MESP WELCOMES REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEVE SHALOM/WAHAT AL-SALAM by Mike Makara


The Middle Eastern Studies Program was honored to host Ahmad Hijazi, a resident of the Neve Shalom/ Wahat al-Salam (Oasis for Peace) village in Israel. Oasis for Peace is home to fifty-five Israeli and Palestin- ian families that voluntarily live and work together, creating a unique environment to foster trust and mutual understanding between the two populations. Speaking on October 24, 2007, Mr. Hijazi gave a message of hope about what many see as an intractable conflict.

Oasis for Peace was established in the 1970s in an effort to demonstrate the degree of collaboration possible between Israelis and Palestinians. While acknowledging the Arab-Israeli conflict’s tense history, Oasis for Peace seeks to create a future built upon respect and cooperation. Children of all ages learn and play together in an innovative education system that helps them see beyond stereotypes and emphasizes similarities over differences. The community’s message has spread far beyond its borders, as hundreds of families anxiously await their chance to participate.

The presentations captivated audiences, who were eager to ask Mr. Hijazi about his experience with Oasis for Peace as well as his opinions on the prospects for peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict.