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May 18, 2015

For a Glimpse at the Future of Peacebuilding, Look to an Experiment Begun a Decade Ago | THE HUFFINGTON POST

When we were both 14, our Israeli and Palestinian parents and teachers enrolled us in a massive, life-altering experiment, the effects of which are still playing out, over a decade later. We are both from Jerusalem, and at age 27, we are part of the reason the Middle East is experiencing the highest ratio of youth to adults in history. This “youth bulge” provides the experiment’s context: there are over 100 million youth in our region between the ages of … FULL STORY

Mar 27, 2015

Amid Gaza rubble, new center offers
kids art, storytelling, and hope

In a Gaza City neighborhood that saw some of the fiercest fighting in last summer’s war, a children’s center teaches free thinking, life skills, and ethics. GAZA CITY | Seated in front of a makeshift puppet theater one rainy recent morning, about 20 girls sat in rapt attention. “Think, think, think, girls!” say an elephant and a zebra, who are trying to help their rabbit friend deal with an enemy tiger. The girls chime in as the animal friends come … FULL STORY

Mar 10, 2015

Next goal for Seeds of Peace:
Putting campers to work

Seeds of Peace, a US-based organization with over two decades of experience in the Middle East, is expanding to include a wider spectrum of actors. DEAD SEA, JORDAN | This may not seem like a propitious time for peace in the Middle East. But Seeds of Peace, which has become one of the region’s most recognized peace-building initiatives since hosting its first summer camp for Israeli and Palestinian teens in 1993, is seeking to expand its reach. While the organization … FULL STORY

Feb 24, 2015

Wil Smith touched many lives in his many roles as coach, mentor and counselor

The 2000 Bowdoin College graduate died Sunday from colon cancer, leaving what Sen. Angus King called “a hole in the heart of our community.” Whether he was coaching young girls to play basketball or counseling teenagers from a war-torn region of the world, Wil Smith was always there when he was needed. “He had boundless energy and enthusiasm for life,” said Tim Gilbride, the men’s basketball coach at Bowdoin. “And that was contagious to other people. He could get people … FULL STORY

Feb 23, 2015

Wil Smith, gifted mentor at Seeds of Peace and educator at Bowdoin, dies

The single father inspired young people in his roles as a staff member at the international peace camp in Otisfield and as a faculty member at Bowdoin College. Since before his time in the Navy and then as a fixture at Bowdoin College, Wil Smith had a gift of working with children. As associate director of Seeds of Peace’s International Camp in Otisfield, he had an undeniable ability to connect with kids, whether they came from troubled pasts nearby or … FULL STORY

Sep 17, 2014

Seeds of Peace responds to flawed, inaccurate Ha'aretz column

The Ha’aretz newspaper published a column by Matthew Kalman on September 15 titled “Will seeds of peace ever bloom.” The piece is very similar to a 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article by Kalman that also juxtaposes statistics from an unpublished 2008 study on various Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding programs with an interview with a Seed. This is Seeds of Peace’s response to the article. There has been no response from Ha’aretz or Kalman. Dear Matthew, I very much appreciate that, like your … FULL STORY

Sep 10, 2014

Seeds of Peace: Not blind patriotism

Participants from regions of conflict attend a camp and discussed issues like the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir A group of teenagers who participated in this year’s Seeds of Peace camp returned from their three week tour at Maine, United States of America. Seeds of Peace was founded by American journalist John Wallach in 1993. The idea was to get people from the regions of conflict to come together and speak to each other so that they can understand the situation … FULL STORY

Aug 29, 2014

Maine summer camp gives kids from Israel, Gaza seeds for peace | FUSION

With tensions simmering in the Middle East, a bucolic lakeside summer camp in Otisfield, Maine, took 95 Israeli and Palestinian out of the conflict zone and hosted them as campers this month for a unique bonding experience. Some 6,000 miles removed from the fighting back home, the kids get to know one another in the woods of Maine, hoping that the lessons they learn at sleepover camp will one day help them work for peace back home. The camp, called … FULL STORY

Aug 26, 2014

Viewpoint from the West Bank:
'We are all humans' | PBS NEWSHOUR

Alma is a 19-year-old Palestinian living in the West Bank while studying to be a journalist. She and her friends enjoy traveling and camping around the West Bank. Alma is interested in becoming a political reporter, and in the West Bank where she lives, “everyone is interested in politics,” she said. Alma attended the Seeds of Peace summer camp, where both Israelis and Palestinians gather to find a common bond. It was an experience that changed her understanding of the … FULL STORY

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