These are days in which the power of young people is on display across the Middle East, again affirming our belief in the courage of our Seeds to lead.
We are seeing initiatives by Seeds on the streets of Cairo that are particularly exciting. Egyptian Seed Mostafa Fahmy (Camp 1999) and his friends filmed, edited and recorded a music video during a two-day period last week. The song, called Sout Al Horeya (The Voice of Freedom), has received nearly 900,000 views on YouTube since it was released on February 11, and is one of the 100 most-watched videos on the site this week.
Mostafa filmed during the peaceful protests in Tahrir Square, and despite losing two video cameras to police, never gave up. After the second camera was taken, he spoke with one of Seeds’ Board members. “She gave me the push to go film and not stop,” Mostafa says, grateful for the support he received from Seeds around the world.
You can watch Mostafa’s video and read more about its creation here:
Also in Egypt, six Seeds organized a day-long clean-up community service activity in Cairo. The organizers wrote, “As you all know, most streets are not in the best shape after all the protests that took place. It’s going to take time and effort to re-build everything that was destroyed.”
Whether by starting an NGO and engaging in dialogue with other youth, organizing events, or writing op-eds, our Seeds have shown incredible initiative and leadership. Read more about the clean-up and other actions and reactions by Egyptian Seeds to the changes in their country.
Just as Egypt was entering a time of profound change, we held our most recent binational event in Jerusalem. Sixty Israelis and Palestinians engaged in two days of dialogue, exploring Jerusalem as one of the defining unresolved issues of the conflict, and hearing from guest lecturers. The Seeds tackled issues ranging from demographics to municipal policy, separation, settlements and security.
Read more about the event and Seeds of Peace’s programs in the Middle East.
Finally, over the weekend, 20 Seeds had the opportunity to share their views and experiences with Grammy Award-winning singer Macy Gray. On Saturday, 16 younger Israeli and Palestinian Seeds met with her before her Tel Aviv concert for a 90-minute discussion. Siwar Mansour, a 2009 Seed, then opened for Macy, and the two ended the performance playing Sweet Baby together.
On Sunday, Macy toured Ramallah with Seeds of Peace and met with four older Palestinian Seeds. Her reaction to meeting the younger Seeds, via Twitter: “Met w SEEDS OF PEACE – a group of Israeli and Palestinian teenagers. It was one of the most powerful enlightening experiences of my whole life.”
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Whatever you choose to do, you, like the Seeds, are making a difference.
Leslie Adelson Lewin