Middle East Program

The Middle East Program of the Center for Emerging Futures (CEF) is dedicated to building grassroots partnerships between Palestinians & Israelis living in the area.

CEF holds regular Global Village Square meetings on the border between Israel and Palestine during which individuals from both sides, as well as internationals, utilize deep listening techniques to discover the shared humanity between them. GVS - Global Village Square: Building Grassroots Partnerships Beyond opinions, beyond fears, beyond simplistic solutions and beyond politics. A human gathering of listening and co-creation.

The Center for Emerging Futures (CEF) believes that bringing people together to discover their shared humanity is only an initial step. It is only the shared projects that emerge from these new relationships which provide the lasting partnerships necessary for on-going peaceful interaction. Many long-term projects have emerged. Some examples follow:

• Other Voice

A grassroots group, citizens of Sderot region & Gaza region, who ACT to stop the cycle of violence. Other Voice includes diverse men and women from all political backgrounds, professions, and beliefs. We all agree that joint civil action is needed in order to create a new sustainable option for our lives in this region. Other Voice has no political aspirations.


• Two Neighbors Apparel Project

Israeli and Palestinian women jointly producing modern garments with elements of ancient Palestinian embroidery for sale in America. Crafted by Israelis, embroidered by Palestinians Women in the Middle East are waging their own peace process with two neighbors—an against-the-odds business partnership that defies politics in favor of beauty, common sense, and shared economic benefit.

Two neighbors is a fair trade producer of textile goods enabling individuals in limited circumstances to carry on ancient traditions while erning a fair wage for their work.

• Tai Chi & Shuatsu for Peace

• Alternative Energy in Susya

Using engineering and entrepreneurial skills from the high-tech industry of Israel, and the manpower resources of a nearby Kibbutz, representatives of the Villages Group, a network of Israeli humanitarian volunteers, designed a combined “Solar Wind Turbine". CEF made a small grant for a prototype that established the use of “off the shelf” components to demonstrate the viability of the turbine design to generate electricity in these remote areas. The Villages Group is also training Palestinian villagers to maintain the turbines, as a source of revenue. The advent of electric power will also open up economic opportunities for the villagers, such as cheese production from goat milk—which requires refrigeration.

• Hope Man Peace Man Blog

In a joint blog, a Palestinian student and an Israeli father sharing the pain of being caught in the crossfire of the Middle-East conflict.

Writing anonymously in English, on some days it's as if these two men could be friends living anywhere - not Sderot, Israel or the Sajaia village in Gaza. They talk about the weather, the winterflowers blooming in the fields and the desire to better the world through a summer camp fpr both Palestinian and Israeli kids." On other days their hopes for normalcy are dashed. Peace man reports on rocket attacks that rain down on his city, threatening the lives of people in their homes, at school, and at work - as they flee for cover. Hope man talks about how the Israeli sanctions and border blockade on Gaza has impacted his life, and led people in Gaza to live in isolation, poverty and fear.

• AL Aroub Children's Garden

During the June, 2008 visit by Whit and Paula Jones to the Middle East, the Popular Committee of the Al Aroub Refugee Camp dedicated the Eric Jones Children’s Garden.

Many of the Palestinian refugee camps have existed since 1948. Most lack outdoor recreation facilities and children are forced to play in the narrow paved streets.

The Children’s Garden has grass, trees, a sandy area with playground equipment, a fountain, and 2 pools. Let the children play!

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