Fall 2013 In late September, three of Creativity for Peace's most accomplished Young Leaders are coming to the U.S. for a two-week speaking tour in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Houston, and Dallas.
A focus of this groundbreaking tour is introducing American teens to methods for combating violence in their homes, schools, and communities and inspiring them to become involved in social justice on a global level.
Young Leaders Jwana Ghaleb from Jenin, Palestine, Shirit Milikovski from Sderot, Israel, and Mai Shbeta, from Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam, Israel will lead a 2-1/2 day workshop, “Alternatives to Violence” for 16 young New Mexican women, themselves promising young leaders, who have been selected to participate.
Young Leaders will also speak about their experiences living in violence and conflict, their personal transformations, and their work on behalf of peace at faith communities, universities, high schools, and public and private venues.
Creativity for Peace is very proud of these young women, who have committed themselves to this work despite enormous obstacles.
Mai is 22 years old and was born and raised in Wahat al Salam/Neve Shalom, a peace village in Israel co-founded by her parents, where Jews and Arabs choose to live together. Mai was born to a Jewish mother and a Muslim father and her dream is to be a bridge between the two people and promote peace. Mai has been active in several leadership programs and peace organizations and advocates for women’s and girls' rights. She has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos and attended meetings of the Counsel on the Status of Women at the United Nations. She was a Creativity for Peace camper in 2008 and has been a Young Leader since 2009. Today she is in her third year of law studies and plans to become a mediator and to work for human rights.
Jwana is 23 years old from Jenin City in the north of the West Bank, Palestine. She attended Creativity for Peace camp in 2006 and returned to camp in 2009 as a Young Leader and as a senior Young Leader in 2012. She studied media and Arabic at Arab American University in Jenin. She has represented young people in a recent meeting with the Palestinian prime minister. "I like volunteer work and helping others," she says. "Being part of Creativity for Peace opened my eyes to many new things. I learned leadership skills, how to freely express my feelings, and how to make my voice heard in my society. I believe that peace cannot be achieved without justice and equality. I also believe that I can change the world by being honest and believing in my dreams."
Shirit is 20 years old from Sderot, located on the border with Gaza in the south of Israel. She attended Creativity for Peace camp in 2009 and has participated as a Young Leader since completing the summer program. In high school she studied physics and history. For the past year and a half she has served as a naval commander in the Israeli military, teaching courses in electricity. “I am very interested in my society and I love sports,” she says. “My significant commitment is working for peace. My work with Creativity for Peace is an inseparable part of my life. The organization has given me the skills and the ability to lead a change in my society. I truly believe that it will happen.”