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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

Archive for the Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org) Category

Jewish Teacher Wants to Help Arab Students

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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).

“I’m sure there are people in Israel who have never spoken to an Arab,” said 19-year-old Neriya Mark. “Just having this experience [of being educated in the Village] is very important.”
Neriya Mark
Although tentative about her English and Arabic, Neriya is a confident young Jewish woman intent on making a difference for her Arab students. In lieu of serving in the Israeli Army, she is volunteering in a private Jewish school in Jaffa whose student body is about one-fifth Arab.

“It’s really terrible to see how the Arab kids and the Jewish kids try to fit themselves into a Jewish school,” said Neriya. (more…)

Nursery School Teacher Takes a “Small Step” to Help the World

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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).

“I think the children who grow up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam, they have the perfect childhood. It’s like in the movies. You have all these green trees and you play everywhere and it’s safe. Dogs and cats and butterflies,” gushed an enthusiastic Natalie Boulos.
Natalie Boulos
“One year, I went to a Jewish school and I had a very difficult time,” continued the 18-year-old Christian Palestinian, about her first year of public school following Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam’s bilingual, bicultural primary school.

“I didn’t have friends at all and it was because I am Arab. This was a real shock to me. (more…)

Jewish Conscientious Objector Translates for Palestinian Prisoners

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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).

“I think that every person in Israel experiences the conflict in his own way,” says Naomi Mark, a poised, articulate 21-year-old who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam. “I think what Neve Shalom does is make it natural for people to live together.”
Naomi Mark
Naomi’s Jewish parents are founding members of the Village. “I don’t like to feel like I grew up differently than my friends who grew up in Tel Aviv,” continues the bright young woman. “I just had a different experience. Only now, when I look backwards, it feels different. But, while growing up, I felt like any other kid. I think that’s the significance of the Village. Just making it work from the roots and making it really natural and true and real.” (more…)

Young Woman Hopes to Raise Third Generation at Peace Community

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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!” (more…)

“We Have to Open Our Minds!”

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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).

“The people who live here like their children to be very open-minded,” stated a forceful Adi Frish, 24, who still lives in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam. “You grow up without prejudice. This is the best start for life.”
Adi Frish
After attending the Village’s Primary School and a local Jewish high school, Adi works in Jerusalem for the national Ministry of Education, the government body that recently stated Jews and Arabs should not be taught together. (more…)

NSWAS Graduate Creates Summer Camp for Palestinian Refugee Children

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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).

“I think it’s an achievement,” said an adamant Ranin Boulos, 22, of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam’s accommodation of schoolchildren from outside the Village. “When I started going to the school, it was a very small school [of] only the children from the Village. [There were] only 10 kids. We used to sit in the same class studying different books. Slowly, the school grew up. When you see people from outside the Village sending their kids to a school that is not in their area, it means the message of the school is really working. People want their kids to get the kind of education our school provides.
Ranin Boulos
“The kids who get this kind of education tend to be really strong people who can make a change. I do believe that change comes from individuals. So encouraging this kind of change and making it happen, is basically helping a generation make a change!” (more…)

“I Learned How Important My Role as an Ambassador Is”

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | 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).

“Growing up [in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam], I feel like there is so much to do and I feel that my voice has to be heard. People have to see that there is an alternative,” said Noam Shuster, an earnest, intense woman who hopes to run for political office someday. “We need more of a feminine voice in politics.”

“But the thing is,” continued Noam, “in Israel all the people who get to high positions in politics are people who got to high positions in the Army. This is one thing we need to change. We need people who [studied] philosophy, more human things, less generals and less ex-Army.”
Noam Shuster
“Israel is a Jewish country, and I think that [making] rules for only Jewish people and increasing the racism is not helping anyone. As a Jew, I would be more proud if [Israel] had more justice, were more liberal and was a country for all its citizens. I think a lot of people want that. I think most people want peace.”

Noam is a conscientious objector, refusing the mandatory military service required of all Jewish 18-year-olds. (more…)

Digging Deep into the Power of Language

March 20th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

I used to think of language as a unifying force until I traveled to what was then Czechoslovakia with my friend Yara, who is from the Slovak city of Bratislava. While checking into our hotel in Prague (which now is in the Czech Republic), she got into a heated discussion with the desk clerk.

Although she wasn’t in her native region, Yara refused to speak Czech, and the desk clerk refused to honor her guest by speaking Slovak. Both women grew up learning both languages, but it seems the language one chooses – or refuses – to speak can reflect a power struggle.

I, or course, couldn’t tell the difference: It was all Greek to me. classroom.jpg
(more…)

The 50-Family Fishbowl

March 20th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 2 Comments »

How do 50 families live and work together so closely without driving each other crazy? Especially when every other family comes from a culture and background that society tells you to hate?

It’s one thing to argue over the town’s budget; it’s quite another to tell each other how to handle the worst tragedy a family can endure.

Ten years ago, Tom Kitain was killed in a helicopter accident en route to Lebanon while serving his mandatory duty in the Israeli Army, one month shy of his 21st birthday.
tom.jpg
This intimate community was devastated, grieving together through its initial shock. Tom was raised in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam’s “oasis of peace.” But, he died participating in the violent conflict these families were protesting.

“There is nothing worse than losing a child,” my mother says. (more…)

Signs of the (Wrong) Time

March 18th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 3 Comments »

I joined the Jewish college students on a tour through 3 Palestinian villages the Israeli Army invaded and destroyed in 1967. More than 7,000 Palestinians fled Amuas, Beit Nuba and Yallu as Israeli soldiers burned each community to the ground. The land is now a popular, forested park with cheery picnic spots and archaeological ruins dating back to the Byzantine period. Signs throughout Canada Park describe the Byzantine ruins – but not the recent history of displaced Palestinians.sign
Eitan Bornstein, director of the group Zochrot, told us of the epic legal effort to place signs explaining the park’s more recent history. After a year-long struggle that went all the way to the Supreme Court, signs with sketchy information were finally erected. Within weeks, they were vandalized and, now, more than a year later, they have still not been replaced.
(more…)

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