Hotel Morad provided an ideal venue for the small miracle which happened over the week-end. Tucked away in the mountains of Beit Sahor in the West bank nearly 60 Palestinian and Israeli bereaved women came together as part of a narrative project, to learn about each other, to share their stories and to find a way to take the good will created and the mutual desire to prevent others from experiencing this pain of loss out into the world. Learning about the part women have played all over the world towards ending of conflict . Seeing clips of how women on the ground in Liberia, Yemen, Ireland and South Africa changed to tone of wars and pushed their leaders to a solution . Of how women entered politics and became the catalyst to peace was an inspiration to us all.
The new and younger faces in the group brought in a breath of fresh air and energy, and a hope for the future. We listened to their stories and their aspirations and realized that this shared pain and recognition and understanding of the other, and more than that seeing the humanity in the other can move mountains and lead to the change so desperately needed in both of our societies. I wish all Israelis and Palestinians could have been flies on the wall it might have inspired them to the realization that the violence must stop and that we have to find a way to reconcile for the safety of our children and grandchildren and all future generations.
A knowledge of the role which women play in both societies and their struggle for equal rights. We were able to identify parallels and differences and to look for a way to support each other in the closing of gaps. No society will be truly democratic until women enjoy these basic rights.
Much time was spent sharing milestones in our lives which gave us the impetus to change things and which formed who we are. This understanding of the other was so moving and created an empathy which we had perhaps not experienced before.
We are planning to shake up things with an event which jointly we will create in roughly one year. So many creative ideas an plans and so much enthusiasm to be a part of this project could only bring back home the strength of women and their ability to be a catalyst for a more peaceful future.
We still have several meetings for the project and look forward to a deepening of the relationship and for a rippling effect in both of our societies. I am honored to be a part of the project.
Photography by Ora Mintz