Geneva Initiative Annexes
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Joint GI student seminar in Jordan

  On Friday-Sunday, November 28th-30th, Geneva Initiative held a joint Israeli-Palestinian seminar in Jordan for some 30 students, where participants discussed the situation and formulated ideas for promoting peacemaking and dialogue in their own communities

Date: 28-30.11.2008

On the weekend of November 28th-30th, Geneva Initiative held a seminar for Israeli and Palestinian students dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the steps students can take to promote peacemaking and dialogue.

15 students from each side attended the seminar, with the Palestinian participants hailing from across the West Bank. The Israeli participants were all students who take part in Geneva Initiative's special course at Tel Aviv University on political leadership.

Following the participants' arrival at the hotel at the Dead Sea in Jordan, Palestinian Peace Coalition Director General Nidal Foqaha opened the seminar, stressing the importance of young leadership in the current reality and discussing Geneva Initiative work among both Israelis and Palestinians.

Next, the participants engaged in one-on-one conversations in the form of a "speed-dating" exercise, discussing both their personal experiences and the political situation.

Saturday morning opened with a group discussion of the central issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the ground—settlements, the separation barrier, security, roadblocks, education, and prisoners—sharing opposing views but also attempting to reach common ground on these difficult issues. All groups presented the steps they could agree must be taken on the ground to improve the situation.

The second portion of Saturday consisted of group discussions and presentations on the role of students and youths in society, and what the participants could do in their own universities or communities, or jointly with their counterparts on the other side, to promote peacemaking, dialogue, and the political process. At the end of the day, the participants voted on the activities they would like to advance both jointly and separately, and several students volunteered to head such follow-up activities to the seminar. Several participants voiced their desire to meet with the group again to evaluate progress.