Creativity for Peace is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit organization that trains young Palestinian and Israeli women to partner as leaders by breaking down barriers of anger and prejudice, facilitating friendships, and inspiring action to promote peace.
Each year a group of 16 young women come together near Santa Fe for a three-week peace camp.
For more information, see www.creativityforpeace.org.
There was a spring speaking tour planned this year with three Young Leaders who were chosen from peace camp alumnae. The tour was planned to take place throughout California and New Mexico allowing the young women to share their personal stories of growing up in conflict and violence and their journey to becoming peacemakers. Due to COVID-19, it was postponed and everything taken virtually with the hopes of the tour happening again soon.
These tours are an opportunity to raise awareness and inspire action and are an important training tool for Creativity for Peace Young Leaders, who have reached more than 10,000 people in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon over the past decade.
Speakers for this tour include:
Zahalka is a 20-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel. She was a Creativity for Peace camper in 2015 and a camp Young Leader in 2017. She is originally from a village called Kfar Qara and currently lives in Be’er Sheva where she attends school at Ben Gurion University. She is a second-year medical student, working very hard and hoping to get into the field of medical research. In the little free time she has, she occasionally does translation work, finds opportunities to volunteer in the community or in the hospital nearby, as well as plays guitar, and spends time with her family when home for the weekends.
Sarrawi is 27, from the West Bank city of Nablus. She was a camper in 2009 and a Young Leader in 2015. She studied business and completed a program in conflict management and resolution at Madison University in Washington, D.C. Her father was killed by Israeli soldiers at her home when she was 10, and since that time she has chosen to make a difference for her family and her people by working for peace.
“I have always believed that whatever your goals may be, you can make them a reality if you believe in yourself. Make no mistake, the road will be long, difficult and hectic but always achievable. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘you can’t’ or ‘you won’t’ – especially the ones who have never even tried. Creativity for Peace has opened me to the possibilities of life and helped me to find my way toward peace.”
Tal, 28 is a Jewish Israeli citizen who was a camper in 2008 and a Young Leader in 2013. She grew up near Sderot, on the border with Gaza, and joined Creativity for Peace because she wanted to meet the “other side” She was awarded a university scholarship and graduated with a degree in International Studies, attending university on a scholarship from Creativity for Peace with a fellow Palestinian Young Leader. Together, they attend many public speaking opportunities to share about their countries, cultures, and hopes for a better future. After college, she was a fellow at J Street in Washington, D.C. and then worked with OneVoice in New York City. She was most recently working for an educational start-up that offers alternative MBAs in Tel Aviv.
“Creativity for Peace has given me the tools to become a person with confidence, compassion, education, and a global perspective. My 10 years of experience with this organization has shaped the person I am and the path in life I have chosen as a peace activist.”