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Young Woman Hopes to Raise Third Generation at Peace Community

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | September 8th, 2007 | Comments No Comments

The following blog is one of a series of interviews with hopeful, intelligent young adults who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org), an Israeli village of 25 Jewish and 25 Arab families who have lived biculturally — and peacefully, if not always harmoniously — for 30 years. The full interview and podcast may be heard at American Friends of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (oasisofpeace.org).

“In one month I am going to marry!” said a proud and excited 24-year-old Laila Najjar. “I am getting married here in the garden [at Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam].
Laila Najjar
Laila met her future husband at a university in Jerusalem. Although his new job will take the young couple to northern Israel, far from the extraordinary village where Laila was born, she hopes someday to raise her children in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam, “the way I was raised!”

“One [person], I don’t think can change [Israel], but [over] generations, I think we can find another way of thinking and another way of behaving with each other.”

“[Growing up in the Village made me feel] special,” said Laila. “My parents came from the north to live in the Village. My relatives [still live] in the north; it is different for them. They are always asking me how it is to live with Jews. They don’t have any Jewish friends, so they have questions about how we act with each other, how we talk. From the age of five or six, I realized I was living in a different place.”

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