Exchange through Literature - Foundation Office Palestinian Territories
Even though Palestinians and Israelis from Jerusalem and surrounding areas are neighbours, they rarely get the chance to meet each other in their everyday life. Therefore, the Jerusalem Book Club aims at creating a space of encounter in which the burden of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can stay outside. Their common interest in literature allows the students to bridge the gap between them, to overcome prejudices about the other side, and to make friends with each other.
A total of 15 students from East- and West-Jerusalem participated in the Book Club meeting. The event started with a round of introductions. However, instead of introducing themselves, each student introduced a participant living on the other side of the city.
In the first part of the meeting, the group discussed the book „The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. The book tells the story of the race driver Denny Swift and his dog Enzo, by whom the story is told. The observations, thoughts and the worldly wisdom of the dog paved the way to a lively discussion between the students.
The second part of the meeting focused mainly on socialising. Enjoying pizza and lemonade, the students exchanged personal information about their interests and hobbies. Friendships started to grow.
The next Book Club meeting will deal with Stacey Patton’s „That Mean Old Yesterday“. The American Center in Jerusalem is going to enable a video conference with the author in New York for this occasion specifically.