How you can support peace in the Middle East
This week, two delegations sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation are leaving the U.S. to provide solidarity and support for peacemakers in the Greater Middle East, and in the coming weeks two other delegations organized by FOR staff and allies are planned.
Below, you’ll read about an Afghanistan delegation sponsored by FOR, a delegation to Palestine sponsored by Interfaith Peace-Builders that is accepting applications now, an artists’ delegation to Palestine on behalf of a women’s center, and an urgent action supporting an Egyptian pacifist.
Whether you join a delegation, make a donation, or take action on behalf of peace and justice, we hope you will join us in supporting these important initiatives.
Peace and clean water delegation to Afghanistan
One in five Afghan children do not live to be 5 years old, due in large measure to water-borne diseases. Only 45% of Afghans have access to drinkable water.
Inspired by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers and heeding the call of one young person’s mother who said the greatest need was clean water, this Saturday, Sept. 3, FOR members Douglas Mackey, Jody Mackey, and Larry Kerschner will travel to Afghanistan to spend almost a month in Kabul and Bamiyan. Projects will include:
- Bringing training and construction supplies for bio-sand water filters, through Friendly Water for the World and DACAAR, a Denmark-based nonprofit that has been doing successful humanitarian work in Afghanistan for 27 years;
- Working with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (AYPV) in Bamiyan to build the water filters;
- Participating in the Global Days of Listening project with the Afghan youth in Bamiyan;
- Providing Geographic Information System training for members of DACAAR to support their humanitarian aid work;
- Connecting with Afghan womens’ cooperatives in Kabul; and
- Collecting stories and experiences from Afghans that may be shared in the United States and elsewhere.
The delegates will celebrate the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 by joining with the Afghan youth in a Global Day of Listening event.
Help support the Afghan Clean Water Delegation with your donation. (North American support for Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers and the Global Days of Listening project is made possible through FOR’s fiscal sponsorship.)
Interfaith Peace-Builders hosts Palestinian olive harvest delegation
This November, former FOR National Council chair Scott Kennedy and photographer Lisa Nessan will lead an interfaith delegation assist Palestinians in the olive harvest, a lifeblood of Palestinians. Interfaith Peace-Builders, a program that was founded in the 1990s at FOR and is now a separate entity, is a continuing partner organization of FOR.
Arts delegation to Balata refugee camp, Palestine
Palestine separation wall and FOR delegation member, 2009Internationally-renowned artist Lily Yeh and Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb are leading a Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation to Balata Refugee Camp, Sept. 6-27. The arts delegation, in partnership with The Women’s Programme Center of Balata, will initiate a series of art projects that involve women, children and community members in creating murals and other installations.
The Balata art delegation aims to inspire participants to start their own visual art projects, attract other volunteers, funding sources and new opportunities for Balata by strengthening the work already being done by the Women’s Programme Center. Read more about the artists in the delegation and the delegation’s projects.
The arts delegation will document the life of Balata residents and the heroic efforts of the Women’s Programme Center to provide a viable future for themselves and their families. We believe that as solidarity activists, we need to bring the voice of Palestinian refugees to a global audience in order to continue to grow the movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to encourage a future of possibility and peace for everyone in the region.
Support imprisoned conscientious objector in Egypt
Maikel has been on a hunger strike since last week, and on Tuesday, initiated a thirst strike.
“Maikel Nabil Sanad was trying to deconstruct the myth that the army stands and stood with the people of Egypt during the revolution,” declared the solidarity group Free Maikel Nabil. “The army actively arrested and tortured opposition activists, and this continues to this day. Sadly, his own arrest only proves his point.”
Upcoming FOR delegations to Iran
The Fellowship of Reconciliation is planning an Iran delegation this Nov. 4-18, led by long-time Middle East expert Ed Martin, director of the Center for Interfaith Engagement at Eastern Mennonite University. We will post reports from the delegation online, as it happens. Future delegations are planned for the spring of 2012 and beyond, and details will be announced on our website. Fill out an online application for 2012 now or reply to this email to receive more information from our Middle East program staff.