A Middle East Seminar Seen Through the Eyes of Two Palestinian Participants

Givat Haviva, Israel – November 2, 2018

Although we were behind on schedule, the seminar was successful like any other. In this seminar we had older alumni attending from the years of 2014/2015, in addition to newer participants from 2016,2017 and 2018. Seminars in November have always been great and enjoyable to everyone because of the great weather and scenery. This seminar, as always, had dialogue sessions with activities in between which included workshops and a movie.

This seminar included four dialogue sessions. Participants enjoyed dialogues, and as usual the dialogues were intense and inducing emotions. Participants said they consider dialogues a healthy outlet for their frustration and suppression caused by the conflict.

The first workshop they attended was with Zochrot on Nakba. For Jewish Israeli participants they got the chance to widen their knowledge of the Nakba 1948. The representative of Zochrot organization gave a presentation on al-Nakba and the history of the remains of old Arab houses that belonged to Palestinians who lived in the land before 1948, in which the foundations of Israel has been built on.

The Second Workshop was the debate workshop done by Amal Oun. The participants enjoyed this workshop the most because it was the first debate experience for some of them. They were introduced to the basics of debating and they had a chance to practice it through a small debate session.

The movie projected during the seminar was Rain(1949). A movie that the participants thought was different to other movies shown in previous seminars. The movie portrayed people who were affected by the Nakba events from both sides; the Palestinian and the Jewish. The difference that the participants saw in the movie was how less intense and less emotional it was, but alas, they enjoyed the historic stories it presented and the feelings put in by the people.

In conclusion, the seminar was a success. The participants got to see each other again, they got engaging dialogues and they got the chance to participate in workshops that made them think and added knowledge and new skills to them.