May 7, 2005

May 5, 2005

“Today was the most passionate and touching day of the trip. It was the Holocaust Day for the Israel Jews. We changed our schedule in order to learn about Holocaust Day and shared the morning with the two Israelis and discussed the Holocaust and genocide in general. Everyone was touched and deeply moved. It was all summed up in a moment of silence followed by an emotional group hug. We all were able to turn such a sad day into an emotional learning experience.” Brandon, Bethesda, Maryland USA

“In my opinion, the following quote by Rumi said by one of our presenters today perfectly summarizes Peace Camp: ‘Beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, here is an open field. I’ll meet you there.’ Today, I was moved to tears three times, and I think that just goes to show how amazing, inspiring, and intense Peace Camp has really been.

We started out this morning by going to the Kom Ombo temple, a temple that was created for the crocodile god. It is absolutely amazing, and my favorite part is running my hands over the carvings and imagining what it must have been like when the priests were praying in the temple or when the architects were constructing them.

Following this visit, we returned to the ship where I experienced one of the most moving moments ever. From sundown last night until sundown today, the two Israeli students at Peace Camp, participated in a Holocaust remembrance day. Last night we had an Egyptian costume party but because of his day, the two Israeli’s could not participate. Today they told us about the Holocaust, their personal experiences, and their story. You had to be there because I can’t express what happened in words. Their stories shared the grief and suffering of war and human pain and misery, and I think it emphasized our mission here.

After lunch today, we went on a felucca boat ride, an Egyptian sailboat. We got henna tattoos and just had a great time singing, dancing, an relaxing. One of the coolest things was that when we stopped, we climbed a HUGE mountain of SAND, and after finally making it up to the top, we took pictures of the Nile. We also visited the Aswan Dam and learned about its history and role in politics.

Following dinner we listened to a presentation by a coordinator in a program called “Seeds of Peace,” a program designed to promote conflict resolution among teenagers in countries with extremely dissenting political views. It currently works with Arab-Israeli relations, India-Pakistan relations, and North and South Cyprus relations. The quote of the beginning of this entry is from the presentation tonight.

I can’t describe how amazing Peace Camp has been, and I hope that this entry can give at least a tiny glimpse into this life-changing experience.” Salina, USA

“I am really lucky to write my thoughts for the blog today because this day was one of the most wonderful days of my life. We had really unforgettable moments today. The first thing we did was visit the Kom-Ombo Temple dedicated to the crocodile god and right after that we visited Aswan’s High Dam which is considered to be Egypt’s contemporary example of building on a monumental scale. I have to emphasize that as we visit more and more sights everyday and we get deeper and deeper into Egyptian culture and mentality, our tour guides are converting us from simple tourists, who just appreciate temples and pyramids, to people who try to understand the reasons why the Egyptians built these unique sights. Something totally unforgettable happened today. An Egyptian man invited us and showed us his house and he gave two necklaces to our leader and a peace camper. After enjoying our delicious lunch in the boat, we had a relaxing felucca (typical Egyptian boat ride) and got tattooed with symbols of peace and friendship. (Henna tattoos) on our ride, we stopped for a while to discover the real concept of desert and we had a chance to climb a dune, another unforgettable experience, which I am certainly going t tell my friends. All these experiences got the peace campers closer to each other and helped to learn more about each other, besides getting to know Egyptian culture. I could go on and on for hours to write things and feelings, but I just did an overview of our day and actually words are a bit poor to describe what we saw and what we feel when we are with another, discussing culture, diversity, and peace.” Endri, Tirana, ALBANIA

“I was lying on the chair which is on the Sun Deck of our boat – Nile Adventurer and enjoying the beautiful sunshine in Egypt. Today was a great day and we had a conversation about the Nazis and Jews and we got to know that yesterday was the memorial day for Jewish in Israel and we had a presentation today. I just feel so sorry about that and it remind me of the things Japanese did to Chinese in the 2nd World War. I don’t want to say anything horrible about it cause history will tell you all that. Anyway, we just don’t want any war for any reasons. At last, I think we all should understand the tragedy and honor the memory!” Anggie, Beijing, CHINA

“At the first, I’m very lucky to participate in Peace Camp 2005 and to have the opportunity to gain new friends. Today was very exciting and also exhausting, but I enjoyed my time a lot. In the morning we visited a historic temple called Kom Ombo and that was the first time that I saw a mummified crocodile (haha). Also today was the Holocaust anniversary so we gathered in the meeting room and the Israeli delegates told us the story of this occasion and how the innocent Jews were killed by Hitler… they cried, so I was very sad because I could feel their feelings… why?? The Palestinians are suffering a lot from settlers who killed innocent people and damaged houses. After that we went on a tour on the Nile River on a felucca so I enjoyed my time. We returned back to the boat and there was a key note submitted by Adel, when she finished explaining about Seeds of Peace, I thanked her and I gave her a PTPI pin and sign. I can’t describe my feelings… It’s a nice experience everyone here is fabulous, especially Barbara, Brooks, and my three friends.” Rinad, PALESTINE

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