REPORT: Women's Interfaith Encounter activities in October
- Dear Interfaith Friends,
On October 9, a special workshop in Interfaith Conflict Resolution was
hosted by Ibtisam in Fureidis, and taught by Dr. Mohammed Abunimer, visiting
from the American University in Washington, D.C., and volunteering his time
to strengthen and assist us -- since we have been working together for a
year with no training. Having grown up in the nearby village of Mara'ar,
he was able to apply his knowledge to our situation and give us practical
help and perspective. He signed IEA certificates of training that were
given to everyone. A Jewish woman who had been very despairing of our work
when she came, acknowledged how much she had been inspired by the workshop.
Druze women said these tools enabled them for the first time to understand
and conceptualize our work better. A Christian woman said we were able to
discuss the issues that we're stuck in and clarify our process. Everyone
wished that we could spend more time and go deeper into the issues that had
been raised and clarified. We are very grateful to have a teacher of Dr.
Abunimer's status and ability offering us assistance and we're hoping that
he will be able to return for more extensive work with us soon.
On October 12, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women gathered in Elana's
succah to celebrate together with food and companionship the Jewish Holiday
of Succot. Nadia brought her young sons who played with Elana's dog and
played on Elana son's Noam guitar. Evelyne brought her husband. We
explained the meaning of the lulav and etrog -- four species representing
four kinds of people which are bundled together for prayer and blessing and
showed how it is shaken in all directions to cover all of the world. We
discussed the ushpizzim -- the special guest that joins us in the Succah
each night -- Avraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. We
discussed the spiritual aspect of leaving the stability and security of our
house to sit in a flimsy, temporary dwelling where we are aware of our
reliance on God.
The results of our Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional meeting in
Jordan continue to bear fruit. Moriyah is moving forward with the
Jordanians for plans for an Interfaith Music Concert in Jordan with
musicians from various countries in the region. The MENA Women's Interfaith
Encounter is submitting their application to be a Cooperation Circle of the
URI (United Religions Initiative) and is working on plans for the March
interfaith conference at the Dead Sea in Jordan entitled "How Women Create
Peace" from the point of view of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Druze.
We continue to find ways to continue our work together and to be
strengthened to resist the anger, fear, and mistrust in our tragic
This report was prepared with assistance from Ibtisam Mahameed, Siham
Halabi, and Hanan Totary.
We send greetings to all our Muslim friends for a happy and blesssed
Women's Interfaith Encounter
Interfaith Encounter Association
The Interfaith Encounter Association
P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel
Sheikh Muhammad Kiwan, Chair
Sr. Karmela Farrugia, Vice-chair
Mr. Shlomo Alon, Vice-chair
Sheikh Ali Birani
Rabbi Dov Maimon
Ms. Ibtisam Mahamid
Sheikh Tawfiq Salama
Yehuda Stolov, Director
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