A Year-end Message from the Director

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Our Response to Recent Social Media Attacks
August 25, 2017

A Year-end Message from the Director

mural by 2017 Creativity for Peace campers

Dearest supporters,

There is still no peace between Israel and Palestine. But despite very challenging conditions on the ground, we are full of hope because of our strong and dedicated cadre of young peacemakers. As we enter the holiday season, I want to share the hope, in the words of these special young women:
YAARA TAL
“I joined Creativity for Peace in 2008 because I wanted to meet the “other side.” I was awarded a full scholarship for Peace Studies in Eugene, Oregon and now I am graduating from the University of Oregon with an International Studies degree. This journey was very special to me, not because of what I’ve gained, but because I did it all alongside my Palestinian friend. Creativity for Peace gave me an opportunity not only to meet Palestinians, but also to live, grow, learn, and dream with them. I have talked in front of different groups about my country, culture, and my hope for a better future for my region. I was fortunate to be a camper, a Young Leader, and an intern in this special organization that gives opportunities and hope for girls from Israel and Palestine. Creativity for Peace has given me the tools to become a better person with confidence, compassion, education, and a global perspective. With these tools, I hope I can make a change in my country and build a better reality for future generations. My dream is to work in UNICEF with leaders from around the world and help children to live in peace and gain important tools like I did.”
HAZAR HUSSEIN
“Since I was young, I felt I was a leader. Fourteen years ago, when I was in middle school, I had the big opportunity to take part in Creativity for Peace, an experience that affected my self-esteem, helped me to know my strengths, and pushed me to grow. I recently left my job as director of education at the Abraham Fund and now run a very large initiative for the Israeli Ministry of Economy to help the Arab community in Jerusalem train and find good employment. Creativity for Peace was the first step in becoming an agent of change.”
LIPAZ ELLA
“I was a camper in 2006. For the past two years I was part of a UCLA fellowship, where I was in charge of experiential education focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Creativity for Peace was my first meaningful encounter with Palestinians and with the narrative of the “other.” The impact lasted for years after – affecting my army service, university degree, and work at UCLA. I am now back in Israel and looking for ways to be involved in initiatives that bring people from both sides together. It is our generation and our time to bring real change. It begins with getting to know the other and understanding that we are all people. I will never give up and always believe that peace will come.”
AIA KHALAILY
“I grow up in a small Palestinian city in the north of Israel. When I was nine, I was forced to learn Hebrew in school but I hated it because it is the language of the people who occupy my land. When I was 17, I reached a turning point when I participated as a camper in Creativity for Peace. Suddenly, this occupier who spoke Hebrew became my roommate! All my conceptions changed during this intensive three weeks. I understood how much the work of Creativity for Peace is crucial and meaningful. During the last seven years, I have gained more tools and knowledge than I could ever imagine. I use these tools to affect the people around me through activism. I worked in the Knesset to document what happens there and I volunteered in an organization that teaches Hebrew to Palestinian women. Thanks to Creativity for Peace I have changed from a person who hates Israelis into a person that teaches Arabic to them and hosts them in my home. Together we cook Palestinian food while we dance Dabka together.”
YOU ARE A PEACEMAKER
These transformations, and so many others, would not be possible without your support. I know that you are inundated with requests from worthy causes at this time of year. For us, end-of-year giving can constitute as much as 25 percent of our annual income. I hope that you continue to believe in the importance of our work and will give as generously as possible. You can do this right now by clicking on this link: DONATE Please also consider donating a car or naming us as a beneficiary in your estate plan. Thank you so much for partnering with us for peace. From all of us at Creativity for Peace, wishes for a happy holiday season to you and yours.