On Monday, November 15 we were delighted to receive an official visit by British Ambassador Francis Cornish and Mrs. Jane Cornish. Though they join a long tradition of visits by previous British ambassadors and their wives, this was their first. They had expressed particular interest in seeing work in progress at the School for Peace and the Children's Educational System, so they began their tour with a guided observation of a School for Peace Youth Encounter, and then proceeded to the School. There, they met with children, who waved British and local flags and sang songs in honour of the visit. They entered several class rooms, including the Language Center, and also spent time in the kindergarten.
NSWAS Secretary Rayek Rizek accompanied them on the tour, which concluded with lunch. This provided an opportunity for the Ambassador to exchange friendly words with participants from the School for Peace Youth Encounter, who were dining at the same time.
Mr. Cornish, who in his conversations expressed a keen understanding of and interest in the local situation, wrote the following words in the visitors' book:
"We feel very privileged to be able to visit Neve Shalom. We were struck, and deeply impressed, by the commitment to peace and to the sensible ways of integration. We find a most vigorous and constructive spirit among leaders, teachers, students and younger pupils. I wish you all good luck."
On Monday, November 22 once again we had the pleasure of welcoming Ambassador Samuel Lewis and his wife Sallie. As usual it was a flying visit which they managed to fit in to their exhausting schedule just to reinforce their love affair with NS/WAS. This mutual relationship began when Ambassador Lewis was the American Ambassador to Israel way back in 1979 and he continued to support the community until his tour of office terminated in 1985. After their return to the U.S. he and Sallie continued to give of their time and prestige to committees and functions connected with NS/WAS, ensuring that the love affair continued. Ambassador Lewis, who now serves on the Washington Institute of Near Eastern Policy (WINEP), has always taken a very personal interest in our affairs and been available, when asked, to give advice and guidance. We are more than lucky to be able to count Sam and Sallie as being among the best of our good friends
The Lewises (1st and 3rd from left) with Coral Aron and Abdessalam Najjar (taken on a previous visit).
Copyright 1999 by Neve Shalom/Wahat
al-Salam. All rights reserved.
Revised: Wednesday December 05, 2001 .