According to our belief, dialogue is very important in continuing and dealing with our daily aspects of life and it represents the basic rule of continuity and success for every popular movement which pursues a general idea or purpose.
We focused on dealing with grassroots in order to build a civil society and to promote the concepts of democracy and dialogue as a concrete foundation to be built on in our daily lives. We could reach to people from different social categories in different geographical areas in the West Bank provinces through more than150 local civil institutions and Palestinian universities. The targeted groups are employees, workers, teachers and students of both sexes.
More than130 meetings were conducted in the West Bank. For example, we met students from Hebron universities, we had a meeting in Jenin with the members of different social organizations and a meeting in Nablus with students. In this meeting there were a few people who belong to the Hamas. We were happy to have the opportunity to talk to them and tell them what we believe in.
One thing which repeated Itself In every meeting was that most of the people told us that they agree with our message but they find it hard to believe in reconciliation when they walk out the door after an hour and a half and return to the reality of the occupation.
I must say that it's incredibly hard to conduct meetings in the West Bank and promote the message of the PCFF but thanks to our lecturers and to hard work we had 130 successful meetings.
In the meetings we follow these topics:
• Dialogue as a basis in our life
• Strategies of non-violence and its importance in creating a better life.
• Building bridges of confidence between Palestinians and the Israelis.
• Promotion and spreading of the letter of the PCFF and its mission and vision.
The lectures were conducted successfully and the number of those who came from different social categories and who benefited from them was nearly 4500 people. These participants showed their positive acceptance of the topics under discussion.
Most of the meetings were conducted by our Palestinian lecturers because it's difficult to bring our Israeli lecturers to the Palestinian lands. But we succeeded in overcoming this difficult situation and conducted meetings for both parties in the Palestinian regions. One meeting was in our Palestinian office for high school student from Tubas (near Jenin) and one for PCFF new Palestinian members in Talita Kumi (a church near Bethlehem).
We also conducted 400 lectures inside Israel by Palestinian and Israeli Lecturers.
In addition we conducted specific training workshops for the lecturers in order to enhance their performance:
• There were cyclic evaluation meetings for the lecturers to discuss and evaluate the work done and specify the required actions.
• Training workshops were conducted by specialized trainers to improve the lecturers' performance.
One of the most important projects is the ambassadors of reconciliation project. There were 30 Palestinian and Israeli participants who are university students from Sapir College in Israel (near Sderot) and from different local universities in the West Bank. To prepare the students, we had separated national meetings for each side in which we explained the aim of this project. Then both parties joined a bi-national meeting in Jerusalem for two days and the program included many activities such as the message of the PCFF, the importance of dialogue between the two parties and conflict resolution techniques. The participants were very enthusiastic to continue and to spread our message and to act as ambassadors of reconciliation.
The Palestinian dialog meetings coordinator
Upper picture: Esther Erythropel