PeacePlayers International – Middle East recently had the honor to shoot hoops with United States Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro. At this special occasion, staff representatives of the United States Embassy Tel Aviv, United States Consulate General Jerusalem and USAID joined PeacePlayers on the court. PPI – ME brought buses of excited youth to the event, including members of our Leadership Development Program (LDP), Minis teams, as well as All-Stars from Jerusalem.
Our two All-Star and LDP members, Toot and Duha, started the event off right, together with Managing Director Karen Doubilet, who all shared a few words with the crowd. “Without PeacePlayers, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am now a coach and have the chance to play sports,” said Duha.
The youth participating in the event took this unique opportunity to heart and felt special during the activities with the Ambassador and staff. Showing off their twinning drills gave them time to shine, demonstrating the same activities PPI leads with both the Palestinian and Israeli communities. For the drills, the entire group was split into two sides, with each side filled with PeacePlayers, and USAID, Embassy and Consulate staff on both. Members of both sides dribbled to the center and engaged in shared action like high fives, switching balls.
Ambassador Shapiro accepted his second invitation to play with PeacePlayers. His first time playing with the group, in 2012, was also a great success. It’s not always the easy route to choose, to play with the supposed enemy, but our players are doing it and got the chance to showcase their understanding of basketball and of each other to our amazing U.S. government friends and supporters.
Thank you Ambassador Shapiro, the U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, USAID and the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem!