Hala’s Story

At the K4P Jerusalem Winter Event last Tuesday, we were honored to hear from Kids4Peace parents Hala and Doron. Below is Hala’s story, a Christian mother of 2 Kids4Peace youth, Louis and Zeina. 

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أعزائي عائله K4P , الاولاد الاهل الطاقم الاصدقاء وكل الضيوف

יקירי משפחת K4P , הילדים ההורים הצוות החברים וכל האורחים

سأتكلم باللغتين العربية والعبرية على التوالي

( אני אדבר בשתי השפות ערבית ועברית לחלופין)

عندما طلب مني محمد جولاني المدير العربي المشارك في الK4P أن أتكلم بالحفلة السنوية بأسم  الاهالي العرب,عن تجربتنا كعائله كأهل واولاد في هذه المؤسسة , وجدت نفسي أتسأل, لماذا نحن في الK4P  ؟وطبعاً لم يكن من الصعب ايجاد الجواب :وجودنا كجزء من عائله الK4P يعطينا الامل , الامل للتغيير الأمل لمستقبل أفضل لنا ولأولادنا

לפני כמה זמן מוחמד גולני, המנהל הערבי השותף של K4P,  בקש ממני לנאום במסיבה השנתית של K4P בשם ההורים הערבים ובקש שאדבר על הניסיון שלנו כמשפחה, כהורים וכילדים בארגון.

?מצאתי עצמי חושבת ושואלת את עצמי: למה אנחנו בK4P

כמובן שלא היה קשה למצוא התשובה: היותנו חלק מקהילת K4P נותנת לנו תקווה, תקווה לשינוי ותקווה לעתיד יותר טוב לנו ולילדנו.

قبل حوالي 9 سنوات رجع ابني من المدرسة حاملاً أوراق سلمها لي قائلاً: المعلمة رولى صالح اعطتني هذه الاوراق لك لتعبئيهاو ارجاعها  .

أخذت الاوراق وبدأت اقرأ, وكانت هذه أول مره اسمع بها عن ال .

اتصلت على رولى  للاستفسار , سمعت اكثر و اكثر, ومن هنا كانت بديه طريقنا  مع وبk4P.

לפני כ 9 שנים חזר בני מבית הספר ובידו כמה מסמכים ואמר לי: המורה רולה סאלח נתנה לי לתת לך למלא ולהחזיר. לקחתי והתחלתי לקרוא וזו הייתה הפעם הראשונה ששמעתי על K4P . הרמתי טלפון לרולא, שמעתי ממנה פרטים נוספיםקבלתי אינפורמציה נוספת וכל השאר הוא היסטוריה – כי מאותו היום התחילה הדרך שלנו ב K4P.

ما زلت اذكر اللقاء للمجموعة ,الأهل والاولاد بعد عودتهم من المخيم بأمريكا ,رغبت جداً أن لا يكون هذا هو  اللقاء الأخير ,فاتصلت برولى وسألتها :ماذا يحدث هنا ؟!

بدون استمراريه ولقاء شهريه سيضيع  كل العمل السابق هباء .

وكانت الإجابة مشجعه: فعلا نحن نعمل على برنامج استمراريه لأول مره بالمؤسسة.

אני זוכרת כמו היום את המפגש הקבוצתי, של ההורים והילדים, אחרי חזרת הילדים מהקייטנה בארה”ב.  מאוד רציתי שזה לא יהיה המפגש האחרון של הקבוצה ובלילה הרמתי טלפון לרולה ואמרתי לה: מה קורה פה ? הרי בלי המשכיות  ומפגשים חודשיים כל העבודה שלכם עם הילדים תרד לטמיון.

קבלתי תשובה מעודדת מרולה: שבפעם הראשונה בארגון עובדים על תוכנית המשך.

وهكذا خلال أقل من شهرين بدأت اللقاءات الشهرية , ومن ذلك الحين  مرت 9 سنوات

ואכן תוך חודשיים החלו המפגשים החודשיים, ומאז עברו 9 שנים.

سألني ابني في بداية الطريق : أمي لماذا انت مهتمة بالأمر ! وانت شاهده انه عدد كبير من الاولاد والاهل يتوقفون عن الحضور والمشاركة باللقاءات بعد العودة من مخيم امريكا ,ومع هذا أنت تتبعين وتسألين متى اللقاء القادم ,وتهتمي بالمشاركة !

בתחילת הדרך הבן שלי שאל אותי: אמא , למה כל כך אכפת לך מהעניין הזה? הרי את רואה שחלק גדול מהילדים וההורים מפסיקים להגיע למפגשים ממש אחרי החזרה מהקייטנה מארה”ב. למה את, לעומת זאת, כל הזמן עוקבת מתי המפגש הבא ודואגת שנשתתף?

جوابي لابني كان جداً واضحاً ,لأني فعلاً أومن بأنه فقط من  خلال التربية  منذ الصغر  على معرفه وقبول  الاخر والمختلف ممكن أن نخلق مجتمع أفضل ,مجتمع مشترك ومتساوي نعيش به كلنا معاً كمتساوين .

תשובתי אליו הייתה מאוד ברורה: אני באמת מאמינה שרק דרך חינוך בגיל צעיר, אפשר להכיר ולקבל את האחר והשונה. רק דרך חינוך אפשר לבנות חברה טובה יותר, חברה משותפת ושוויונית יותר , שבה כולנו נחיה בה ביחד כשווים.

وفي ايامنا هذه ,وبسبب الظروف الصعبة التي نمر بها ,والتي بها العنصرية بزياده ,والكراهية والعنف منتشرين, أجد جوابي لأبني ملائما أكثر من قبل .

ובימים האלה ולאור המצב הקשה שבו אנו נמצאים, שבו הגזענות מתפשטת ומרימה ראש, השנאה והאלימות נפוצים כל כך, אני מוצאת את תשובתי לבני רלוונטית יותר מתמיד.

طريقنا هذه هي الحل الوحيد لحياه مشتركه عرباً ويهوداً ,هي جوابنا لكل الجنون الذي حولنا ,نحن لن نتنازل ولن نتراجع .

הדרך שלנו היא הפתרון היחיד לחיים משותפים של ערבים ויהודים, היא התשובה שלנו  לכל הטירוף הזה אנחנו לא מתכוונים לוותר.

لأنه لا يمكن لنا السكوت على كل ما يجري بالمنطقة, لأننا ملزمون بالمحاولة لتغيير الواقع.

مجتمعنا المشترك هذا الأهل والأولاد العرب واليهود ,هو محاولتنا الصغيرة الكبيرة لمحاربه العنصرية و الكراهية وكل الجنون من حولنا ,هي املنا لتغيير حقيقي لإقامه مجتمع سليم متساوي من أجل مستقبل أفضل لنا جميعاً.

כי אי אפשר להמשיך לשתוק לכל מה שקורה באזור. כי חייבים להמשיך לחול שינוי במציאות.

הקהילה המשותפת  K4P שלנו,  הורים וילדים ערבים ויהודים,  היא הניסיון הקטן והגדול שלנו להילחם בגזענות בשנאה ובכל הטירוף סביבנו, היא התקווה לשינוי אמיתי להקמת חברה בריאה ושוויונית  ולעתיד יותר טוב לכולנו.

Filed under: Blog

Raouf | Acting for Peace

I believe Kids4Peace is thus the place where a real interfaith movement can be built. It is the place where we can give our children the chance to grow up believing in peace and justice, hoping that they will use these tools to do what they can to change the violence and discrepancy in our country.

RaoufDr. Raouf Azar was born in Bethlehem and lives now in Jerusalem.  He is an Arab Christian involved in the Lutheran Church and serves as a member of the Kids4Peace Jerusalem Steering Committee.  Two of his six children are part of Kids4Peace (so far!). 

Describe your background:

My father was born in Jaffa and became a refugee in 1948 in Bethlehem.  My mother was born in Nazareth.  My parents belong to this country where I also was born. It allows me to be sure that this is my place, the place where I should serve.  Yet otherwise, as a Christian, I believe that the place of living on this earth is not important.  What matters is how you live your life.

Is your family involved in Kids4Peace?

Yes, my daughter Carla joined Kids4Peace in 2011 at the Boston camp, and Charlie-Achim attended the 2013 camp in Atlanta.  After the first year, both my kids wanted to continue with the program. Thanks to Kids4Peace, they became more responsible and they are open to other people and new things. They are able to hear more, communicate,  and they can think much more to the outside of their own box.

What influenced you to work with Kids4Peace?

The love for all people living in this country. This is the Holy Land, but in the last hundred years nothing holy has happened here. I think through K4P, we can educate a new generation of kids believing in peace, in justice, and in having respect for others. Through K4P, we can bring together – and help build – friendships of families from different religions,  cultures , educational backgrounds, etc.

When my daughter Carla was accepted to be in K4P Boston 2011, I realized that Kids4Peace is a place where the seeds of peace are not only planted in the hearts of our children, but that these seeds can also be planted in our families.

I joined the Steering Committee because I think that I can help bring some stones together that can help us change and build together through the three religions.  We can work as a big family,  not only in talking, but also in acting in peace building.

How does Kids4Peace impact your daily life?

Kids4Peace influenced me very positively; it is not merely a wish for peace, it is an organization truly acting for peace.  I think my work with Kids4Peace is a way to let a new generation of Muslims, Jews, and Christians grow together as friends with the belief that they all have the same rights and duties in their one country.

What do you want to tell others about Kids4Peace?

We are not collecting the kids and the people to preach about politics.

We are bringing them together to learn about others, about their beliefs, their culture, and the background of others.  We are trying to help them find what they share in common, and to better understand the differences they have.

I believe Kids4Peace is thus the place where a real interfaith movement can be built. It is the place where we can give our children the chance to grow up believing in peace and justice, hoping that they will use these tools to do what they can to change the violence and discrepancy in our country.

We help them understand and believe that they as Christians belong to this country in the same way that Jews and Muslims belong to it.

What is the most powerful memory you have from Kids4Peace?

When we (from the 3 religions) came together spontaneously to pray for peace and ending the violence between Israel and Gaza.

Jodi | A K4P Mom’s Story

The mission and philosophy of Kids4Peace paralleled our beliefs and that which we are teaching our son. It is my greatest hope my child and his children will live in a world where all humanity can live in peace, accepting and celebrating each other’s differences.

My son, Eli, loves to tell the story of how he first learned of this organization. I am a little embarrassed, but appreciate the enthusiasm of his retelling. It was a day like any other, absolutely nothing unusual.297

Eli was taking a shower and I had just sat down to read The Voice, the monthly newsletter of our synagogue, Temple Kol Emeth [in Marietta, GA]. I saw an advertisement seeking children who would be entering the 6th grade to take part in an interfaith summer camp. Four interested children were to be chosen to participate in the summer camp, which would include children of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. These children would come from the Atlanta area as well as the Middle East. I could barely contain my excitement!

I immediately jumped up and ran into the bathroom as he was taking a shower to tell him of this exciting opportunity. I don’t think he was too excited, but that was more likely due to having me interrupt his shower! Later, we discussed the program and he agreed this was a fantastic opportunity not to be missed. Ours is a family very much interested in promoting peace through interfaith dialogue, education, volunteerism and good deeds.The mission and philosophy of Kids4Peace paralleled our beliefs and that which we are teaching our son.

Three other children in our congregation, who would also be attending the camp, joined Eli in the first meeting. At that time, the Atlanta area kids had an opportunity to meet each other and immediately began to learn of the differences and similarities of each other’s faith. The adult leaders had engaging and interesting activities to draw out the children into a lively discussion. A great sense of satisfaction came over me as I watched these children discussing religion without fear, distrust, or hate. It was clear this is where the dialogue for peace and understanding needs to begin, with our children.

Eli attended the week long camp during the summer, where he met other children from Israel. He was introduced to these religions and visited various houses of worship during this time. He engaged in activities and discussion of the various religions and how each other experiences and practices their faiths. At the conclusion of the camp, the parents were invited to Abraham’s Tent, a celebration of all the children had learned. We were treated to skits representative of various holidays of each faith. It was obvious the children had much fun in putting this together and took great pride in sharing what they had learned.

It is my greatest hope my child and his children will live in a world where all humanity can live in peace, accepting and celebrating each other’s differences. Kids4Peace is one very valuable method to attaining that goal and I am so pleased my family and I are able to participate. We look forward to a long relationship with this organization.

Jodi, Mother of Eli
Kids4Peace Atlanta