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Cartooning in Conflict
Chicago Nov. 4-6

| Past Activities | From the Media | Newsletter | Video and Television


Opening Hearts /Robi Damlin (September 2005)

London was a ground breaking adventure for Nadwa and I , and an opportunity to spread the message of the Forum to a whole new audience. We were greeted with such warmth by our newly formed "Friends Of" board chaired by the remarkable Judith with Hani, Ahlam and Fathie doing everything possible to make this journey a success, and of course Roni keeping us all solvent.


On arrival we were presented with a list of media interviews which would have made a Rock Star jump for joy.  For this we have the Christian Aid to thank and in particular Dominic Nutt for all his hard work in convincing the media that the message was an important one.  In fact people stopped us on the street in London to ask if we were the ladies from the Television.  They did not ask for autographs.  The BBC were very generous and we had no less than 6 radio and television interviews.
"Opening Hearts" was the title for a special concert for peace at the LSO St. Luke's in London on September 18.  This beautiful building was such a fitting setting for the evening of classical music and poetry.  The hall was filled with people who had come to show their solidarity with the message of reconciliation and hope for a better future for the Palestinan and Israeli people.  We were so encouraged by this statement of support.
The evening started with Nelly Ben -Or a remarkable pianist who shared the music of Chopin and Ben-Haim with the audience. Then we were treated to the magical flute of Wissam Boustany, accompanied by Benjamin Wolf on the piano.  Two amazing women filled the hall with there wonderful voices Ruti Halvani and Camille Maalawy .  There Love song from "The Shouting Fence" a vocal story of a community split in two was so powerful and meaningful.  We were all so moved by the sensitive readings of Juliet Stevenson .  How heartwarming to find all these wonderful artists under the same roof just there to give there support for peace. The Parents Circle-Families Forum is so grateful to them.  All in all this was an unforgettable evening.
The Forum has a new and very special friend in Huw-Irranca Davis, MP. Mr. Davis did everything in his power to show his support for the message of our group both on a personal level and also by kindly hosting an informal meeting for his colleagues at Westminster.  Threw his kindness we were able to give hope to other politicians and policy makers that reconciliation is possible.
We thank Rabbi Daniel Smith, for arranging the Interfaith Meeting at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue, chaired by Andrew Dismore MP.  there was a very large crowd and a good article in the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish Times, came out of this meeting so the message was multiplied.
We thank Ahlam and Fathieh for arranging a meeting at SOAS which was very well attended by the Moslem Community , and was chaired by Huw Irranca Davis, MP.  It was so important for us to speak to this community and in fact we were invited to come back to SOAS to give a talk at a conference "Fear of the Other & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" organized by The Birkbeck Institute , The University of London and the London Middle East Institute Outreach Programme. Here too it was important to spread a people to people emotional message of hope.
The Forum would also like to give a special thanks to Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, who had the inspiration to start the "Friends of"in England.




corrections: in the BBC article (you can get to the article through the link beneath), it says that in last year  Robi and Nadwa "carried out over 1,000 classroom lectures with Israeli 17-year-olds, who were due to join the army."

1002 lectures were made in the last school year, mostly in classroms,  by all of the forum lecturers. Our lectures are both in Palestinian and Israeli schools and the ages of the youth is  between 15-18 years old.

 Israeli Robi Damelin and Palestinian Nadwa Sarandah




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