OTISFIELD, Maine | As conflict rages in the Middle East, young Israeli and Palestinian campers are among those forging friendships Sunday night at the Seeds of Peace Camp in the Oxford County town of Otisfield.
The camp is in its 22nd year.
There are 182 campers representing eight different delegations in this session.
More than half of the campers are Israeli or Palestinian, but some are from other parts of the world where there is conflict, such as Pakistan.
“When I came here for Seeds of Peace and I talked to people, I thought that, ‘Oh this doesn’t make any sense, how could three weeks change me? How can I believe whatever they say?’ But once I started talking to them and once I understood that OK this is what they’ve been told and this is what they think,” said Noor, a teen from Pakistan. “It started making sense to me, and I don’t know sometimes they were wrong, and sometimes I was wrong. I discovered, that nobody’s completely right and that everybody’s story is different.”
On Friday, several NBA players will be at the camp to participate in an event called Play for Peace.
“Seeds of Peace is not just about Israel and Palestine. It’s not just about my enemy. It’s about me being able to see people from Jerusalem and the West Bank who I have never even met because I live under a blockade and to see Americans—to see people from many different groups,” said Salma, a teen from Palestine.