A NEW ADDITION TO OUR FAMILY
This is a brand-new organization representing Children of Peace in the USA. It is headed by our long-term US Friend, Dr. Ofer Levy, based in Boston.
A first meeting was held on May 21st. in advance of the formal setup of the organization. This was a visioning exercise, to set the goals and priorities of the US Friends. Here Dr. Ofer Levy gives a report on the occasion, at Jamaica Plain in Boston. With pictures from the event.
A diverse group, including Jews, Christians and Muslims, citizens of the United States, Uruguay, Germany, Israel, Jordan and Palestine assembled.
After introductions and light Middle Eastern fare (pistachios, humus and pita, and pomegranate drink), Dr. Ofer Levy, Director of US Friends of Children of Peace, made the introductory comments. He highlighted the importance and vision of Richard Martin and the parent organization in the UK. He shared some personal anecdotes regarding how the conflict has effected his family with relatives in Israel killed or injured in the conflict.
Dr. Levy also spoke of the roots of his family to the region, including his Yemeni grandfather who walked by foot to Palestine around 1900 and spoke Arabic and Turkish as his primary languages.
Mahmoud Jabari (head of the Youth Ambassador Programme for Children of Peace) was accompanied by his family – his mother Manal and father Waddah Jabari, his sister Razan and little Muayad Jabari (seven years old). Mahmoud made an eloquent statement regarding the circumstances under which he grew up in the city of Hebron (West Bank, Palestine). Including how they shaped his view of the conflict as well as his subsequent experiences abroad and how he hopes to leverage these to bring a better future to the people of Palestine.
COP Youth Ambassador Orly Levy (shown above) read “The Cure At Troy”, a poem by Irish poet Seamus Heaney.
We then had a panel discussion aimed at identifying the most important factors to work on to secure the future of all the region’s children. Those in attendance signed up and provided their contact information for follow-up on future projects and fundraising.
Dr. Ofer’s wife, Dr. Sharon Levy took extensive notes and will be following up with a summary of these collective ideas in the coming weeks, as we move US Friends of CoP forward.Dr. Ofer Levy