Stories Without Bordersinvites the possibility of creating both virtual and on-the-ground spaces in which we can share our personal narratives in a life-affirming practice of creating and experiencing radical empathy and connection.
I have been inspired to facilitate story exchanges for many years and have indeed done so with a small NGO that brings Israeli and Palestinian kids together in East Jerusalem. However, the experience of the Clubhouse room, Balance: Meet Palestinians and Israelis has reignited my passion; the recent war with its attendant tragedy, fear, and anger has proven to be a powerful inflection point for citizen diplomacy.
Instead of waiting for everything to be convenient or easy or perfect, I'm just going to start with what I have and from where I am. I will be facilitating groups of Israelis of different political views and diverse backgrounds as well as Palestinian-Israelis and Palestinians. Together, we will share our stories with each other and as we do, walk in each other's shoes as we practice empathy and mirroring.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
In Hebrew, we would say לאט לאט (le-at, le-at) and in Arabic, ببطئ ببطئ, (shwai shwai) both of which, in essence, mean one step at a time.