poem by Kevin Joos

as an impression on his trip with 3rdParty to the Middle East, student Kevin Joos wrote this poem: In Jesus cradle we fell But were saved by people kind And generous, with one wish in mind, Just to be treated well.   A veil of love unfolded Everywhere we went Friendships were moulded That will never end   We now have to take our leave And hope that all you wish You may one day receive.   A bright future for your lands That you may walk, trough stone, grass and sand Palestine and Israel, hand in... [Lire la suite]
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8-15th July - 7 days with youngsters from Antwerp in Israel and Palestine

It is difficult to evaluate this trip in just a few words, but we will do this for sure the coming weeks, including on this blog also and especially the impressions of the 8 young girls and boys of 18 to 20 years old, who made this trip. Our aim was to meet people in dialogue, and believing - against all odds - in reconciliation.  This aim has surely been succesfully met.  We have met extra-ordinary and very courageous people from Israel and from Palestine, who dare to choose for dialogue and collaboration, even if their... [Lire la suite]
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Thursday 15th July 2010 - day 7 of youthtrip to Palestine and Israel

Our last day in what many call the 'holy land'.   This morning we started with meeting representatives of Parents Circle, a mixed group of bereaved families from Israel and Palestine, who together do impressive work giving testimony about their lost ones, demanding no revenge, but instead collaboration, reconciliation, and tollerance and coexistence as neighbours and maybe soon friends.  A delegation of Parents Circle will be our first guests in Antwerp on 20 and 21st September. At noon we went to the Yad Vashem Museum on... [Lire la suite]
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Wednesday 14th July 2010 - day 6 of youth trip to Palestine and Israel

A whole day in Jerusalem.  The students are staying for two nights at young Jerusalemites' homes in the area around Yaffo Street (Jaffa Street) in West Jerusalem.  We spent this day in the old city, first with a series of interviews given to the national television crew (VRT, Koppen) which has been following us for the last 4 days.  Then we visited some of the holy places, such as Al-Aqsa Mosque, an Islamic holy place.  The Jewish call the site the Temple Mount.  Also for them this area is sacred.  We... [Lire la suite]
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Tuesday 13th July 2010 - day 5 of youthtrip in Israel and Palestine

Today was a day with the ladies from MachsomWatch.  For most of us one of the strongest parts of our trip in the region.  MachsomWatch is a group of ladies (grandmothers most of them), who have started their activities around checkpoints ('machsom' is hebrew for 'checkpoint'), but are now working also more and more on the realities of people living in and around checkpoints, the wall and all the other forms of borders created, legally and illegally, by the Israeli government and the settlers.  MachsomWatch is thereby... [Lire la suite]
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Monday 12th July 2010 - day 4 of youth trip to Israel and Palestine

Today was another very long day for us.  We left early from the village of Al-Ma'sara near Bethlehem to Sderot near Gaza, were we started a day in the company of members of the mixed Israeli-Palestinian organisation Combatants for Peace. They showed us around in and around the city of Sderot, a small city in Israel which is very near Gaza (we have seen the Gaza strip from there) and which has been attacked regularly with the so-called kassam-rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.  The city has equipped itself with shelters... [Lire la suite]
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Sunday 11th July 2010 - day 3 of youth trip to Israel and Palestine

Today was spent in and around Bethlehem, in the Westbank, in the company of Mahmoud Zwahre, major of the village Al-Ma'sara, and one of the leading figures in the growing popular movement for non-violent resistance against the wall and settlements.   We visited the area together with Mahmoud and were introduced in the incredible world of collaborative non-violent actions developed first by two Palestinian villages, and now by 16.  It is a small but rapidly growing movement of Palestinians who believe that there are... [Lire la suite]
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Saturday 10th July 2010 - day 2 of youth trip to Israel & Palestine

Today Saturday is not over yet, but was already very very busy. A difficult early morning separation of the hosting families in Nazareth (it really does not take much time to become friends; half a day and an evening is enough), we travelled from Nazareth (Arab/Palestinian city in the North of Israel) to the nearby Jenin (Palestinian city in the North of the Westbank).  It was easy to pass the main checkpoint, so we arrived early in Jenin, where we visited the music school of Al Kamandjati and the actors school of Freedom... [Lire la suite]
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Friday 9th July - day 1 of youth trip to Israel & Palestine

We all arrived save and well in Tel Aviv, where we spend the night in a hotel near the beach. In the morning we visited the Open Clinic in Jaffa of Physicians for Human Rights, our first appointment over here.   In the afternoon we travelled from Jaffa and Tel Aviv to Nazareth (2 hours drive) and spent the afternoon visiting the city, accompagnied by youngsters from the Masar school, where the music school of Orpheus is situated. The connection between the youngsters from Antwerp and Nazareth went smoothly, and now all of... [Lire la suite]
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