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Peacecamp 2004

A few days ago we returned home - 26 Arab, Israeli and Austrian youths who had participated at a 10-days camp in Austria. The camp dealt with aspects of the personal and group identity of people, with the ability to know and respect the identity of others and offered various workshops - art, drama, music, plastic art etc. We had also trips and tours in the surrounding region as well as group sessions with a psychologist.

In spite of the expected conflicts which arose amongst members of the different groups, these did not diminish the intense personal ties which arose amongst participants, and many of the originally stereotypes and prejudices were lessened. This was one of the most important experiences I had in my whole life and I enjoyed (almost) every moment I spent in Austria.

I learnt much more than I had expected, especially about the Arab group. None of us knew how hard a burden their religion and tradition is for them and how much it dictates their behaviour. What they told me about themselves is the reality which they experience, and it is quite different from the picture that television conveys about them. Also the encounter with the Austrians was quite stunning. We are already preparing our next encounter with them, our next trip to Austria.

In addition, a documentary film was made about the camp and will be shown at the festival of the Jewish Film in Vienna and on a number of television channels.

Livnat Holinger
Emek Chefer High School


Nili Gross: Englisch ?????

Peacecamp 2004:
"Identities unsolved?" 23-08-2004

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