When we met at the beginning of the
year we didn’t know that , together, we would experience so many things. We
didn’t know we would travel to Peki’in and surprise each other with our
points of view so straightforwardly. We didn’t know it would be
natural for us to continue playing together during the breaks in the
sessions. We didn’t know that we would be friends on Facebook, and that
sometimes we would argue. We didn’t know that there would be some
female participants who would drop out and that there would be people
in our immediate circle who would be against meetings between both sides.
We didn’t know that it would be
possible, in the group, to say what we feel and also what bothers us and we
didn’t know that there would be someone who really listens. We didn’t
know that if we don’t pay attention we could really insult someone and that
there are so many ways to say something. We didn’t know that we are
very much alike but also very different. We didn’t know that we would
get excited, that we would laugh and sometimes cry.
We didn’t know that we didn’t know
enough about the “Nakba”, and that there are two stories.
We didn’t know a small role can be a
huge role. We didn’t know what the story of “Pocahontas” had to
do with us.
We are in dire need of points of
light like these in our world of racism and violence.
Kudos for the initiative and effort.
(This was written following the Israeli boarding of
the Mavi Marmara ship bound for Gaza, which resulted in numerous civilian
casualties and resulted in cancellation of a PCI presentation.)
An important and interesting update (eloquently written
as always)... Just wanted to say that I'll be thinking of these heroes
during what is turning out to be yet another huge challenge for peace
So sad to hear that the students had their chance of
performance taken away from them but am really encouraged by the actions and
motives of those, such as the principal at Bakaa Al-Gharbiya, who are
dedicated to the cause.
All I know is that if the history of PCI has anything
to tell, it's that these young heroes really will find a way. It may be a
bumpy road but I'm sure it will be a fruitful one.
Sending hugs and all the best,
(Consultant for War Child
Kids all around the
world must experience what other cultures and people are about. Having them
in your program or a summer camp program is very important so they can laugh
and mingle without forced hatred of each other by political and religious
Continue in this holy work that you are all doing. It
is important, particularly these days as the hatred and racism grow in the
ranks of the youth.
Israel Ministry of Education:
We are familiar with the Peace Child Israel educational
program that focuses on
an encounterbetween Jewish and Arab children in
theatrical activities, and view it in a positive light.
March 28, 2010
But now the Peace Child
video! It is so very moving seeing all those beautiful kids and seeing the
work that you are doing and seeing that in the midst of all that hell going
on around you and all those stupid ideas being pushed by radical minds, that
YOU take an idea based on love and peace and hope and cooperation and future
and give it and give it and give it even more to the next leaders in this
world. That is what I call being a hero!
I love you and thank you
for being in this world with me. It helps make things a little easier.
Have a great Passover
and....don't ask any questions.
Love Donald [Litaker]
Today Mira [the principal] called all the
kids from the Peace Child group to compliment them about the play ["The Little
Prince"]. I updated her, as did Melisse, that the play was very impressive
and that the kids acted extraordinarily.
During the conversation with them, the
participants all referred to the group process that they had experienced with
the kids from Nazareth and that, in the early stages, they had fears, but that
they have become close friends.
It was a very good conversation in a
pleasant atmosphere. All the children, (and me as well) are still in a
"high" from the generosity and support from Mira and all the teachers. I
wish us all a successful continuation, with renewed energy for Nurit and Raida.
[school liaison, Zvulun/Carmel School]
Lauds Peace Child Israel
- UK charity spokesperson Daniel Burger, ""They
produce original drama, taking these productions around the country, which are
performed in Arabic and Hebrew for both public and student audiences and I was
amazed at how professional these productions were whenever I have seen them.
"But, more importantly. I believe they are making a real and discernible
difference to the way Jews and Arabs feel about each other." Continued at
Lauds Peace Child Israel
State of Israel
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
April 10, 2008
Mr. Munzar Zabnah
Principal of the Orthodox High School
Mr. Eilon Naveh
Principal of Achad Ha’am School
Re: Sima’s Kitchen – a joint production of the students of
I had the pleasure of seeing the performance, a joint
production of the two schools of which you are principals. It was obvious that
the performance was the result of a complex and challenging educational process
which comprises profound thinking coupled with artistic creativity. Your joint
initiative offered your students a meaningful educational activity which
facilitates talking to one anther, getting to know the other, and coping with a
peaceful solution of conflicts. In my opinion, beyond the writing and acting
talents that were manifested in the performance, the very production of a play
in a full bi-lingual setup is a breakthrough which intimates optimism.
Special thanks to the PCI people. Please convey my
appreciation and best wishes to the teachers and supporters, the students who
wrote, produced and presented the play, and the directors, Shadi Facharledin and
Hoping you will continue your good work,
Inspector, Central Region
...I’m proud that we’ve reached the final project, and although it seems to me
that I haven’t made much of a difference – I know I’ve changed quite a lot of
things, because now there are at least 40 Arabs who know that there are good
Jews too, and there are about 30 Jews who know that there are good Arabs too.
Stav Davidman, Meggido
was so important to me because of what it shows. What it is, is it shows that if
you really think you can, no matter how much people put you down and try to rip
you apart because of age or race, you can make a difference.
The show was great and powerful. The twins really made a good an very accurate
statement that helped understanding. My husband as a Palestinian has a lot of
pain about the whole issue and it was healing for him in some ways. The truth
about things the average American and especially Jew don't know was presented
gently and the Jewish perspective was put forth. The panel discussion further
was healing to hear the Israelis say the truth, say they hadn't known, say that
we tend to not know, and to take action when they did know. The courage of the
troupe and role modeling is also very hopeful as they care about each other in
spite of difficulties and make progress with effort but still make it, as do
many of our peace groups and discussion groups.
I recently heard about your organization and was so impressed by the little I
heard I had to go and investigate. I have visited your website and although I
haven't read everything, I am so impressed and touched by the work you are
doing. I am a high school theatre teacher in Orange, California and to see a
group doing work of the scope that you are doing is amazing.
I am in the constant battle with administrators who feel that theatre should not
be "making a statement" in education, with colleagues who feel that there is not
educational value in theatre and with students who think theatre is only for
fun. Your organization illustrates the importance of theatre as an educational
Thank you for the work you are doing and please let me know if there is any way
that I can offer some help from here. As of right now I am planning on designing
a lesson using your organization to illustrate one of reasons why people "do"
theatre. Thank you again and I look forward to watching your efforts through
Rachael Paschal Theatre Educator,
Orange High School, Orange, California
I spoke to my cousin in London about fundraising; you know I want to help the
amuta any way that I can, to stay active. I’m going to help get a Peace Child
group to the congress in Morocco this summer; the organizers remember me as a
PCI delegate in Hawaii in 1999”
- Mr. Essam Daod,
from Kfar Yassif, phone conversation, February 2003. “Class of ’99”,
presently doctoral student at Technion.
used to have long conversations with Yael [Drouyannoff] when I was in the
workshop. I’ve wanted to facilitate a group ever since then”.
- Mr. Tarik Aliani,
from Kfar Nachef, from a conversation at a meeting in Dir Al Assad, November
2002;“Class of ‘96”, presently youth coordinator in Nachef; will
facilitate Peace Child group in September 2003.
most important lesson I learned from Peace Child Israel is that change is always
-Ms Omaima Khalifa, from Sheikh Dinun, quoted in
Jerusalem Post, August 2002; “Class of 2000”, presently preparing for
“I don’t like to
talk about politics. But when you talk about the daily lives of Arabs and Jews,
you learn a lot. I made a Jewish friend called David, and he taught
me a lot about Jewish culture, how people spend their
time, how they live”.
- Muhammad Tribieh,
from Sakhnin, quoted in Jerusalem Post, August 2002; “Class of 2002”,
presently in the 10th grade.
“I didn’t tell Muhammad to join, he
wanted to. But I think it’s right that we ask how we can help each other, and
such programs where you sit together provide an opportunity to slowly, slowly,
raise our consciousness”.
Abud Tribeih, from Sakhnin, father of Muhammad, quoted in Jerusalem Post, August
was very extreme left wing when I joined [Peace Child Israel]. I saw everything
in terms of racism. But I realized that the situation here is complex, nothing
is black and white. [In our play “Alice in the Holy Land”]… Alice wandered
around the Holy Land talking to everyone and listening to every point of view.
She was objective and saw all sides. Alice was taking the path that we all need
- Odelia Ainbinder, from Jerusalem, quoted in
Jerusalem Post, August 2002. “Class of 2000”, presently working as a
group leader in Hashomer Hatzair, prior to army service that begins in October
that seemed clear two years ago are not clear anymore. I was cynical when I
joined, doubting if we’d become friends – our culture and behavior are so
different. But in the end we all laughed at the same things, ate together,
worked together as partners. And you learn so much from just listening to a
wider point of view than what you hear in the news”.-
Inbal Shaked, from Yuvalim in Misgav, quoted in Jerusalem Post, August 2002;“Class
presently in the 10th grade.
despite the pain, the friction, the accusations and the tears, at the end of the
seminar, no bitterness remained between the group participants. It seemed as
thought they had gone through a rebirth by talking about their deepest angers,
fears and pains with the “other”. There was a sense of relief, which liberated
them from those feelings. Now it’s the kids’ turn to have it out.
in an article in Ha’aretz on Friday September 6, 2002, by Orly Halperin,
covering the Peace Child Israel facilitator training seminar in August 2002,
In these days of riots and
uncertainty, we are glad that we participated in the "Peace Child
Israel" program. Our friends are developing hatred for an entire nation
in light of the terrible things which have happened. We can't.
We have friends who are part of that nation. We
know that this nation, is being led to throw stones, also has parts in
it with people who know how to listen and to bond, to understand the
differences and ultimately to love with the love of a true friend.
Due to Peace Child Israel, during these days,
we know that we have good friends in East Jerusalem and if the road to
them is blocked, the path between us isn't blocked.
Tal, Noa and Odelia,
of Peace Child Israel at Givat Gonen and Mt. of Olive High Schools in