What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
During a coaches training course for Palestinian and Israeli coaches in Cyprus the participant coaches came up with an idea to bring kids together through football.
The idea was that if we gave Palestinian and Israeli kids an opportunity to bond over their shared love of football and meet their counterpart from 'the other side', the kids would be more open to ideas of peace, mutual understanding and coexistence rather than hatred.
The program began with two communities – Sderot in Israel and Isawiya in East Jerusalem and quickly expanded to include around 35 communities.
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Dr. Ron Pundak serves as the Director General of the Peres Center for Peace, a position he has held since mid-2001. He played a decisive role in creating the secret track of the unofficial Oslo negotiations at the beginning of 1993, and subsequently served as a member of the official Israeli negotiating team in the later stage of the Oslo Process. Since then, Dr. Pundak has been involved in a number of "Track 2" initiatives regarding an Israeli-Palestinian final status agreement, dealing with issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, borders, and economic aspects of the conflict.
Bassam Aramin, Director of The Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue
After spending seven years in Israeli jails between 1985-1992, Bassam has become a notable advocate for peace and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. He is a Member of the Palestinian Israeli Bereaved Family Forum, is Chairman of Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue and Co-Founder of Combatants For Peace Organization (of Israelis and Palestinians) in 2005.
Bassam has given more than 70 lectures in Israel since 2006 in schools, universities and meeting houses. In 2007, he tragically lost his beloved ten year old daughter Abir in a tragic incident involving the IDF and has courageously maintained his search for peace and reconciliation. Bassam is the recipient of many peace awards including an Award on November 7, 2007 in New York, the Dieschwelle Foundation Award in Germany, the Bremen Peace Award in November 2007.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)
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