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LINKS TO ESSAYS 

RELIGION IN PUBLIC LIFE:  GLOBALISATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD 

GUIDELINES FOR ARRANGING GROUP VISITS TO HOUSES OF WORSHIP

POVERTY REDUCTION IN QUEBEC & NOW ONTARIO

The Golden Rule in World Religions

THE GOLDEN RULE POSTER Multi-faith Sacred Writings and Symbols from 13 Traditions  

Mayor David Miller Meets With The Toronto Area Interfaith Council

TRANSFORMING DEVELOPMENT Exploring Approaches to Development from Religious Perspectives

IMPRESSIONS ON THE URI ASIA REGIONAL ASSEMBLY in New Delhi, India

AN ODYSSEY IN FAITH By Farzana Hassan

A SALUTE TO CANADA My Adopted Land Of Unparalleled Multicultural And Religious Diversity

NAIN GATHERS IN VANCOUVER Stealing away to Paradise 

THE GOLDEN RULE: Unity in Diversity  

 

  

 

 

THE BIG HUG OF JERUSALEM , JUNE 24, 2008

Eliyahu McLean, Jerusalem Peacemakers, co-director  

Here is an update of some of the work with Jerusalem Peacemakers.

Please send your prayers and support for this year's 'Big Hug of Jerusalem' event, taking place today June 24th. We are expecting thousands of Israelis, Palestinians and internationals to gather for a prayer of peace and unity around the walls of the Old City

FACE 2 FACE PROJECT

Over one year ago, two French Jewish artists JR and Marco, came up with a project to photograph Israelis and Palestinians, in pairs, and from the same professions, making funny faces, and then posting the images in unavoidable public places. One of the central posters was a collage of three religious figures from the Holy Land , a Muslim sheikh, a Christian priest and a religious Jew. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari and I were chosen as the Jew and Muslim.

The many photos of Israelis and Palestinians, faces side by side, were posted over a year ago all over Jerusalem and the West Bank, and on both sides of the separation wall, at Abu Dis and in Bethlehem . The images on the Bethlehem side still remain today.

Since then, "JR", the young French photographer, has posted these images, large billboard size posters,  in central public locations all over Europe: in Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Paris and most recently in Geneva.

This last March, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari and I were invited to a public posting of the poster featuring us, in the most central square on the side of the most prominent museum in Geneva, Switzerland. The local imam and rabbi welcomed us and spoke about the Face 2 Face project in all the news outlets, TV and print.  Newspapers featured Sheikh Bukhari in his robes getting covered in glue as he joined JR in the posting.  Lots of media covered our presence together at the posting in Geneva .

An entire hall in a culture and arts center in Geneva was covered in snapshots of us and the other Israeli and Palestinians who made faces for the project. The sheikh and I held a public talk and book signing of the 'Face 2 Face' art book at a book store in central Geneva. The image of the Muslim, Christian and Jew is still up in Geneva and the other Europe locations.

More meaningful to us than any publicity events though, were the meetings we had with the high school students at the International High School in Geneva. Children of the many UN diplomats from all over the world based in Geneva attend school together at the International high school...and the issue of Israel and Palestine is such a sensitive issue that the school had never been able to hold a public event or discussion on the issue. When we came, with a perspective bringing humor, and our shared humanity to help serve as a bridge between our peoples, the teachers and students opened up in a beautiful way. Before we knew it, the teachers and students were jumping in to make funny faces with us.

This project helps to highlight the common humanity of the Israelis and Palestinians. Our issue is a very serious one, sometimes a little humor could also help.... Perhaps if we can help take down the walls of fear between our peoples, who are really one people, the family of Abraham, this will lead to a shift in policies among the governments in the Holy Land .

 See pictures from the Face 2 Face project in the Holy Land, the postings in Europe and from our journey to Geneva here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerusalem_peacemakers/sets/

View this short documentary of the Geneva Face 2 Face events, with our interviews here: 

http://www.dailymotion.com/JR/video/x4sflk_face-2-face-a-geneve-2008_creation

For more information about the Big Hug of Jerusalem, visit our MySpace page:   

http://www.myspace.com/jerusalemhug

To learn more about the Face 2 Face project and order copies of the art book, visit:  

http://www.face2faceproject.com/

 

Shalom, Salaam,

Eliyahu McLean,  

Jerusalem Peacemakers, co-director  

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