Oasis of Peace at UWinnipeg
Vered Marom and Samah Salaime are residents of the Oasis of Peace (Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom) in Israel. They will be speaking at UWinnipeg on Oasis of Peace? The Success and Challenge of a Binational Community in Israel on November 21 at 7:30 pm in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall.
This is part of the El Tassi Lecture Series that explores contemporary issues in the Middle East, with a goal of promoting peace, justice, and understanding.
The conversations will be moderated by UWinnipeg’s Dr. Dean Peachy, Global College. This event is free and open to all to attend.
Oasis of Peace, also known as Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom, which is Arabic and Hebrew for Oasis of Peace, is a village located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The village was created as a place of peaceful co-existence between Palestinian and Jewish Israelis of the three Abrahamic faiths. The peace projects, which were established from the earliest days, seek through educational programs to challenge extremism and to de-radicalize negative elements in Israeli society through dialogue.
Oasis of Peace was founded by Father Bruno Hussar, a Jew born in Egypt. Hussar joined the Dominican Order in 1953. When his work took him to Israel, his experiences of the conflict led him to the vision of creating a place where as co-citizens of Israel, Jews and Arab Palestinians (both Christian and Muslim) would live together, bringing up their families together in peace. In 1972, the dream became a reality when the first couple came to join him on a barren and waterless hillside.
About the speakers
Vered Marom was inspired to live in Wahat al-Salam Neve Shalom when she visited the community as a youngster. She dreamed of raising a family in the community that shared the values she holds. She realized that dream 20 years ago and now lives in the village with her husband and four children. Vered’s responsibilities in the community include serving on the steering committee for the Nadi (an informal educational framework for young people from the village), giving nutritional instruction to the childhood educational programs, and organizing social activities to ensure residents have fun together.
In 2015, she participated in an intensive three-year program at Tufts University with Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel to discuss and produce a master plan for a future shared society in Israel. Vered works as a dietician and has a Masters (MSc) in Biochemistry and Human Nutrition from The Hebrew University. She has authored programs to improve dietary habits of children for the Jewish and Arab sectors. She also teaches nutritional education in Jewish and Arab schools.
Samah Salaime is a member of Wahat al-Salam Neve Shalom, a social worker, community activist, and feminist. She is the founder of AWC – Arab Women in the Center, an NGO which seeks to promote the status of women in the cities of Ramla, Lod, and Jaffa, and to combat gender-based violence against women, particularly in Arab society.
This year Samah was chosen by the Israeli National Newspaper “Yediot Achronot” as one of the 10 most influential social activists in Israel. Samah was awarded her B.A. and Master’s degrees in Social Work from The Hebrew University. She is a graduate of the prestigious Mandel School for Educational Leadership.
Samah is an accomplished journalist with articles published in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. She is a regular contributor to +972 Magazine. In the Wahat al-Salam Neve Shalom Community, she has served as Director of the Educational Institutions and recently became Director of the Wahat al Salam Neve Shalom Communication and Development Department.
The El Tassi Lecture Series was established in 2012 through a gift from Abdo (Albert) El Tassi to The University of Winnipeg’s Global College. El Tassi is a Winnipeg businessman who is deeply engaged in a wide range of educational and charitable activities. He is a member of the Arab-Jewish Dialogue and the Board of Directors of the Arthur V.Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice.
El Tassi was one of the founders of the Islamic Social Services Association of Manitoba, the Al Hijra Islamic School, and the Mosque of Thompson, Manitoba. He has supported many refugees and immigrants in establishing new and productive lives in Manitoba.
His contributions to Canada have been recognized with numerous awards and honours, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Member of the Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award.
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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