A delegation of teenagers from ALLMEP member Peres Center for Peace traveled to Russia for the World Cup to run soccer trainings and workshops for young adults from all over the world in order to show how peace can be cultivated through a love of the game.
The teenagers, who were invited to the World Cup by FIFA, hailed from Shoham, Tel Aviv, Jericho, and Be’er Sheva, and came together with teenagers from Qatar, Tunisia, and Iraq to show how they can promote peace, understanding, and shared dialogue through the game of soccer.
The trip culminated in a final between children from Israel and from all over the Arab world at a soccer pitch set up in the center of the Red Square in Moscow.
Speaking to Ynetnews.com, a project manager at the Peres Center for Peace Lior Shalom said that the delegation was initially met with suspicion but were quickly welcomed. She stated:
We saw the stares we were getting, the fear of speaking to us and mostly the fear of playing soccer together. But as soon as they realized we speak Arabic, respect our Palestinian friends, and play and work together under the two flags—the Israeli flag and the Palestinian flag—the barriers were dropped and we quickly became best friends with the Iraqi team. We even taught them a few words in Hebrew…Now we’re teaching lessons and mostly winning and scoring goals.
Photo Credit: Ynetnews.com
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