This past Tuesday, 15 Palestinian high school girls from East Jerusalem came to the suburb of Beit Shemesh for some Twinning action with Israeli girls their age. This is the second year that these two teams are twinning, so they’re already friends and, their Twinnings are full of laughing and horsing around, just as they should be.
The activity, which was led by Palestinian coach Ghassan and Israeli coach Shoshan, started out with a set of Twinning drills, most of which required the girls to split up into mixed Palestinian-Israeli pairs to work together to complete the drill. After that, the girls got together, and in Twinning tradition, played a game on mixed teams. By mixing into integrated Palestinian-Israeli groups, our girls were playing together instead of against each other. The group also got a special visitor: Nastiya, a long-time PeacePlayer, who graduated from high school and the Leadership Development Program in 2010. Nastiya, an Israeli who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, is in the middle of her compulsory military service in the Israeli army. Nastiya hasn’t forgotten us, though, and comes to as many PPI activities as she can fit into service. This is our goal for all of our PeacePlayers: That they will continue to be PeacePlayers in all of their future endeavors.