"This was the most important and special experience for me in all the work I have done in the PCFF. I learned so much about the history of the other side, and it gave me an opportunity to see their humanity. I watched these Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians and Internationals go through a transformation, at first they would not even allow us to take their pictures, but after two days almost all of them were willing to be photographed together."
Aisha Khatib, Nablus, who lost her brother in the conflict.This program also includes the establishment
Combatants for Peace. Photographer: Uti Leshem
After a very successful pilot designed for our members, we decided to apply together with our academic advisors (Georgetown University, Washington, DC) for funds for the project from USAID and fortunately it was granted.
Building on the PCFF members' experience in conducting reconciliation work through the use of personal narratives, the program aims at building trust, empathy and mutual understanding between Palestinians and Israelis through the parallel narrative experience. The program provides an avenue for Israelis and Palestinians to understand the national and individual narrative of the other. The method of this project offers an opportunity for hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis to express themselves by telling their stories, demonstrating the most difficult consequences of the conflict. This dialogue is created, as a cornerstone towards reconciliation and conflict mitigation.
We have identified 12 different groups to participate in this program.
The following groups are currently participated in the narrative experience during 2010:
* Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian students from the Arava Institute * Israeli students from Sapir College in Sderot and Tel-Hai College in the north of Israel together with Palestinian students from Alquds Open University in Hebron and The Arab American University in Jenin.* Israeli and Palestinian grandmothers * Palestinian and Israeli young political leaders.
Other groups planned for 2011:
* One Voice * Wounded Crossing Borders *Combatants for Peace * Mental Health Professional * Educators * Media people * Film Group * Farmes
Film group. Photographer: Uri Leshem
Parents Circle- Families Forum (PCFF) The Israeli Palestinian Narratives Project: "History through the Human Eye" Final Evaluation Report - Executive Summary
To conclude the Working Group experience, some of the participants will document their narratives to be compiled into a book and documentary that will be shared with wider audiences. This program also includes the establishment of a Reconciliation Center for academic materials, films books etc. Our grateful thanks to USAID.
This project is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsability of the Parents Circle - Families Forum and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.