AMMAN | The first Middle East Multinational event for younger Seeds in over a decade took place in Jordan from July 11-17.
Fifty-five Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian (West Bank and Gaza), and American Seeds spent a week in Petra exploring “People Power”— the power that young people have to create change and build a more peaceful world.
Ten Israeli and Palestinian Graduate Seeds led the workshops, and report that the event is among the best programs Seeds of Peace has ever run, with it taking place at a pivotal moment in the history of the region.
As the first step in becoming an effective change-maker and peace-builder, the Seeds worked together to understand and appreciate how different worldviews develop, relate to each other, and contribute to shaping the present.
The Seeds examined the forces and social structures that underlie current dynamics in and between their societies—how identities are formed and reinforced, the notion of power versus influence, and their own agency.
At the end of the week-long session, the Seeds explored different tools that have successfully contributed to positive change and peace throughout the world, particularly those used by young people, and put these methods into practice through a final simulation.
“When I get back I can’t wait to apply all the things that I’ve learned,” said an Egyptian participant. “To me, the workshops have been really eye-opening.”
Aside from workshops, the group traveled through the Wadi Rum desert during sunset and visited the ancient city of Petra.
They met with the Commission for Community Development in Petra and were joined for dinner by five senior US diplomats, including the chargé d’affaires of the American Embassy in Jordan.
American Seed delegates to the Multinational spent a week before the event in and around Amman meeting with local NGO representatives, teaming up with Peace Corps volunteers on a community service project in a village, working on their Arabic vocabulary, and learning more about the history and role of the United States in the Middle East.
Thanks to Steering Committee in London of Seeds of Peace UK, two former Camp counselors were able to join the event from the US, bringing their experience, energy and rock-star status to the event.
Read about Egyptian Seeds and the 2011 Arab Spring »