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Cartooning in Conflict
Chicago Nov. 4-6

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


Dialogue4theFuture - Daily blog summary - July 2007

Summer Camp; Rechnitz/Austria, with participants from Israel, Hungary, Palestinia and Austria

The idea behind the camp was to have an open dialog between youth.

The Israeli group; from "Dror" high school in Tel-Mond and the Palestinian group; from Zbabde. The PCFF had in the past years educational activities in both Israeli and Palestinian high schools. 

 PCFF representatives; Ariela Shainok and Mazen Faraj, are accompanying the group.

Thanks to...

israeli group, koren and yoni


hello everybody. this is koren and yoni.
today is the forth day in this camp.
we want to talk about our last few days here in Austria in the dialouge for the future camp.
in the first day, we met the people which will be with us in this camp for the next 2 weeks. at the beginning it was a little bit strange to know a lot of people from so many countries. we were concerned that we would not get along with the poeple in the camp, but eventually it was great.
on the second day, we got to know each other better through games. we played games and through the games we learned to know each other. it was really fun get to know everyone around, although at the beginning it was hard to remember all the names, but now we know them better. as the day went on, we got to know the different countries that are in the camp.
at the palestinian presentation we felt a bit attacked by them. they were talking about the hard
situation that they have and they said things about the israelis soliders. all of that
was a bit scary and got us emotional, but they explained to us later what they meant so we
calmed down.
in the third day, we had many activities outside. we divided up into mixed groups of three
that are not from the same country. the combinations of different nations made us closer to each other and we got more connected with, so that was a good experience. we had a lot of fun
and we learned new things about ourselves. later on that day we went to a close by park and we were again divided into two groups. we learned about team work and leadership and we solved
the riddles. we had three riddles so we had to work together and that is how we learned to
solve problems as a team and accomplished the mission that we were given by the staff.
the israeli group were really in the lead in these tasks (especially koren) .
today, we had workshops and we learned how to solve conflicts using the facts before beliefs.
we had to choose between different workshops and me and yoni chose the dancing. it was
really great and so was veronika, the dancing teacher.
by the way, now we are more involved in this process of finding a solution to the
israeli-palestinian conflict and we are looking forward to the discusions about it.
we wish everybody here a good time and pleasant time and hopefully we will go out
with somthing to the future, although we already have so many tools to do it.
so until next time, this is yoni and koren wishing a good day and a good week, stay
tuned for more! bye



 My Message

Samer, 16 years old, from Palestine:
I'm not here to represent a country nor an organization, but I'm representing a child that slept outside after his house had been destroyed in the war. I'm here to say that we are all human beings. We love freedom, we adore peace. I'm here to invite everyone to join me in my mission in looking for peace and respecting humanity.


Letter from Austria 2


I am Reem from Palestine.                                  It is a wonderful chance which a very wonderful organization called The Parent Circle gave us to make our voice is heard.

We will tell you how we came here and what we are doing everyday.

If we Palestinians- want to travel to any other country, we must go through Jericho bridge which is a border bridge between Palestine and Jordan, then through Jordan so that we can get a plane and travel although there is an airport in Tel-Aviv but we cant travel through it because its not for us.

We decided to travel on Saturday july.7th 2007 although our plane is on Monday because of two reasons:

1- There are many checkpoints, and many times you must wait for more than half an hour to pass one of them.

2- There are many people, who want to travel to Jordan or to any where else, and all of them will be on Sunday in Jericho Bridge waiting till they can go by buses from Jericho Bridge to Jordan Bridge and if you get there early, you can be able to pass first.

Because of this, we left our homes on Saturday at 5:30 pm. And fortunately there was only one check point which is called Al-Hamra checkpoint. We passed it and reached Jericho at 8:00 pm. We stayed there for one night then we went on Sunday at 3:30 am to Jericho Bridge. We were the first people there, so we were able to pass first. We changed a lot of buses to reach Jordan Bridge and finally we reached it at 10:00 am except one of us who stayed in Jericho Bridge because the Israeli soldiers didnt let him pass it and they made him sit for 4 hours without any reason, and we waited till they made him go at 2:00 pm. We stayed a night in Jordan and on the next day we went to the airport and finally we reached Vienna. We were very happy when we reached the airport because the Austrian leader and some students were waiting for us. They are amazing and kind. They welcomed us in a very wonderful way and took us to a very big house in a village called Rechnitz where all the leaders and teenagers who are participating in this camp were. We got to know each other. We are from 4 countries which are Palestine, Hungary, Israel and Austria. Everything here is organized well. The house is always clean, the food is very good and the people are so kind.

We really feel that we are in our house thanks to all the leaders and participants who make us feel like this.

In the first 2 days we played a lot of games so that we can know each other more and more. Some of them were inside the house while the others were outdoor activities. They were very funny but we didnt only think about fun. Every game made us feel and remember something about our country Palestine- and each game had a goal behind it. For example, there was a game called the balance which made us feel of Palestine and Israel. If we try together to find a solution to our conflict and live equally, both of us will live happily.

There was other game which needs two people to play it in a circle. One of them have to make the other one go outside the circle by pushing each other with there backs, and also this game made us think about Palestine. The circle was like Palestine and Israeli people were pushing Palestinians from their land.

And in this moment we cant say anything except thank God for every thing , and if there will be a person who read what I wrote, I want him/her to think about obstacles and problems we faced to reach Vienna to tell other people who we are and to know others.



Paul Gulda
Yesterday we had an interesting evening-session with Paul Gulda. He is a musician and also the president of an organization that is called refugius. This organization is working on local history and espacially deals with a horrible crime that had happened in Rechnitz in 1945. Paul told us interesting details about the local history of Burgenland and Rechnitz and shared his feelings and opinion about it with us. Thanks a lot!


 first day of discussion


discussions today were about palestinian-israeli conflict ,our lecturer michael ingber was
very great and had the experience of telling history and so he did.
in my opinion,i think we are the future ,so to build that future correctly we need to sit
with other israelis youthand talk and discuss these issues,then we could be sure that our future
is better than the past ,all of that needsconcentrating and focusing on our poeple requirment and dreams
it also,requires understanding and acceptance from the other side which we started today
in the discussion.
lina s duaibes


hello everybody... this is yoni and koren again. stay tuned huh?
in todays show we have sharon as our guest!
today we had a long day of discussions about the israeli-palestinian conflict.
we met the middle east expert Michael Ingber and with him we had a session about
the self-deception of both sides of the conflict. through a test we learned that each
side has his version of the story. during the discussion about the test we had an
argument about each groups interpretation of the facts.
as the day goes on, we have been divided to three different groups. each group talked
about the history of his nation and special dates in the national history of each
person. after the groups learned about each other, we had few speeches and each group
explained about their experience and that is how we learned more about the conflict
and about the different nations.
and now our guest sharon will tell us about his feelings and thoughts during the day.
at the beginning, we had a lot of material about the conflict and it was hard to understand it
all at once. the discussions made me think of our country in a way that it is very important
to me and i want to get to a solution to this conflict.
we finally talked about the conflict and it was very interesting for everybody.
i hope in the next few days we will have more discussions about the conflict.
we want to thank sharon for expressing and sharing his thoughts with us.
we were very excited to have sharon as our guest.
anyway we had a lot of fun and it was a very interesting day.
until next time, stay tuned!



Friday July, 13th 2007

I am Mais from Palestine

Today was a hard day. We began our program at 9:00 am and finished it at 9:30 pm, but it was really interesting and full of information. Today came a person called Michael Ingber and brought with him many proofs to a lot of information about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The program from the beginning till the last activity was revolved about facts of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict and the history of Palestine. Moreover, it revolved about the United Nation decisions, the meanings of them and what are the aims behind them. Also how the history changed to other facts which in reality dont exist.

The most important thing is to look for a solution by taking the real facts in concentration without thinking only about the cause of the conflict, who began it and who followed it or in other way analyze and solve it without violence.

For me, I learned that violence is not the only way to have peace, and everything we heard today made us be sure that our issue is justice and anything else is not justice


 Friday, July 13th 2007 (Safa)

hi,I am Safa from palestine.
today,we had a discussion with israeli group about some terms,which are important for both sides to learn how to accept the other side opinions with all mistakes because nothing is perfect,so we(the two sides) need someone to help us dealing with the conflict.that is the parents circle organization which try to help us reaching peace.


 Working with Michael Ingber

The visit of our guest yesterday and today has contributed a lot to what everyone came here to this camp for Achieving mutual understanding between the different groups-. His sessions were really interesting due to his credibility in both sides. Michael as an Israeli citizen who lived in Israel and Palestine for a long time has a lot of experience in Middle-Eastern issues. His contribution was no more than pure facts and information that enriched our discussions and made them more useful and dependent on facts not only presumed knowledge, stereotypes, and emotions. Our first political discussion yesterday was so HOT for everyone which made us feel uncomfortable for a little while. However the atmosphere of brotherhood and our goal as young peace activists made us feel united again and encouraged us to continue talking and discussing our believes and work together to bring about peace.

Yours in Peace,

Samer Anabtawi

Today is Evelyns sons 20 birthday so Happy Birthday LUKAS !


Comment of the Palestinian group

Saturday, July 14 2007:
today,in the begining we had complete our discussion with the israels group and others by showing them a stories from our daily life which can prove our opinions and improve our future.
michael ingber divided us into three groups to discuss the stories and show how are both sides_palestinian and israeli groups_ suffered from different problems.we chose the most two
important story to say.it was a story from palestinian side and the other from israeli side.in our side,reem was telling us a story about the israel soldiers when they entered zababdeh(which
is a town near jenin) and we were in the school,so she tried to collect her siblings,but unfortunatly she found only one
and took him to her uncles house and try to go home ,when she went back home she found, that
Israeli soldiers let their dogs drink and eat from their plate in the other side, Lilach told us her story abot the bomber who bombed himself in the restaurant she was going toand because of this bomber her friend was killed and she was afraid and shut all windows and doors. Then we were together with Michael Ingber, he told us to find common elements which are very important: The Need for Land, Peace, Suffering, Fear, a will to be accepted and loved, historical connection to the land, languages, humanity, holy sites, victims and rights. Then we talked about the solution that we may need a political solution, but we also need to trust each other and to respect other opinions and not teach fear.
I feel that the Palestinians are not the only people who suffer from war, but the Israelis are suffering too. So we need to live in peace.




Today, was a nice sunny day, we took in the bus in the morning at 10:00 am to the lake on the bordes with Hungary, Austria and Slovakia, it was a great chance for me as a Palestinian to go swim in an opened lake because I don't have the chance in my country to go to the sea.

The cold water of the lake today cooled off all us after the hot discussions that took place in the camp the last two days. We all had a lot of fun, enjoyed our day, the trip in the area and swimming in the lake. This busy day didn't end when we came back to Rechnitz; however it started because we came to prepare for our cultural events tomorow at night...

Samer Anabtawi from Palestine


 Comment of Samer

Theatre of the oppressed
Today we had a great chance in the theatre with Lisa workshop because we made a lot of scenes that helped us in modelling our problems and solving them. We also enjoyed the Israeli night which had songs and games. Everyone had a great day with amazing presentations from the workshops and the Israeli group. Hopefully, the next days will be as comfortable as today.

Our Palestinian Night

The Palestinian Night was a very special event for us as a Palestinian Group. We have prepared a lot for it. Our program had two parts:

The first was a presentation of the Palestinian Daily Life with the national anthem played on the piano. The second was a traditional Palestinian Wedding.

We used our traditional music and dance and we also involved the audience to participate with us. Everybody enjoyed the wedding which was very special and unique. Also the Dish Uzi that we prepared was tasty and people liked it a lot. Thank God I hope that everyone in the group enjoyed our presentations and had fun.

Yours in Peace,
Samer Anabtawi

July 16, 07


Comment (Israeli group)

stay tuned huh? good for you!!
since everybody wanted us to continue writing our blog we decided to continue.
as you know we have a guest, our daily guest, and today its... Lilach!! (woohoo)
we are happy to have lilach here but before we will talk with lilach we will
tell about out last few days.
first of all, on sunday we had a trip to the hungarian-austrian border. we went
to sail on a boat called ''the black pearl'' and we sail on Lake Neusiedl.
we had a great time although it was very hot. we just want to remind that
in europe they don't have air-conditioning and it's the hottest two weeks
in austria in a year, so it is very hot!! but we are ok.
anyway, after sailing on the boat, we went swimming in the lake and it was
very fun because everybody splashed evelyn, our manager of the camp.
after getting a tan, we drove home and played 'legirato' the coolest game
ever, and we played it with hans, the blonde austrian leader.
yesterday we had two workshops to choose from: the theatre workshop and the
juggling workshop with tom. we chose the acting workshop with lisa and leyla. it was
very interesting.we learned how to communicate with other people in a different way
from talking. the second workshop was the juggling workshop, and they had fun and
lilach is very good at it! in the evening, we had the palestinian evening which was
very informative and fun because we got the chance to dance traditional wedding
today, we had a great day! you want to know why? that's because we came to a
better understing of the suffering and the pain of the palestinian and they got
to know and understand what we are going through. that was a very positive
experience. as the day went on, we introduced our shows: the juggling group showed
us their moves, and the acting group showed three scenes which describe various
conflicts. between the three scenes, guess what was chosen.. the yoni's and koren's
scene of course. we had more participants which were very helpful. the conflict
we presented koren's conflict about serving in the army.
in the evening, we had the ISRAELI EVENING!! we had so much fun during the
whole process of making and presenting our culture. we danced an israel
traditional dance called ''Hora'', and everybody danced and had fun.
now after all the ''dry'' details we will talk with out guest.. LILACH!!
hi lilach, please tell us your feelings and thoughts..
you have no idea how fun it is for me to be here in these two weeks.
i learned yesterday how to juggle and this fact still amazes me.
today i was interviewed by a reporter and i felt like a celebrity, like yoni
and koren :).. and i wanted to say thank you tom for teaching me how to juggle
and for having deep interesting conversations. i think our night couldn't have been
better and i had alot of fun.. and that's it..
to add something, this is the first time i meet palestinians and i can understnad their
pain and to relate to this without television and media.
anyway, thank you lilach for being our guest tonight.
we hope you had fun reading our blog today, and we only have four days left
here and we are sure you can't wait for our next postings...
so until next time, we are wishing a good day and a good week...
and of course.. stay tuned!!!



Reem wrote...

Our life is a book. This book includes a lot of chapters that we must face and live. Our journey to Austria is one of the chapters in this book that started two weeks ago and will finish tomorrow, so we are at the end of this chapter. In addition, it is really one of the chapters in our life that made our voice heard and helped us to listen, talk and trust others. It helped us to talk and tell other people about our country and about ourselves as Palestinians, to listen to other people and understand them. Consequently, it made us trust the others and believe more and more that our issue is just and everything else is not just. Moreover, we learned and thought a lot of things. On the one hand we learned many outdoor activities and every game had a meaning that will stay in our minds forever. We also learned about other cultures, lifestyles, theatre, and history. On the other hand we told the others about the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, who began it and who followed it. In addition, we made a Palestinian evening. It featured a Palestinian food called Uzi, the Palestinian National Athem, a traditional dance called Dabke and a Palestinian wedding. Everything is well organized and we are very happy. In my opinion, making this journey is one way of struggling. Finally, in the name of all the Palestinian group, I would like to thank everyone who helped in this project and made it succed. So thanks to the Parents circle organisation, to all the leaders in the camp, to all the participants, and to our Palestinian leaders who helped us a lot. Thank you very much!


Anas wrote...

When I first heard about the idea of coming to Austria I was very excited and I thought that there will be a big argument between the Palestinians and the Israelis and they wouldnt understand us. But it wasnt true; our minds, hearts and souls were opened to each other. In the camp we had a good time. I met new people from Israel, Austria and Hungary. They were very good to us. Ive learned many things about their lives, community and their thoughts. I was interested in the games that the leaders showed us, because every game has a meaning that can effects us in our lives. Unfortunately we have to leave the camp with a sad heart but with an open mind.


Lina wrote...

For everything there is a first time and mine was when I first came to the camp. This is the first time I meet Europeans, especially teenagers, which makes it much more enjoyable and useful. Thats because it will be helpful for them to learn from us and not from the media about our reality. So thanks to all the people who helped make this camp and get everything prepared for us. Moreover, it was a great chance to talk about the conflict. Michael Ingber is a very educated man who helped us understand the conflict better and realize the importance of our struggle, and so get the idea to others after we are truly convinced of it. To be honest, this camp changed a lot of things not only concerning the conflict but also changed things in me as a person. Learning how to listen to others and really listen. Because when you listen carefully you will know how to respond to the ideas that you are discussing with the other person. So, all in all, I would like to say that I loved these 14 days and I hope it will happen again and again.


Tareks comment

Everything in this world has a beginning and an end, and so this camp is gonna end and it was so fast we couldnt feel the days as they really were. However, everything we saw, heard, felt and played was really good. In this camp we got the opportunity to meet people from many countries. We got the chance to learn a lot about their history, culture and lifestyle, and that really was so great. But the most important thing we could show all the people here was a good picture of Palestine. We showed them that we arent terrorists, and that we are normal human beings who suffer from an abnormal occupation, and that we hate blood as a lot of people do. During the first few days of the camp we faced a lot of problems because we didnt know everyone here, so it was very hard to speak and convince them of what we feel and think. But the activities were very useful to know the others and make good friendships. Then we met Michael Ingber and talked about the conflict. We succeeded to show everyone that we have the most just issue in the world and I really think that we convinced all the people here, even the Israelis, and that was a big success. In this camp we talked about conflict, but after that we had fun and we used the chance to show everyone our culture in Palestine. One way or the other that led us to the conflict again, because when we talked about our culture we showed everyone that its connected to Palestine, while the Israelis have a lot of lifestyles and cultures and one history and all of these belong to Europe and America not to Palestine. This clearly proves that this is our land and how much we belong to it and well keep fighting for this. We had a lot of interesting times here in the camp and outside on the lake and in Vienna. We played, laughed and had a lot of fun and these are some of the most important times in my life. I am sure I will never forget these times and these people.


Ibrahims comment

I would like to thank all the people who worked seriously to make this camp a success. This camp was really good because it is important to make new friends from different nations, and especially because I could meet again with the Israeli people that I met before (Sahar, Naama). I really reached my goal in this camp, which was from the first day to reach a high level of understanding between each other. From the beginning the Israelis believed that we have the right to our own land. We felt that there should be change in our life. The Israelis felt bad about ugly government actions in the West Bank. I am optimistic because in this camp I learned that there is hope to live in peace with a Palestinian state next to the Israeli state, without check points and assassinations.


Sahar's summary
My Dear Friends
Everyone who asks me how the camp was, I tell them a long process.
That's short to explain what we have been through these two weeks together.
I believe that the process made a great change in us, everyone in the Israeli group, me personally, and I hope you too. I went through stages of self defense, anger, hopeless moods, and then sympathy, empathy, friendships, trust, and hope again.
I believe that we went together from self deception to recognizing the other side, and even feeling the other side's feelings.
I told you on the day we said goodbyes I don't know what will happen in the future. I don't know what can I do right now to change anything, but I'm not without hope, because I know that some day I will have the opportunity to change something in our reality. And it doesn't matter if it will be today, tomorrow or when I'm 40 years old. All I know is that I take this camp with me, where ever I go, and if there will be an opportunity to bring it up I'll tell others everything I went through with you.
I want to share with you what I wrote on the yellow note what am I taking with me from this camp:
    * Memories of the process we made and how we changed our emotions and opinions.
    * The ability to listen to someone else's pain, without the need to immediately express mine. To see both sides and not to live in self deception.
    * With no anger, and no revenge, only listening.
    * I take the ambition to trust the Palestinians, because it's the only way.
    * To remember that our problem is the mutual mistrust and the fear that haunts us, to give up a little bit of our safe spot, because only when you expose your vulnerability you can get to the good things in life, just with a little bit of trust.
    * We are all human beings that want to live in peace and to fulfill our rights, and I understand the need to call out when it doesn't happen.
    * To give time to the solution, to look for the long term and not to loose hope. If not today then tomorrow, if not this year then the next one, or in the age of 40, sometime the opportunity to change, to effect will come.
    * I want to take all of the people's smiles. The warmth, the real will to make us feel good. The friendships.
    * My good friends, supporting and loving, laughing and crying (from laughter).
    * The warmth of the leaders' team.
    * People's real intentions.
    * Everyone's belief that there is a future. There is hope to live in peace, sometime.




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