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Neve Shalom – Wāħat as-Salām

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Oasis of Peace redirects here. For the synagogue in Istanbul, see Neve Shalom Synagogue.
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View of the village

Neve Shalom (Hebrew: נְוֵה שָׁלוֹם‎, lit. Oasis of Peace), also known as Wāħat as-Salām (Arabic: واحة السلام‎) is a cooperative village jointly founded by Israeli Arabs and Jews in an attempt to show that the two peoples can live side by side peacefully, as well as to conduct educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples. The village is located on one of the two Latrun hilltops, midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in the territory Israel has controlled since 1967, which was until then no man's land between the Israeli and Jordanian lines. Falling under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, in 2006 it had a population of 200.

History

Its name is taken from a passage in the Book of Isaiah 32:18: "My people shall dwell in an oasis of peace." The village was conceived by Major Wellesley Aron, grandfather of the Israeli singer David Broza.[1] In 1969, Bruno Hussar, an Egyptian-born Dominican brother (of Jewish origin) established a hermitage on forty hectares of land leased from the Trappist abbey at Latrun for people searching for solitude. Aron and Hussar saw the place as an opportunity to "expand on the idea of finding peace within yourself as a prelude to bringing peace to the community and the region". [1]

Demographics

The village is home to some fifty families with another 300 (Jews and Arabs) on the waiting list for settlement in the community. A recently approved expansion plan will permit the village to grow in coming years by another 90 housing lots. Also, since its founding, the village has had a regular rotation of international volunteers brought in to provide basic support functions at its various facilities.

Education

There are three educational institutions in the village;

  • A bi-national, bi-lingual (Arabic - Hebrew) children's educational framework, with an enrollment (2005) of 200+. About 90% of the pupils come from towns and villages in a 30 kilometer radius of Neve Shalom ~ Wahat as-Salam. The largest unit in the children's educational framework is the primary school, founded in 1984 as the first such bi-national school in the country. Today, the school is recognized and receives some support from the state.
  • The School for Peace: a unique educational institution offering Jewish-Arab encounter programs in the spirit of Neve Shalom ~ Wahat as-Salam. Founded in 1979, the SFP has conducted workshops, seminars and courses for some 45,000 youth and adults from Israel and the Palestinian territories. The School for Peace also trains facilitators in conflict-group encounter skills.
  • The Pluralistic Spiritual Centre in Memory of Bruno Hussar (known as "Doumia ~ Sakinah"): a place and a framework for spiritual reflection on issues at the core of the middle east conflict and the search for its resolution. The Centre conducts a variety of activities and seminars that are open to the general public.

Economy and culture

The village also has a small guest house, offering programs aimed at acquainting local or foreign groups with the village and its cultural context. On June 22, 2006, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters played a live concert at the village, attracting over 50,000 fans.[2]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.davidbroza.net/hp/Activities.aspx
  2. [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagena me=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1150885827741 Thousands flock to Waters concert]

External links

Coordinates: 31°49′03.66″N 34°58′47.39″E / 31.8176833°N 34.9798306°E / 31.8176833; 34.9798306

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