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Discovery Program:
Creating a Muslim-Jewish Mutual Discovery Guidebook

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World"
Nelson Mandela

The Discovery Program is an intensive four-month online seminar that is designed to act as an educational gateway in bringing together Muslim and Jewish youth to examine their current, as well as prospective relations. Youth from all over the world are encouraged to engage in thought-provoking discussions that tackle themes related to religion, political debates, and the Arab-Israeli conflict and its effect on Muslim-Jewish relations.

The program also provides an open forum to critically analyze the different forms of media and their impact on these two communities. The Discovery Program creates new opportunities and possibilities to learn about the ‘other’ by providing young Muslims and Jews with a platform to understand one another, to appreciate their respective culture and tradition, as well as to explore the similarities in beliefs and practices.

Along the lines of the notion that "a picture is worth a thousand words", the participants also discover their shared spiritual values through photography and thought provoking discussions. Each group of the discovery program consists of eighteen students, 9 Muslims and 9 Jews, who are selected from Jewish and Muslim communities from all over the world to take pictures of Muslim and Jewish religious themes, symbols, rituals and events. These photos serve as powerful and spiritual visual tools that both challenge and prompt the students to explore and reflect on many issues that are considered 'taboo'.

At the end of this educational journey, the students work together to publish a photo essay that serves as an educational tool for use in Muslim and Jewish schools and communities around the world. This photo essay is a combination of photos and essays compiled by the participants in order for them to share their discoveries, insights and realizations with other Jews and Muslims locally and globally.

The main goals of this four month long seminar are to:

1. Become leaders in Jewish and Muslim youth dialogue
2. Discover common theological and cultural beliefs and practices
3. Foster interaction between Muslim and Jewish teenagers around the world, with the aim of restoring a culture of respect based on knowledge and understanding
4. Become pioneers in the exploration of Jewish and Muslim traditions and breaking down the walls of mistrust, hate, and rivalry
5. Build creative and practical skills for peace-building and open dialogue between the two communities.

Students should be:

- between 16-18 years old
- comfortable communicating in english
- enrolled in a jewish school and knowledgeable about judaism
- have daily access to the internet and a camera


More Information:

[Français] 06-12-2005

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