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2 REPORTS from the Jerusalem Youth Interfaith Encounter

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  • Yehuda Stolov
    For our session of August the 9th we decided that rather than meeting in the usual place and have our regular activities, the group should have a special
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 2004
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      For our session of August the 9th we decided that rather than meeting in the usual place and have our regular activities, the group should have a special evaluation session. Thanks to the generosity of the Rissho Kosei-ka Fund for peace, who sponsored our group for the last year, we were able to save costs throughout the year, what enabled us to invite the members of the group for dinner in a nice restaurant here in Jerusalem.



      During the nice and cozy evening we related to the future of the group and tried to portray the future of the group, relating to the past experience that we gathered in the last year and a half. In addition, we fare welled our friend and partner Chananel Rosen, who leaves the group and its coordination and flying to Texas, United States, for one year. We also had the chance to thank the members of the group that by their presence and contribution to the group, we were able to reach the places we are reaching. This goes especially to Nadav, who was there from day one, Noa, Michal, Nisreen, Kifah and Bryan � who joined later and maintained consistent presence at each activity.



      The group had decided to enlarge the activities and diversify the kinds of things the group does; and, at the same time, to enlarge the number of its members.



      In this spirit we will go on further and hope continue and send our reports to all those who share our vision.



      Salah Aladdien & Dotan Arad





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      Our recent meeting took place on Wednesday August the 18th. In the spirit of the new vision of our previous meeting from August the 9th we decided that we don't only want to sit and study religious text but also to learn more about the individuals in the group, further to that we want to create a safe container for the group, an aquarium in which the group would be safe to deal with issues that the people out in the streets won't have the chance nor the guts to touch.



      In this meeting we laid the responsibility on Salah to present the first session. The point that Salah brought out was one of the main and most important fundamentals of Islam, and that is equality and bonding. The idea that if any Moslem would hypothetically give a protection to whoever person then it is the responsibility of all Moslems to protect and defend that person. The idea is that even the "smallest" Moslem is a guarantor to all other Moslems and can speak on their behalf. This equality is cross color race and gender (that applies to Moslem women as well).



      The question that was raised by the other members was: well, Christianity and Judaism did also guarantee equality to Christians and Jews and of course it was inner-religious equality, and Islam is doing the same??



      So we agreed that if inspected and tested in the reality - theory versus implementation - we find that Islam was the closest to implement this theory. If a black Moslem can be an imam and lead all the Moslems in the prayer even if they are white, yellow or red then that is a wide and enormous step and it was implemented hundreds of years ago, while only recently we got rid of the apartheid if South Africa and the segregation system was working fine only 50 years ago in the states.



      Salah Aladdien & Dotan Arad





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      The Interfaith Encounter Association
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