I work for the Compassionate Listening Project. We bring people from North America and Europe to Israel and Palestine and introduce them to people from all sides of the conflict so that we can listen to their life stories. Our next delegation will be from March 23 - April 3, 2011, so if anyone wants to sign up, please let me know!
Why I want peace:
In order to engage in war, you must convince yourself that people from the other side have nothing in common with you. You must dehumanize them. This does violence to you, as well as them. And it never, ever works. Violence is never the answer.
Interests and activities:
Religion, conflict resolution, Eastern thought, languages, philosophy, physics, history.
Last night's "Middle East Peace Builders" monthly event focused on Vets issues by showing the documentary "Voices in Wartime" followed by discussion. "Voices" highlights the role of poetry in enabling Vets and others to "vent" i.e. get out the stuff that is often stuffed deep inside following military service, especially appropriate in dealing with PTSD. On Sept. 28th we will show the NW premier of "Little Town of Bethlehem" which advocates for Nonviolence through the stories of Ahmad Al Azzeh, Jonathan Shapira and Sami Awad. When do you return from your honeymoon? There will be several other showings of "Little Town of Bethlehem" in the Puget Sound region during the month of October, so if I know your schedule I will try to alert you to other showings (some are still being arranged.)
In peace,John Berg
Yes, our Middle East Peace Builders gatherings are held at 7pm on the last Tuesday of each month, hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood. The August 31st event will focus on Veterans issues, showing the film "VOICES IN WARTIME" that was created by Andy Himes and his team who aim to give vets a chance to share their stories as a tool for healing and community building. Our September 28th meeting will feature the NW premier showing of the new documentary "LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM" that advocates for nonviolence via the stories of two Palestinians (Sami Awad and Ahmed Al Azzeh) and an Israeli Jew (Yonathan Shapira) who work to "strengthen communities for the future" (this is the motto of Sami and Ahmed's work at Holy Land Trust based in Bethlehem.) Come join us at our meetings!
A True Story By Faisal Al-kateep
I am a Palestinian Arab from Hizmeh, a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah. When I was 15 years old I fought against the Israeli Occupation in search of freedom. At that time I thought every Jewish person, whether soldier or citizen, man or woman, young or old, should be killed. I rejected the right for any Jew to live and every Jew was a target. I was just a kid, believe me, and I didn’t understand anything about politics or the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was arrested and sat in jail for 12 years. This was during the first intifada from 1987. At that time nobody talked about peace but only of violence. I matured during my time in jail. I started studying and reading books on politics, literature, poetry, and about the Madrid Conference.
It gave me hope to live in peace and dignity. I learned that violence only breeds violence and that peace is the only solution for the two nations, the only way for both to have a respectful and beautiful future. We live on the same land. We are neighbors. We drink the same water and both pray to a monotheistic God. We must live in peace on the basis of religion for God and land for everyone.