The day before yesterday I returned from another Nonviolent Communication Camp In the Judean desert, devoted to bringing together and bridging between Israeli, Palestinan and International women and teenage girls. My role was to facilitate the youngsters group.
This gathering was much smaller - which made for more intimate connection between all of us.
What was also different for me was that this time my daughter Yasmin, aged 12, joined. I was anxious to see how she would manage, how she would "survive" without her laptop, and if in general she would be able to connect with the other girls. There were two other Jewish girls and three 14 year old Palestinian girls from East Jerusalem, from the American School. It was pure fun and inspiring to see just how quickly and naturally they all made contact.
And how did they do this? Through music, international music...namely Adele! They stood there , the six of them, and Sang "Rolling in the Deep" at the top of their lungs in the middle of the desert! My only regret is that I wasn't quick enough to film it...it was soooooo beautiful!
Once they had made that connection...they were off! Chatting about Facebook, music, school, Ipads - what they like to eat, etcetera. Of course, because these were all girls, who are fortunate to be able to speak fluent English, the bridge wasn't that hard to build.
There were two poignant and touching moments, for me. One was when we are all of us, sitting in a circle- introducing who we are and why we came to the gathering. An Israeli woman told us that she had lost her eldest son in the Second Lebanon War. She said: " I came here because I don't want to see anymore mother's suffer, I want war to end, this madness to end, I believe there is only way- that we will talk to each other, meet each other - " we all wept.
Immediately after her a young woman from Bethlehem said: " Why do we need all these identities? Palestinian, Israeli, religious, secular - can't we just all accept that we are all the same?
The other moment was when my daughter sat with one of the Arab girls and said: " I must admit, that until today, the only thing I ever knew of Palestinians was from what I saw on TV watching the news with my grandmother, and it never looked good. And here we are, I see you are exactly like me!"
I believe deep in my heart that the ONLY level on which lasting peace can be made is on the level of meetings, one-on-one. This may take time, but maybe not as long as some may think. I think the world is ripe for a change, is evolving in this direction, and the powers that drag us into war are losing their hold on people.
In the words of Yoko Ono Lennon: "A dream you dream alone is just a dream- a dream you dream together is a reality"
May all beings live in Peace - may all beings be Happy.