Meet our friend, Hanan, a fabulous new peacemaker, a cool mother, a deeply progressive and courageous Muslim woman, one of a legion that we are discovering around the world. This is the hope of the Middle East.
For one Israeli Arab woman, peace begins within
By Karin Kloosterman
Real peacemakers are often the quiet ones, like Hanan Gaffaly – who works at the NGO Kids Creating Peace and volunteers for Sulhita, an NGO that brings together Palestinian and Israeli youth. Thousands of peacemakers like Gaffaly are not high profile activists like Ghandi and Martin Luther King were. They work from deep within, starting with themselves and their communities, and move on to take small, bold steps to influence the ‘big picture.’
ISRAEL21c first met Gaffaly, a 34-year-old Israeli Arab woman from the city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, while at a San Francisco-based United Religions Initiative conference. At the annual meeting, held in Madaba, Jordan in December, which brought together different faiths from the Middle East-North Africa region, she sat with Elad Vazana, director of the Sulha Peace Project, an Israeli-Arab peace organization that also runs the Sulhita youth NGO, and proffered her personal story.
Palestinians, Israelis and the world at large fail to comprehend how uncomfortable it is for Gaffaly a “Palestinian Arab Israeli” who feels wedged in a major cultural rift in the Middle East. On one hand she identifies herself strongly as an Israeli, but at the same time she has Palestinian relatives with whom she empathizes.
Read the entire article from ISRAEL21c here.© Marc Gopin