Musalaha-A Ministry of Reconciliation - June 2015 Update
Israel and Palestine
For the first five centuries of Islam, Jews and Muslims had relatively good relations. This changed when the Mamluks replaced the Ayyubids in the mid-13th century. Under Baybars' Mamluk rule, Jews were forbidden to enter the Temple Mount or Abraham's Tomb in Hebron. For 700 years, from 1267-1967, Jews were forbidden to enter the Temple Mount, with a few minor exceptions. Neither were Christians allowed to enter this site.
This year, Friday, May 29, a group of 25 Israelis, Palestinians and international volunteers joined us as part of the ongoing Young Adults' Curriculum Teaching. This time, we invited Israeli professor Hillel Cohen to share about the history of Jewish and Muslim relations and the Temple Mount.
The group filtered in slowly, and we started with a few group games and discussions regarding holy sites and their significance to us. One participant raised the question, "Do we belong to the holy sites or do the holy sites belong to us?" After some discussion, he concluded that "Ideally, we belong to the holy places," while "In reality; one side can claim a space which causes others to issue a counter-claim of ownership."
One Israeli Palestinian commented that it was “interesting to listen to our foreign friends’ points of view,” particularly intrigued by outside perceptions of the conflict. Reflecting on this past meeting and the series we have had for the past few months, the Young Adults Coordinator shared, “We are encouraged to see how learning and discussing these sensitive and important subjects aid in building relationships with each other."
Family Leaders' Training
Ten Israeli and ten Palestinian families will be joining our Family Leaders' Training this July 26-31 at the Wörnesberger Anker in the Black Forest, Germany. During this week these leaders together with their families will have the opportunity to meet, build relationships, engage in reconciliation activities, and pray together as they train to become a new generation of reconciliation leaders in our land.
Sponsor a Family: $150 would help cover the cost of one adult, $100 one child or $500 for a family of four.
Conflict and Reconciliation, Learning from Ireland
We are excited to be hosting our next young adults' training in Dublin, Ireland this August 26-September 2. Israeli and Palestinian young adults will learn about reconciliation from Ireland's history and conflict. Please pray for the group that will take part in this encounter.
Salim J. Munayer, PhD
Amount needed in 2015
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