This past week the Daily News, self-defined as Egypt’s only independent newspaper in English, published an article by Melisse Lewine-Boskovich the director of Peace Child Israel. In the article she remarked that “Peace Child Israel was founded in 1988 by David Gordon and the late Yael Drouyannoff who created a new commodity in Israel: the use of theatre as a dialogue tool between teenagers with the goal of educating towards democracy, pluralism, and mutual respect between Arab and Jewish teenagers in the State of Israel.”
In the programme Arab and Jewish teenagers from neighbouring communities meet weekly and conclude their first year of activity by writing and performing original plays in Arabic and Hebrew. They continue as young leaders by performing their plays for school audiences. Groups are co-facilitated by Arab and Jewish professionals from the field of theatre and social work.
By 2003, the organization developed a two-year curriculum that included three performances for students in the first year, and another six performances in the second. It is in this capacity an attempt is made “to achieve attitudinal change that makes the effort worth it. And the statistics show that the plays make a difference.”
On June 26th 2008, Peace Child Israel celebrated its 20th anniversary by convening a reunion event in Jerusalem. Attended by musicians and actors who contributed their time and talents to the event, they came to salute the heroes, young and old.
Lewine-Boskovich says that, “The mantra at Peace Child is: It is not what is being said; it is how it is being said that counts. When most people have lost nearly all confidence in a vision of Israel where Arab and Jews will trust each other and coexist in equality, those taking up the torch of cooperation are indispensable.”
Further details of this organisation can be found at: http://www.mideastweb.org/peacechild/index.html
(Photo credit: Peace Child Israel)