The delegation came to the region to meet Women activists who work tirelessly every day to build peace and justice in the region. The Nobel Women's Initiative visited the region to bear witness to their struggles, creativity, and inspiring work to build a sustainable peace. The delegation focused on hearing the perspectives of women on both sides of the conflict.
The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams, and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. These six women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa -- decided to bring together their extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality.
Only 12 women in its more than 100 year history have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Women's Initiative goals are to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world.
At the meeting
The two Nobel Peace Laureates; Jody Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire who led the delegation, didn't come to meet us because of Mairead Corrigan Maguire's deportation hearing.
About 10 women from the delegation - mostly American – were present in the meeting. Robi Damelin spoke about the PCFF, Tsurit Sarig and Aisheh Aqtam spoke about the Women's group, while Siham Alkhalil Abu Awwad and Neta Shemesh spoke about "Fabric of War" (an exhibition of paper and memories created by the women’s group) . The atmosphere was warm and moving and tears were shed when a movie about the PCFF was screened.
Jaclyn Friedman wrote in the delegation's blog: "Meeting with them gave me so much heart. In the end, all of the violence is in their names – endlessly avenging the deaths of their most loved ones. They even shared with us their powerful definition of forgiveness: giving up your just right to revenge. If they can be at peace with each other, if they can (and trust me, you can see it in their faces, they do love each other), then everyone can learn to.
Photo by Judy Rand
See our Facebook group for more pictures.