While the participants in the dialogue seminars try to take the perspectives of the „Others“ and together look for strategies of conflict transformation, politicians like the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, through announcing the annexation of the Jordan Valley in case he wins the election, continue a spiral of violence; and conflict resolution seems in the far distant future. It is all the more impressive when participants, such as Yael* (name changed), encouraged by the seminar, don’t give up in spite of the political situation: “Before the seminar, a  conflict solution seemed unattainable to me. Now I know that we need hope and have to be convinced that solutions are possible.“

This year, for the first time in the history of the project, someone who lives in the Gaza Strip – Nour* (name changed) participated in the women’s seminar: “You have given me the opportunity to open my heart and my mind to people whom I was afraid of”, she describes her experience of the seminar. Nour’s insights and positions particularly enriched the seminar. „I brought my message to the Israelis, they heard it and I believe that they will pass it on.“ A detailed interview, in which she shares her story, will be in our annual report. Apart from the Women’s seminar, in the Israel-Palestine part of the project, the Allgenders-seminar took place as planned with new partners who combined the political narrative approach with the method of nonviolent communication. It was an exciting and moving pilot seminar and we hope that this partnership will continue to develop positively.

In the meantime, the theater and youth groups with whom we were able to hold the Allgenders-seminar in 2018 continued to implement further follow-up activities up until this summer: in addition to regular meetings, both discussion workshops and small theater performances could take place despite the difficult and tense political situation on the ground. In the former Yugoslavia, the peace camp in Split, Croatia was characterized by very intensive thematic workshops and new guests and topics. As in previous years, the war and its aftermath were at the center of the peace camp.