Reconciliation is an obvious need in Israel and Palestine – one of the longest current conflicts in the world. But how does it affect European countries or the USA? Why should anyone else in the world pay attention to our conflict?
In countries around the world conflict is between communities, not state actors. As Musalaha has developed its reconciliation model and curriculum, by finding what works and doesn’t work, this curriculum has now been applied successfully in many other parts of the world. For this reason, more and more groups are now coming to train and learn about our approach to reconciliation. (If you’re interested to learn more about our approach, please email us). As a result, we now have a new project of young leaders in collaboration with our partner in Denmark. This will include Danish young leaders coming to the country and Palestinian Muslim and Christian young leaders going there for an exchange. The following is a brief story from two of the Danish people who came to be exposed to the situation in Israel-Palestine and our reconciliation model.
From 20-23 February 2020, three members of the Danish Steering Committee (SC) visited Bethlehem. This was the first project visit out of three from the Danish side.
We met Ronza and Emili, two of the Musalaha employees connected to the project, and four members of the Palestinian Core Comittee (CC), who are gathering, leading and running the local Youth Group, which the project is all about.
For us in the SC, it was a couple of very interesting, intense and fruitful days in the land. We met a lot of ambition, energy and drive for the project and concept of reconciliation. It was clear to us that the CC members and Musalaha staff truly believe in the thoughts and goals of the project, and overall the project seems very clearly thought through. At the same time, we felt a lot of excitement about our participation in the project and the possibilities for the cooperation between the two Committees.
We feel that we can contribute with different aspects to the project, and are looking forward to the process leading up to the volunteer workshop in May this year.
Regarding the program, the Musalaha staff did a great job preparing a relevant program with a geo-political tour for us of Bethlehem to help understand the context the project is set in, a half-day training workshop with the Musalaha director to better understand the work of reconciliation, and of course a day of brainstorming, relationship building and project coordinating between the CC, SC and Musalaha staff. We participated in picking the criteria for choosing the Youth Group, discussed expectations and dreams for the project, looked at the project timeline for 2020, and talked about the means of communication between the different committees and Musalaha.
Overall it was a very productive, insightful and relevant first project visit. The project is still very much in its starting phase and we look forward to the Youth Group gathering, and for the project to launch soon.
Mathias and Nadia, the Danish Steering Committee
Joakim, International Coordinator in IU
Mathias and Nadia are two of the young adults from our new Musalaha leadership project. During the two-year program we are bringing together both Danish and Muslim and Christian Palestinian young leaders to equip them to lead change through advocacy, education and volunteerism.