March 30, 2009

Videos by Peace Campers recorded on March 29

From Jordan, PTPI Peace Campers are speaking to the world! Watch the peace campers' youtube videos. Today's videos are participants from: USA, South Africa and Georgia. More in the coming days, so be sure to follow our mission of peace through understanding!

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March 29, 2009 - Visiting Kerak and arriving at Petra

It feels like we arrived yesterday but it is our third day. It seems that great time passes very quickly. We started the morning with a workshop by Professor Steven Youngblood that focused about “Peace Journalism” He helped us understand different approaches a journalist can take when working on a subject and choosing the best story to give a voice to peace. This is accomplished by rejecting bias & opinion and choosing factual representation of facts & loyalty to truth beyond anything else. Ahead of us was a long bus drive to our next hotel. A stop at the castle Kerak gave us a beautiful scenic view of the Jordanian landscape and the Dead Sea in the distance. During our tour we explored many parts of the castle including a kitchen, dining room, and prison. The small rooms were very dark lit only by small circular openings in the roof creating rays of light. The unique lighting created interesting effects and many memorable photos. The windy weather did not stop us from seeing all of Kerak and buying souvenirs before we continued our journey. The long hours of our bus ride were unexpectedly short. Within the first 30 minutes we were having a wonderful live concert hosted by every peace camper. Each one presented a song in their native language sharing their culture with everyone else. Inspired by the singing, several campers continued the experience by singing well known pop music from around the world that brought many of us to tears from laughter. Before we knew it we arrived in Petra, the Holy Land of Moses. Afterwards, we spent the rest of the night learning about our fellow peace campers by conducting cultural presentations with amazing amount of information as well as campers’ native food and clothes.

Katarina Kohen – Serbia
Madeline Fumi - USA
David Coons - USA

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Pictures of March 28, 2009

Gustavo Orozco giving a cultural presentation about his home country, Colombia

All the Peace Campers with His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed and Her Highness Princess Areej Ghazi
Andrea Arzaba giving a Mexican gift to Prince Ghazi and Mary Eisenhower
Peace Camp Delegation Leaders

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March 28, 2009

This morning, we all had a realization that we’re finally here in the land of brotherly love. Being the second day, the reality of it soaked in. After breakfast we had our second session with our respective groups. We discussed conflict causes and resolutions, and how the different aspects are interconnected. We had the opportunity to share some personal conflicts and identify the causes and how the problem was resolved. Each group was able to connect more intimately and openly, resulting in a breaking down of barriers, showing us how similar we really are. We also began the cultural presentations. Some of the delegates from Jordan, Poland and Colombia shared facts and traditions from their counties. We learned how to say “Jordan” in Arabic (Al-Ardon), we tasted wonderful chocolates from Poland and that Colombia is the “happiest nation on earth.” (It’s a fact, you can google it!)

Following the presentations, we boarded the busses to Jerash, to have lunch and visit some ancient Roman ruins. We ate lunch in a restaurant that was somewhat outside, and it was quite cold, but the food was delicious, as it always has been thus far. So we walked through some of the ruins, and witnessed for ourselves the breathtaking sights of history, well preserved for us now. Seeing the temples of Zevs and Artemis, surrounded by beautiful yellow and purple flowers, gave us a sense of how significant this country is historically and culturally to our civilization today. We all took lots of pictures, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. On the hour bus ride back to Amman, through hills, some o us solidified friendships, while others caught up on much needed sleep.

The hour and a half free time we had upon returning to the hotel was spent on getting ready for the big night ahead. In the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed and Her Highness Princess Areej Ghazi as well as other high profile guests from Jordan. We had the opening dinner of both People to People International’s Peace Camp and Global Peace Initiative under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein. This was in celebration of 60 years of peaceful Jordanian-US relations, and 10 years since His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein assumed constitutional powers. There were a few speeches including ones by Mary Jean Eisenhower, President and CEO of People to People International and Father Nabil Haddad, executive manager of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center. The food was amazing, which included some traditional Jordanian cuisine. At the end, we were honored to get a photo of all the Peace Campers with His Highness Prince Ghazi and Her Highness Princess Areej Ghazi.

Unfortunately, when this was over, it was almost 10:30pm, so we had to head to our rooms, because tomorrow – Sunday – we will be getting up early. Today we really broke down international barriers, and felt that beneath them we are all similar. We have created one united group of people from all backgrounds. We are eager to discover what awaits us tomorrow, not only in Petra, but along this once in a life time experience.

Much love from,

Anya Arndt – USA
Mark Chan – Malasyia
Sarah Abbas – Egypt
Shannon Rilley– USA

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March 27, 2009

Pictures during the tour of Amman

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Day One: March 27, 2009

“'Shall I check your luggage all the way through to Jordan?', the woman at the Lufthansa counter asked. I had to smile. Somehow I expected her to look at my ticket and laugh at me, send me home, tell me that the Peace Camp was just an illusion, a beautiful, naive dream I had. This program sounded so unbelievable. But the woman just asked for checking the luggage. And I answered: ‘Yes! All the way to Amman, please.’ And now I am sitting here, in the lobby of the Le Meridien in the Jordan capital, together with 47 other Peace Campers from 28 countries from all around the world. The great adventure has begun. And it still seems like a dream.”
Friedemann Bieber, Germany
“Like Friedemann; Peace Camp seemed like a dream that was too good to be true! It wasn’t until I met with fellow delegates that it finally sunk me, this is real! We’re here in Amman, Jordan! This morning Barb told us that we are all here for a reason. We don’t know what these reasons might be but this week will be about discovery. The most instant discovery has been in how immediately we have all became friends. We come from 28 different countries but at heart we are all brothers and sisters. Today we went into the city and toured Amman. Our guide told us that the country of Jordan is an ‘Oasis of Peace’ so here we are in the oasis of peace at the beginning of an amazing journey.”
Maia Gibbons, USA
“It really is amazing we are able to learn and teach from each other, in such a fun, unique way! And as Mary Eisenhower said this morning; it is our duty for love and peace to coexist. In my own words, I can say that I feel extremely grateful for being here. This is such a magical experience. Since I arrived (at 4a.m.yesterday) I have felt like home. I really feel safe and very comfortable with all the Peace Campers and leaders. I feel like there is this connection between us that is unbreakable and undeniable but is so powerful that we can feel is so true! Today we had the chance to discover Amman, this beautiful city, full of history, art and welcoming people. The food was delicious – to be honest; it definitely became one of my favorites and it is just too exciting to think what will be happening in the next few days. It was an eye opener to meet three previous Peace Campers; Mohammad Al Majed from peace camp 2003, Mohammed Nasser El Din and Motaz Al Majed from peace camp 2005. They have spoken to us about their experience at peace camp and how it changed their lives. After all these years they keep in contact with their peace camp family. I’m sure peace through understanding is achievable and I can already feel it and we are just beginning the program.”
Andrea Arzaba, Mexico

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First Day!

“Welcome to Peace Camp. This is the beginning of the rest of your life!” – Barb Capozzi, Peace Camp Delegation Leader

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March 25, 2009

Peace Camp -The Beginning

Students from all over the world are traveling today and tomorrow and will all meet in Jordan for PTPI's Peace Camp. Stay tuned - much, much more to come!

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March 20, 2009

Count down!

PTPI's Peace Camp 2009 is less than one week ahead. Be sure to follow the footsteps of those who will embark on this mission of peace through understanding starting March 27 - April 5, 2009!

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March 5, 2009

PTPI's Peace Camp 2009

The delegates of the 2009 Peace Camp will meet in Amman, Jordan three weeks from now to embark on the adventure of a lifetime! We invite you to share in their experience as they travel through Jordan on a remarkable mission of Peace through Understanding.

Be a part of the Journey!
March 27 - April 5, 2009

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