School for Peace opens registration for an International Course for facilitators
In July 2010, the School for Peace will organize one of its world-recognized facilitator courses for international professionals. The Course is intended to train facilitators, and those interested in conflict resolution methods, to work with groups in conflict through special working methods developed in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (NSWAS) and the School for Peace based on over 30 years of experience in the field. Register and learn more on our dedicated page.
A Letter to MASA about the Importance of the Village
Thursday 19 September 2013, by C&D Office
September 15, 2013
After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, I knew I needed to experience Israel before moving on to graduate school and the "real world." I applied for Israel Teaching Fellows through MASA and in August, my journey began.
The ten months I spent volunteering in Israel were really incomparable to any other time in my life, even studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I learned so much about myself, my culture, my people and my home. Leaving Israel was definitely the hardest decision I have ever had to make, and I still sometimes wonder if it was the right one...luckily I can always go back.
But during my time in Israel throughout all the weekend seminars, group meetings, and various other learning experiences, I felt like something was missing.
During one of the final seminars, we visited a village called Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam for an hour-long informational speech from a Jewish-Israeli man and a Arab-Palestinian/Israeli woman that lived and worked in this village. As soon as the hour was over, I was yearning for more information and wanted to get involved. I asked Rita, the Palestinian woman that spoke to us if I could come back. She smiled, and gave me her email. She set me up with a family, and after my MASA program was over in June, I came to Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam for two days to stay with them, learn about the village and hear some perspectives we aren’t exposed to in MASA programs.
I cannot even begin to delve into my amazing experience at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam in this short letter, but what I do want to do is make a difference in MASA programs. I think it is of utmost importance that participants on MASA programs stay at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam to learn about the peace-making process, various opinions, and how a community with such a deep conflict can strive to survive within a country that doesn’t necessarily support it, (not to mention the healing power I believe this village has).
I came to the village with my own opinions but with an open mind, and I learned so much. It is so important to give the "others", the "enemy" (as they are often called) a face. It seems such a simple lesson and so inherent, yet we are all just humans, and unfortunately we need to be reminded of this from time to time. The media creates biased images of the "other" and whether we want to or not, we begin hating each other without really knowing why. I know it is hard to believe, but in just two days at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, I was reminded we are all humans, we all deserve respect and to live dignified lives.
I write you this letter to ask you to consider including Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam as a regular part of your programs. If we are to come visit Israel, learn about its culture and its history, then we should also learn about the future and what the possible outcomes are for the country, especially if we are to "live like a local." We have to remember, Jews are not the only inhabitants of Israel and co-existence is vital for a peaceful future. If a village such as Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is able to survive during such intense times, then we are to have at least one thing for the future: hope.
Thank you for your time, Lera Yavich Former Israel Teaching Fellows Participant
Watch Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam on PBS, CNN and affiliated networks!
From September 21st to 27th, as Premiere Week launches on televisions across America and abroad, watch for Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. A video presentation of the "Oasis of Peace" will be airing a numerous networks.
The public television segment, hosted by Hugh Downs, will be distributed starting September 28, 2009 to nearly 200 PBS stations for their programming throughout the coming year.
On Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 10:12 PM Eastern, 9:12 PM Central, 8:12 PM Mountain and 7:12 PM Pacific Time, the movie will be featured on local CNBC affiliate reaching 90+ million households. Watch it now on our website:
Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam featured in Peace X Peace Blog
"Yet there’s one place in Israel where both versions of history are honored: Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam, the Oasis of Peace."
Check out the story about the Oasis of Peace and American Friends' Executive Director words on peace x peace website.
Tweet with Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
Become a follower of the Oasis of Peace at http://twitter.com/wasns
Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam welcomes Representatives from the U.S.
On May 26-27, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam welcomed three representatives from the United States: Brian Baird (D-WA), Donna Edwards (D-MA) and Peter Welch (D-VT). The visit was organized in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza by the New America Foundation; the three elected officials toured the region and met with groups interested in solving the conflict. They spent an evening with residents of the “Oasis of Peace” and visited its binational, bilingual and multicultural primary school. This was a second visit to the village for Congressman Baird, after his trip in 2007.
Dorit Shippin, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Congressman Brian Baird, Ahmad Hijazi and Howard Shippin
Advocates for Peace program reaching an end!
This september, the USAID-funded program is reaching its end. For the last two years, 120 Palestinian and Israeli professionals from three professional sectors -- mental health, engineering and law -- have been trained to work from a human rights perspective that acknowledges the needs of both peoples. Through this newly acquired lens, the participants have helped create opportunities for easing the conflict between the two peoples, and formed a critical mass dedicated to institutional change and reconciliation, and actively promote peace.
Advocates for Change: Israelis and Palestinians in Dialogue and Action, made possible with the generous support of USAID and the American people in cooperation with the School for Peace at NSWAS and Hewar.
January 2009 - Conflict in Gaza
In these very difficult times, the residents of the Oasis of Peace are more unified than ever, this kind of ordeal demonstrates the strength of the community. More than ever, there is a need to make people aware of the existence of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam as it is the direct and concrete response to the war: Palestinians and Israelis can live and work together in peace and mutual respect.
As Evi Guggenheim Shbeta, a village resident, recently stated: “In the midst of this difficult situation we found ourselves here together, Jews and Palestinians, youth and adults, while across the country nothing was heard from the two sides except words of hatred and incitement to war. We were together to refuse this and to prove that it is possible to do things differently.”
While the Primary School at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is still open, and all the children continue to meet everyday, many middle and high schools around closed their doors out of security concerns. Since the beginning of the war, a wide majority of the residents have been participating in peaceful gatherings and demonstrations to call the end of the war.
The Humanitarian Aid Program is currently gathering medical equipment and material, food, and covers for the Palestinian population of Gaza. They are hoping to be able to distribute them through the humanitarian corridors, when they will be ensured.
The Nadi - Youth Club turned its end-of-the-year celebration into an open discussion for the youth and adults of the village about the conflict in Gaza.
Support the village's work for peace by making a donation!
Peace Art from the Oasis of Peace featured in San Francisco
On September 4 to 7, 2008, the “Engaging the Other” Conference featured an Art Exhibit of drawings from the children of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam and of the Tulkarm Refugee Camp in the West Bank.
Last June, twenty-five Palestinians kids from Tulkarm came to the Oasis of Peace and together with twenty-five NSWAS’ kids they spend two days in the village. Part of the program was an art workshop, where – under the supervision of Palestinian and Jewish artists – they draw and painted about 80 pictures on paper and canvas. Approximately 30 paintings were featured during the Art Exhibit in San Francisco.
In addition, NSWAS resident Ahmad Hijazi presented at the Conference on "Intergenerational Inheritance of Trauma: Fueling Future Violence."
Residents of the Oasis of Peace guests of Doug Noll Radio Show
Following their tour in the United States, peacemaker and mediator Doug Noll interviewed Ahmad Hijazi and Noam Shuster on WSRadio.com. Noam and Ahmad shared their personal experience of living together in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, and detailed the history and current programs of the Oasis of Peace (mp3).