 2016
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Dialogue While Traveling
Closes Distances in the Holy Land
March 2016, the Mass-Massar Journey 2016 enabled thirty Muslim, Jewish, and Christian teens to travel together to meet residents of Holy Land towns and villages that practice living in harmony even in times of violent conflict.
The students also experienced their own diverse narratives and separate yet overlapping identities and cultures, seeing that change and coexistence is possible.
This Massa-Masar-Journey program was founded through collaboration between:
1. Pluralistic Spiritual Community Center of Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom
2. Open House, located in the Jewish-Arab mixed town of Ramle
3. Christian Orthodox School, Ramle
4. Terra Santa School, Ramle
5. Givat Brenner High School, Givat Brenner Kibbutz
For many of
these students joining the Journey was the first time they would be able to interact
with the Other," particularly for those of the Jewish Givat Brenner High School.
A 16-year-old Arab student: I was a little afraid that someone [Jewish] would insult me.
Ive heard other voices that I had not heard before, and I didnt know that Jewish people want to live together, too.
A 16-year-old Jewish student: With our reality, we didnt think that we would have a connection with the other side.
But, our reality is covering the truth. I believe that there is no such thing as all people being bad, and that there is no difference between Arabs and Jews.
See PHOTOS and more STORIES:
Massa - Massar - "The Journey"
Arab and Jewish youth exploring each other's cultures
who can't yet meet or travel together, visionary educators are helping them express their shared
common dreams -- to be known to one another.
The Jews and Palestinians/Arabs youth in Israel, and students living in the Palestinian Territories, all share an uncertain future.
They face seemingly insurmountable challenges each day of their lives.
However, regardless of geographical location, religion, politics, or personal trauma, they all share one thing in common.
They have big dreams for the future.
And they are making themselves -- their lives and dreams -- known to one another through writing.
Thanks to their truly-adult teacher-editors -- Sami Adwan, Robert Vogel, and Samar Aldinah.
WRITING MATTERS: Empowering Voices of Israeli and Palestinian Teens
Cultural Narrative Building through Writing
May 2016 - Hadassa Word Press - 156 pages
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Dialogue While Traveling
with Muslim and Jewish Woman
In January 2016, Jewish and Muslim women of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom traveled together on their first Building Bridges Journey -- http://sosspeace.org/what-we-do/peace-mission-trips/transformative-journey-to-the-balkans/
In Bosnia and Albania they experienced two different extremes of faith groups living along side one another.
In Bosnia, there had been no living together, only genocide -- the killing of Muslims because of their faith.
The scars of this horror were evident everywhere on the faces of the people, in the crumbling buildings, and in row after row of graves.
In Albania, a predominantly Muslim country, diversity was and still is celebrated.
The Albananians made a commitment, a promise, to protect all Jews during WWII.
Albania was the only country in Europe where the number of Jews increased during WWII.
Not one Jew was turned over to the Nazis.
The women traveled to Bosnia to learn firsthand about the horrors of hate.
They traveled on to thank the Albanians for their response to hate -- protecting one another.
The Building Bridges travelers heard diverse narratives, prayed together, and forged new friendships.
These Jewish and Muslim women returned to their homes refusing to be bystanders, and dedicated to model coexistence and to create a new film to encourage others.
Building Bridges Journey
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Relationship and Equality:
The Outcome of Dialogue
Why does Holy Land alienation go on and on and on?
Why do we keep parroting the same words, calling ourselves the Israeli-Palestinian "conflict"?
"From childhood, we learn prejudiced information," says Yehuda Stolov, founder of the Jerusalem-based Interfaith Encounter Association -- http://interfaith-encounter.org
He clarifies that "walls" and separation make conditions worse -- disengagement increases ignorance of one another exaggerated fear.
Our easiest -- only -- choice is to "get our of your easy chair and work on the relationship" by meeting together.
If you only rant against politicians and "wait for governments, you may wait a long, long time"
RELATIONSHIPS: The Easy Way to Peace in the Holy Land
TedTalk -- Dr. Yehuda Stolov
what makes us safe, not weapons.
Relationship is the master organizing principle of the cosmos.
The entire universe is based on Relationship.
Let's use the power, beauty, elegance, and reliability of Relationship to build a safer, sustainable life together
RELATIONSHIPS: Alternative to war