Project Co-operation in the Middle East
Organised by Elishera Rubin, Project Co-operation was a camp held in Israel that brought together young Arab students from Tuba-Zangaria and young Jewish students from Rosh Pina. The two communities are located just 1km apart but, due to political tensions between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel, people from either area do not interact or communicate. So, Elishera wanted to organise an initiative that would bring together young people from the two communities. The camp hosted outdoor trips and fun activities in which children from Tuba-Zangaria and Rosh Pina could find common ground.
She describes the project as ‘a small step, but a step in the right direction’.
In October 2000, riots in Israel saw Arab-Israelis and Jewish-Israelis engaged in violent protests against each other. There were over a dozen fatalities as a result of this unfortunate event, and it left tensions at an all-time high between Arab and Jewish communities across the country.
Rosh Pina is a Jewish village in Israel and Tuba-Zangaria is an Arab village. There is less than a kilometre between the two towns but continuing violence and the recent October riots caused Arab-Israelis and Jewish-Israelis to avoid interacting with one another. The two villages remained divided, until Elishera Rubin and Project-Cooperation brought them together.
“The object of ‘Project Co-Operation’ is to create greater understanding between the Arab community of Tuba-Zangaria and the Jewish community of Rosh Pina in the hope that this will contribute towards peace in the Middle East.”
How the Funding Was Used
- £50 for collage materials
- £114 for swimming admission
- £160 for boat trip
- £100 for refreshments and food
- £50 for documenting the project
- £596 for all transport costs
How They Made A Difference
Project Co-operation set out to achieve two goals: the immediate bringing together of the communities of Tuba-Zangaria and Rosh Pina, and the creation of a discussion between to the two groups. Direct discussion was limited, so the camp instructed relied on co-operative physical activities to engage the camp participants. The activities included:
- A Hebrew and Arabic language workshop
- A visit to a local dairy farm, and a picnic
- A sports day, including a trip to a swimming pool
- Co-operation to create two colleges
The camp was a gateway to open communication between the two groups of children. By learning about each other’s language and working together on fun and constructive activities, the camp participants were able to put any prejudices aside and begin working towards a peaceful future among Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Israel citizens.
How The Project Made A Difference for the Volunteers
Elishera and her ground of volunteers gained experience as responsible citizens of the world. Having taken a small step towards ending prejudice among Arab and Jewish children in Israel, they were able to leave with the satisfaction that they had made a contribution to a fairer, more understanding world. They were also able to foster their teamwork and collaboration skills in a completely unique way to other students their age.
The bottom line I that this summer camp, has affected many lives by stimulating more and more people, and more and more ideas towards peace. Your contribution has made a difference.