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December 12, 2003 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-12-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

This Weeg

mployees who reported for
work Tuesday morning,
Dec. 9, at the Arab
American News found evi-
dence that someone had tried to
destroy their office, located on Chase
Road in Dearborn.
"Police said it was a homemade fire-
bomb," said Osama Siblani, the news-
paper's publisher. "Apparently, it broke
a half-foot or a foot outside the door.
There was no damage inside the build-
ing. You can see damage on the con-
crete outside the door, maybe four or
five feet."
Siblani said there was a stack of
newspapers piled just inside the door.
"I think God was protecting us," he
said. "If the bomb had gone off inside,
we would have burned down."
On Monday night, Siblani and 75-
100 others participated in a protest
outside the Ritz-Carleton Dearborn,

umulaq.ln turm Act cn ogd

Arab American News Targeted

where the organization Seeds of Peace
was holding its third annual Michigan
Gala. The protest centered on the
presentation of a peace award to fort
mer Israeli Prime Minister Shimon
Peres.
Siblani, who is also president of the
Congress of Arab American
Organizations, had editorialized
against the award in the Arab

.

American News.
"Whoever did this is a person who
hates freedom of speech and wants to
silence me," Siblani said of the bomb-
ing attempt. "I will not be silenced."
David Gad-Harf, executive director
of the Jewish Community Council of
Metropolitan Detroit, condemned the
attack, "just as I condemn any use of
violence at any time for any purpose.
"This act should be denounced by
everyone," Gad-Harf said.
— Diana Lieberman

At the Seeds of Peace protest, Osama Siblani speaks to reporters.

From The Mouths Of Seeds

IV

hen the rhetoric ends,
when the last chocolate
mousse is eaten and
guests remove their
tuxedos, what's left of Seeds Of Peace
is the story of the kids.
Since its beginnings in 1993, more
than 2,000 young people from 22
nations and regions have attended
Seeds Camp in Otisville, Maine —
most from the Middle East, but also
from the Balkans, South Asia, Cyprus,
and North America.
"Growing up in Nablus, I was hard-
ly in contact with Israeli citizens,"
Ibrahim Khadar, 22, told a roomful
of Seeds supporters Dec. 8. "During
the first intifada (uprising), I was
beaten up on several occasions and
lived under fear. During the second
intifada, I lost two of my friends, one
of them a Seed.
"On the check points, or, as we
refer to them, the makhsooms, the
only thing that went through my
mind is: Why are they doing this to
us?"'
At Seeds camp, which Khadar first
attended eight years ago, he finally
met young Israelis in person, finding
they had more similarities than differ-
ences.
"I ask you to consider listening to
the other side's story, to try to under-

12/12
2003

20

stand where the 'enemy' is coming
from," he said.
"At Seeds of Peace, we have started
this long and painful process. We
understand how it feels to be in the
other side's shoes."
A senior at Wartburg College in
Iowa, he began his involvement with
Seeds as a camper in 1995 and has
returned on the peer support and pro-
gram leader staffs.
"We are working for a brighter
future, not only for our children and
grandchildren, but also for us and our
parents," he said.
Also speaking at the Seeds
Michigan Gala was Orly Bogler, 18,
of Haifa, who first attended the
group's Maine camp in 2001,
returned on the peer support staff in
2002 and participated in numerous
activities of Seeds Center for
Coexistence in Jerusalem.
Bogler, who will begin her service
in the Israeli Defense Forces in
January, described conversations she
has had with Americans who were
ignorant of the realities in Israel and
with others who had no idea of the
understanding that takes place at
Seeds camp.
Bogler said her involvement with
Seeds had inspired her parents to
become involved as well.
"Now it's my mom who comes

.

Seeds of Peace graduates Orley Bogler, 18, ofHaifit and Ibrahim Khadar, 22, of
Nablus.
Turning to the evening's honored
home frustrated yet exhilarated after a
guests, former Israeli Prime Minister
difficult 'co-existence' dinner, describ-
Shimon Peres and Al-Quds University
ing to me her feelings — which are
President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, she said
not very different from any first year
that, while they had the authority to
camper's feelings," she said.
sign peace treaties, "in order to make
As she begins her army service,
these treaties work, people on both
Bogler says she will draw on the tools
sides must join you."
she has acquired from her Seeds expe-
"I know I can say on my behalf,
rience -- ."communication, human-
and on behalf of all the Seeds of Peace
ization and open-mindedness."
—count us in."
"The Ambassador of Peace' certifi-
cate I received at the end of camp
—Diana Lieberman
didn't make me an ambassador," she
said. "Only I can do that."



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