Peace-ing it to­gether

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

At 7 p.m. on Tues­day, Aug. 3, 20 Is­raeli and Pales­tinian women ages 15 to 20 share the stage at the James A. Lit­tle Theater on the cam­pus of the New Mex­ico School for the Deaf (1060 Cer­ril­los Road). Af­ter al­most three weeks at a sum­mer camp in Glo­ri­eta — where they en­gaged in work­shops, art classes (in­clud­ing draw­ing, paint­ing, print­mak­ing, sculp­ture, and pho­tog­ra­phy), di­a­logue ses­sions, field trips, and other col­lab­o­ra­tive ac­tiv­i­ties — the women present read­ings about their lives, their camp ex­pe­ri­ences, and their strug­gles to find com­mon ground with one an­other in New Mex­ico while po­lit­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal con­flicts con­tinue to sim­mer in Is­raeli and Pales­tinian territories.

The camp in Glo­ri­eta is run by Cre­ativ­ity for Peace, a non­profit whose mis­sion is to fos­ter un­der­stand­ing and build lead­er­ship skills among young Pales­tinian and Is­raeli women and to pro­mote peace among them in the hopes that they will pass the lessons they learn on to their own com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies. Campers’ writ­ings were work­shopped by Ari­ane Mah­mud-Ghazi, a lo­cal li­censed so­cial worker who has pre­vi­ously men­tored for Cre­ativ­ity for Peace.

Be­sides the camp, which was es­tab­lished in 2003 and has served some 150 young women, the non­profit’s pro­grams in­clude year-round sum­mits of for­mer campers in the Mid­dle East, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lead­er­ship train­ing (in­clud­ing pub­lic speak­ing), and aca­demic schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“At camp, they learn to speak au­then­ti­cally and lis­ten com­pas­sion­ately,” says Cre­ativ­ity for Peace ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dot­tie Indyke. They “share their per­sonal sto­ries — of­ten of the vi­o­lent deaths of loved ones — and they be­come friends.”

As part of the Aug. 3 per­for­mance, 19-year-old vi­o­lin­ist Leti­cia Gon­za­les ac­com­pa­nies the read­ings. The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico mu­sic ma­jor joined Cre­ativ­ity for Peace in 2009 for a “girls cir­cle,” an out­reach op­por­tu­nity that brought campers and young New Mex­ico women to­gether for an in­for­mal dis­cus­sion.

Tick­ets for the read­ing are $15 at the door on a first-come-first-serve ba­sis (cash and checks only), $10 for ages 12 and un­der and se­niors. A pub­lic re­cep­tion fol­lows. Call 505-757-6752 for in­for­ma­tion.

Cre­ativ­ity for Peace campers, 2009

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