Meet our middle east alumni who will be speaking at the benefit
Join us to learn about how Hands of Peace has impacted the trajectory of their lives and the impact they have on their communities!
Zinat Kabbani, a 2009 Hands of Peace participant, believes that Hands of Peace was a starting point for the last 10 years of her life, and taught her how to connect with others in a place of conflict and crisis. Hands of Peace helped her learn how to “connect with the people around me without cancelling anyone’s identity – mine or the other” and she continues to use this knowledge as she pursues a career in Internal Medicine.
After her Hands of Peace summer, Zinat participated in another similar program called “Building Bridges for Peace” where they focused on issues relating to political conflicts, the conflict of the Native Americans in the USA, and social issues such as homosexuality, poverty, education, equality and identity.
During medical school, she worked with the Perach Tutorial project, a project that is made for university students, where she tutored kids/school students/ or other university students in special programs, focusing her attention on working with the children of women in the Shelter of Women in Crisis. She currently volunteers with Qawarib: a Palestinian youth group that helps families in crisis in the West Bank.
In 2018 Zinat was awarded the Hands of Peace Rooftop Consciousness Award, an award that recognizes an outstanding alum who exemplifies a higher level of thinking about “the other” and who demonstrates this level of consciousness in his/her daily life.
A 2011 Hands of Peace participant, Noam Preminger was always very involved in politics and curious about the conflict. Even though he was raised in a part of Israel that is 50% Arab, he didn't know any Palestinians. During high school he was involved in two programs that helped influence this curiosity. One was a Jewish/Arab mixed robotics team that competed together, and the second was raising awareness to the broader community about the municipality elections.
After high school, he chose to not go directly to the army but to do a gap year that focused on informal studies and community work. During that time, he volunteered weekly with an organization that brings together Arab and Jewish schools for meetings. But, in October of 2015, amid escalating violence in Israel/Palestine, Noam noticed a disturbing photo posted on Facebook by an IDF soldier, and launched a campaign that inspired thousands of Israelis and Palestinians to take a stand.
He did his military service as a soldier and commander on a military ship. There, he made it his mission to help educate the crew based on different ideas and values that focused on getting to know Israeli society and its’ conflicts.
Noam recently moved to Tel Aviv-Yafo and is still deciding what path he will take. He is considering pursuing a career studying the philosophy and the economics of the conflict. Noam is currently participating in a debut program for older Hands of Peace alumni, that is a joint partnership between EcoPeace and Hands of Peace, exploring the interdependent regional nature of environmental resources and providing tools to advance solutions as agents of change for regional cooperation.
In 2017 Noam was awarded the Hands of Peace Rooftop Consciousness Award, an award that recognizes an outstanding alum who exemplifies a higher level of thinking about “the other” and who demonstrates this level of consciousness in his/her daily life.