PeacePlayers-Middle East has made it through another year packed with programming. The year is winding down with only a few more Twinnings left. A Twinning is essentially a joint practice for youth from two communities, one Jewish and one Arab. The Twinning communities are usually relatively close in proximity to each other but have little to no communication or interaction before joining PeacePlayers.
Most of the teams have said their “see you laters” as summer break approaches. As a project manager in the North, I’ve seen some amazing things happen in the Twinnings between Tamra and Nahariya, as well as Meiser and Kfar Saba. Tamra and Nahariya are both in the north, while Meiser is in the Menashe region in the center of Israel and Kfar Saba is about an hour north of Tel Aviv.
No one expects there to be instantaneous friendships from the first, second, or even third Twinning. Getting familiar takes time, but once two teams begin to see each other regularly, they begin to take it to the next level. From my experience, the Meiser and Kfar Saba Girls’ teams have almost been an exception. Right off the bat they were ready to learn each other’s names and have fun together. What I noticed about Kfar Saba and Meiser was that while the girls were intimidated at first, it took only a few players who led by example to make the others come out of their shell. By the third Twinning, I noticed several girls from both teams trying to speak to each other using the little Hebrew and Arabic they knew. It was amazing!
Not only were they trying to communicate together using words they picked up from Twinnings, but while they were waiting on the side for their turn to participate in drills they were even playing together with games they invented. While it’s sad that there will be a few months without these Twinnings, I look forward to starting another year and seeing what they can achieve!
By keeping the same Twinning partner year after year, PeacePlayers ensures that true friendships form. Our Twinning season will start again sometime at the end of October so stay tuned!