Just another day at Kids4Peace

by Rebecca Sullum, Kids4Peace Jerusalem Co-Director

Took a ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem

Spent most of it telling the arts student about the Kids4Peace community

At the office cleaned up 8 years’ worth of papers, all related to peacebuilding

Even found made original papers from the first time I meet a Palestinian when I was 18 years old

K4P youth walked in and out of the office, all waiting to speak with a group of 90 American Jewish youth

Just another day at Kids4Peace, trying to inspire others’ that together peace is possible.

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Reeham, my Muslim/Palestinian colleague walked into the office

Between phone calls from nervous parents pre-travel, emails and our scheduled meeting Reeham and I work on next year programs

The summer intern calls, she can’t find a long sleeve shirt to print on to make an suitable K4P shirt for the 6th grade Muslim girl that wants to wear long sleeves

This was my mistake, as I thought all Muslim women could just put a long sleeve shirt under the t-shirt like Reeham

So I had to get the appropriate shirt ready on time

Success, shirt found and printed

Just another day at Kids4Peace, trying to make everyone feel welcome and respected

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Tri-lingual core staff meeting Last day of the Ramadan fast, right before the Eid (holiday)

The teams in a good mood

One last push to finish up work before the 8 summer camps commence

Advice shared via Hangout, with a new group in the center of the county that wants to build an interfaith program

Sharing our struggles of nearly 14 years of youth programs and finding a model that will be sensitive to all J

ust another day at Kids4Peace supporting others in creating a safe space for peace

18 t-shirts in hand, well actually 17 t-shirts and 1 long sleeve shirt

Meet along with the faith advisors, counselors and the 18 youth heading to NC camp next week

Oh the excitement of the first camp and travel

I wish we all could experience the sensation of the first time meeting the other again

As there is something so humbling and courageous that these youth and families are doing together

Just another day of creating cross border community at Kids4Peace

Jump on the light rail, traveling further into East Jerusalem

Not my regular route

Move from speaking Hebrew with a concerned K4P mother on the phone to English as I get off in Shoafat

Mohammad, my co-director is waiting

We travel to Beit Hanina, to pay our condolences, to our office manager, Ghadeer, on the passing of her Uncle, may his memory be a blessing

Second time Mohammad and I have gone together to a Christian reception, this time I am already familiar with the costumes

Just another day of interfaith experience in Kids4Peace

Ride back into West Jerusalem with Mohammad and his family

His bi-lingual 2 year old son is talking to me in Hebrew

I am speaking to his parents in English and trying to throw in bits of Arabic

“Your Arabic is really getting better” Mohammad tells me in the car

I am glad to receive this support and compliment

I commit myself to another semester of study Through language trying to understand my other

Just another day in Kids4Peace

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Dinner with friends and a mentor that I haven’t seen in 12 years

End up spending most of the night talking about Kids4Peace Jerusalem

Want my mentor to expose his Jewish day school in Chile to diverse Jerusalem through the eyes of Kids4Peace

“There is no solution to this conflict” one of my friends says at the meal

“There is a solution, many political solutions are on the table, just no one sees that path to them”

I respond and think to myself,

“K4P is already walking the path of peace, but it is a lonely on the path of non-violence”

Just another day in Kids4Peace

Midnight, make it home to Jaffa

Can’t fall asleep because I want to write this blog Just another day in Kids4Peace

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