Rays of Hope
Press Releases
Articles and Links
Press Area

In line with our mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding, we will post from time to time stories, ideas and activities that highlight progress toward this goal.

We will call these items "rays of hope." We encourage readers to bring additional "rays" to our attention.


Jewels of Elul
This website posts a ‘Jewel” of inspiration on each of the 29 days of Elul. Deepak Chopra to the Dalai Lama and Kirk Douglas to Matisyahu and others share their thoughts on 'Hope and Healing'.

Interfaith Forum In Pakistan 
Magazine Supplement on the Fourth Anniversary of Daniel Pearl: A miraculous story of a dynamic person fond of talking to strangers. A 26-page Urdu language magazine distributed to schools and libraries in Pakistan, introducing the concept of interfaith dialogue with Daniel's life as a role model.
Link To Supplement

Project Ijtihad
Project Ijtihad is a charitable initiative to promote the spirit of Ijtihad, Islam's own tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent. It supports a positive vision of Islam that embraces diversity of choices, expression and spirituality.

Among the Righteous” by Robert Satloff   
A most brilliant ray of hope shines from a recent book by Robert Satloff, "Among The Righteous", which reveals for the first time the heroic stories of Arabs who risked their lives to save Jews during the holocaust. By framing the Holocaust as a positive, constructive Arab story, the book counters two of the most virulent components of modern Jihadi culture: Holocaust denial and ignorance of Jewish history.(Judea Pearl, November, 2006)

Israeli-Palestinian 'peace' team competes at world karate event
In a rare example of constructive interaction, a group of Israeli Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian youngsters have competed on a joint team at the World Shotokan Karate championships in Tokyo. Link to article

Budo for Peace (BFP) brings together young people from conflict areas to learn and practice traditional Japanese budo (martial arts) in order to learn its values and apply them toward breaking down fear and building trust between peoples. Through martial arts training and understanding of traditional Japanese budo values – including respect, harmony and self-control – the youth enrolled in our program are taught to convert both internal and external conflict into harmonious behavior. www.budoforpeace.org


Creative Peace Network
Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Creative Peace Network Society is a diverse group committed to promoting peace and understanding among people impacted by social and political conflicts. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, Canadian charitable organization committed to fostering a culture of collaboration and justice through creativity and dialogue. In this context, we engage communities in new possibilities for change; provide forums for dialogue; and act as a catalyst for creative initiatives.

MidEastWeb was started by people active in Middle East dialogue and peace education efforts. Our goal is to weave a world-wide web of Arabs, Jews and others who want to build a new Middle East based on coexistence and neighborly relations. Our members and staff include distinguished educators, engineers, Web designers and other professionals experienced in dialogue, peace education projects and in promoting dialogue and coexistence using the Internet.

Hand in Hand – Bilingual Elementary Schools
The Gesher al HaWadi -- Bridge over the Wadi -- opened on September 1, 2004 and is one of three “Hand in Hand” schools working to change the dynamic between Arab and Jewish neighbors. Hand in Hand, the centre for Jewish-Arab education was established in 1997 with the goal of initiating and fostering egalitarian, bilingual, multi-cultural education for Jewish and Arab children. In each school there are two principles, one Arab and one Jewish, in each class a Jewish and Arab teacher, fifty percent Arab and fifty percent Jewish children.

View articles and video:
Search for Common Ground
BBC - School breaks down Israeli barriers

Portraits of Israeli and Palestinian civilians working for peace 
Just Vision has online the first 16 of 180 portraits of civilians engaged in grassroots efforts to advance peace in the Middle East. This is part of a larger effort to highlight courageous Israelis and Palestinians whose peace-related efforts receive too little media attention. Just Vision’s website also includes an interactive timeline of the history of the conflict through the lens of individuals committed to ending it and will include teachers' guides, ways to get involved, audio, video and text in Arabic and Hebrew.

Israeli and Arab Writers to Meet in Groundbreaking Literary Encounter
In a first of its kind gathering, Israeli, Palestinian and Arab writers from around the world will meet together at the Sheikh Hussein Bridge on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. An international crossing point between Israel and Jordan, the bridge serves as a powerful symbol of hope, a link to understanding and a passageway over conflict. A brainchild of international publishers and cultural institutions that work with authors from the Middle East, the one-day encounter is expected to provide a unique platform for the sharing of views and experiences, an opportunity for voices from both sides of the bridge to be heard. Through panels, readings and discussions, relevant literary issues covering a range of topics from translation to distribution will also be discussed.

For registration and interviews, please contact:
Mindset: 972- 2 – 5617258 / Elise Shazar: 972 – 54-6677810

Full story: "Mindset Press Release"

All for Peace - Palestinian-Israeli Radio Aims to Unite   
The mission is equality and peaceful coexistence at All For Peace radio, the only jointly run Israeli-Palestinian radio in the Middle East. The station started broadcasting music and talk radio over the Internet in April and says it gets up to 10,000 hits a day. In late 2004 a radio transmitter was put in place to send its signal out over FM radio. The station is a joint project of the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace at Givat Haviva and the Palestinian organization Biladi, which publishes The Jerusalem Times. The studio is in East Jerusalem, the transmitter in Ramallah. Half the staff is Israeli, half Palestinian. Some broadcasts are in Hebrew, others in Arabic. AP Reports “In a region where the other side's perspective is often drowned out by inflammatory words, All for Peace wants to teach listeners to disagree respectfully.”

Arabs For Israel at Carnegie Mellon University
A group of Arabs and Muslims have started a website www.arabsforisrael.com to support the State of Israel and the Jewish religion and still treasure Arab and Islamic culture. This effort is founded in the understanding that Israel is a legitimate state that is not a threat but an asset in the Middle East and that diversity "should not be a virtue only in the USA, but should be encouraged around the world."  This group supports "a diverse Middle East with protection for human rights, respect and equality under the law to all minorities including Jews and Christians" and prides itself on not being anti-Islam, anti-Arab, confrontational or hateful.

Iraqi lawyer speaks to Jewish Group in Pittsburgh
Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who risked his life to save former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch, spoke at a fund-raiser for the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh.

Full Story: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04071/284129.stm

International Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace Petition to Free Bangladeshi Journalist
Sallah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the weekly Blitz, was arrested at Zia International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh in November 2003 for trying to travel to a writer's conference in Israel.  He has since been charged with sedition and is still in jail.  The International Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC) has started a petition demanding his release.

Sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/IFLAC102/petition.html

Unfortunately, he is not the only journalist worldwide facing restriction of movement or arrest for trying to meet with colleagues.  For more information on attacks on the press, please see the website of the Committee to Protect Journalists , an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.

Canadian Muslim and Jewish groups work to improve understanding
In an effort to improve relations between Muslims and Jews, Canada's Pakistani community has created a journalism scholarship in memory of Daniel Pearl, the Jewish reporter for The Wall Street Journal who was murdered by Muslim extremists in Pakistan last year.

Full story: "Jewish, Muslim Groups Find Common Ground in Toronto"
                   (Forward News)

Abrahamic Interfaith dialogues in Boston
Yusuf Muwwakkil was invited to travel to Turkey last fall with a group of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Now he calls the 10-day bus journey by 45 "pilgrims," 15 from each religion, one of the most important experiences of his life.

Full story: "Abrahamic faiths crack the door to deeper dialogue"
                   (The Christian Science Monitor)

A Spontaneous Sharing of Faith
An Interfaith Passover Seder reinforced Jewish tradition and allowed others of the Abrahamic faiths to rediscover their common cultural heritage.

Full story: "Celebrating Our Common Cultural Heritage"

Net Result: Understanding
An interesting Pakistani-Israeli tennis partnership gained attention at the 2002 Wimbledon tournament. By demonstrating that a Jew and a Muslim can play together effectively and triumphantly, Hadad and Qureshi have shown that common interest can triumph over cultural barriers.

Full story: "Pakistani Doubles Star Defiant" (BBC)

Making Dialogue
While there is still turmoil in the Middle East, we believe there is also hope. We have started gathering a list of peace-making activities taking place between Israelis and Palestinians, which we will continue to update.

Mid-East Peace and Dialog Resources
A listing of Dialog Groups and Initiatives

My Experiences in Dialog
by Saida Nusseibeh
European Dialog groups

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