Although in the recent months the political situation got worse and as a result the willingness to engage in dialogue has decreased, 25 courageous Palestinian and Israeli women* arrived on August 1 for this year’s dialogue seminar near Cologne. During the first week of the seminar, the participants shared their personal experiences with the conflict and their family narratives and also explored their historical narratives. As during previous seminars, this was very exhausting and emotionally challenging, but nevertheless inspiring and enriching for them.

The bomb attacks, that took place during the seminar, had of course an impact on its process. Opening a space to exchange and discuss the current situation was important. „Does it make sense to be here? What is the point of trying to understand each other in the context of seminar and to meet at eye level, when the political reality will catch up with us again as soon as we will be back home?“ – These were some of the questions posed by the participants. One participant from Gaza argued that the recent violence is all the more a reason to use dialogue as peaceful means. She feels the importance to share her experiences and hopes in order to find allies at the seminar.