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Letter from Encounter’s Palestinian Partner, Sami Awad

by Sami Awad, Encounter Partner and Director of Holy Land Trust | Published on October 29, 2010

Dear Members of the Encounter group, 

       I want to apol­o­gize for not being able to be with you on your visit to Bethlehem. During that same week, I was co-leading a Leadership Development Program for over 100 Palestinian leaders in Jericho. The title of the retreat is called Non-Linear Leadership Development and it aims at allowing leaders to “Make the Impossible Possible” in every aspect of their lives, from the personal to the national, even the global. I have to tell you that the work done this week was amazing and the only thing impos­sible for me to do is to describe what truly happened there and then. I can assure you of one thing; one day, many of these men and women who took this training will be the ones sitting at the nego­ti­ating table and creating the real possi­bility of peace for both Palestinians and Israelis. With all the chal­lenges and diffi­cul­ties, I am now more opti­mistic than I have been in years because I was a witness to trans­for­ma­tion taking place with these men and women. I know I am sending this email to people who never met me and you may be wondering who this person is? While we may also never meet, I want you to be fully assured, that there are Palestinians who are working day and night to break the cycles of violence, fear, mistrust, and hatred. Palestinians who are not just good at pointing fingers and blaming others for their misery, but ones that are looking deep inside to see who we are being as victims and who we can become as true peace makers. For this network of leaders to grow, we need your support, espe­cially you as leaders of the American-Jewish commu­nity, we are not looking for finan­cial support, but for your ability to take a step with us and open up to a new possi­bility where, while we truly and deeply honor and learn from the past, we seek together to create a future that is founded fully on the prin­ci­ples of nonvi­o­lence, equality, peace, respect and honor for all… This is not a pipe-dream my friends… This is me and the real future I want to build with you. 

In peace,

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