Peres Center for Peace
(Projects completed in December 2016)
For six years, IrespectU supported projects at the Peres Center for Peace, seeking to bring together Jewish and Arab children and youths. The aim was to foster peaceful coexistence in an extremely complex setting through joint activities. As the most recent program, photo workshops for both, Arab and Jewish youth, were successfully implemented in the three Israeli cities Jaffa, Lod and Jerusalem. The program has distinguished itself by its impact and sustainability.
The project „Eye Contact to the Youth“ took place throughout the period of one school year. Two objectives were achieved: The youth learned the technical groundwork of photography from an experienced Jewish-Israeli photo journalist. They were trained to closely watch their complex environment and then to mirror their impressions and emotions by means of creativity. At the same time, the cooperation between the various participants in this group initiated a social process that was supervised by an Israeli-Arab expert. Jewish and Arab youngsters, who in their daily lives hardly ever associate with each other, now communicated, worked together and learned how to interact in a meaningful way.
The project was completed with an exhibition and a catalogue that was created with the help of the youth. In this way the youngsters could present the results of their work to their families and friends as well.
The Peres Center for Peace was founded by the 9th President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, in 1996. Its goal is to promote lasting peace in the Middle East by initiating and supporting projects on peace education, but also on artistic, economic and technological cooperation between people of different cultural background.
Shimon Peres, whose passing away we had to mourn in 2016, impressed us during personal encounters with his fine humor, his humanity and his tireless commitment to a respectful interaction with the "other". It was a special privilege for IrespectU to support his vision.