Dhesheh Refugee Camp houses 17,000 people in less than 1 square kilometer. It was established for two waves of refugees in 1948 and 1967 by the United Nations, which is still in charge of providing medication, education, and maintenance. The streets were empty when we arrived at 10am. The night before, all night long, there […]
We drive along the barbed electric fence that surrounds the Israeli settlement of Har Gilo. We are headed to the Walajah valley of the Palestinian territory. The valleys are deep and lush with pine trees and olive groves, steppes cut into the hillsides with round white stones. The land here has been largely confiscated by […]
The heavy rain doused the aluminum-roofed shack. Rivulets carved paths through the thick mud around the house. But inside, the house was cozy, comfortable. Thick carpets and bouncy velvet couches make this hard Palestinian life easier. Because life is hard here. This woman has three children and all three of them are disabled with Berardinelli […]
Mahmoud’s family lives one Palestinian hill over from a newly-forming illegal Jewish settlement. Six Jewish settlers arrived about a year ago with tents and made a primitive campsite. All year they prayed on the hill in religious pilgrimage. All settlements start this way. The original owner has a claim on this land and papers originating […]
The Tent of Nations is an organic farm on a long narrow strip of Palestinian land that has held its deed since 1917, through four occupations: Turkish, British, Jordanian, and Israeli. It is placed in the middle of a circle of 5 Israeli settlements. The farmers mark the last clash with Israeli military forces in […]
We met Shirim at her family’s olive grove plot. It falls just outside the Betar Illit settlement. More accurately, it falls on the entire hill but the settlement imposed itself right on top of the farmland that has belonged to her family for five generations. She is forbidden to access her land beyond the current […]
My first blog post was on the subject of why interfaith engagement is important to me as an individual. For this blog post, I would like to consider why interfaith engagement is important for the world at large. A few weeks ago, I spent a Sunday afternoon at a small park with a small but […]
Managing Editor’s note: all Contributing Scholars begin writing by answering the following question as their first post: Why are you committed to building relationships with those from different religious or ethical traditions? Their answer to this question is below. I was raised a Mennonite and as such I am committed to the Peacemaking legacy of […]
I was late to Rosh Hashanah services at Beth Hillel, Rome’s new progressive Jewish community. I meant to leave my apartment at 6pm but I scooted out the door by 6:45pm, realizing that the mistake would cost me 22 euros in cab fare. On the way up the Janiculum Hill I remarked how beautiful the […]
Before coming to college, I knew I was called to love my neighbors and create community between the children of God. However, at that point in my life, I believed my neighbors and children of God were those who identified as Christians.
In college, I began taking religion classes, spending time with the faith communities in Franklin, and interacting with amazing individuals such as Eboo Patel and Marcus Borg on their visits to campus. I began to understand that my neighbors and the children of God were all of the people on this earth, not just my Christian brothers and sisters.