Shining stars of 2014! Yair from Israel

We wanted to share some examples of our work in action.

Yair from Israel originally came on the November 2013 international programme and has been active with Encompass ever since.

"I owe a lot of what I now believe in and do to the Encompass programme. It started a long process of tryingto listen and understand, and trying to fight misconceptions in my community. I've heard many harsh things, from many sides of the conflict - that I'm Satan, a murderer, that my country is doing exactly what Hitler did, but also from the other side - that I'm a traitor, helping to bring my country to its doom, that I deserve to die and so on. Still I think a difficult dialogue is better than not talking at all, because when people give up talking they start fighting.

I'm now involved with Simply Sing, a group of young Arabs and Jews that despite everything that happens, refuse to hate and generalise. The last event was special, and not only because of the amazing number of people who showed up (3000!). It was special because of these hard times in Jerusalem and all around Palestine and Israel. Muslim, Jewish and Druze people have been killed. The situation is also very hard in East Jerusalem; a curfew on many Arab neighbourhoods prevented one of our hosts from being able to arrive on time.

Still we refuse to let the difficult situation discourage us, and we will continue to arrange events, raise our voice and act for respectful coexistence." Yair, Israel

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