Visit by French Ambassador Patrick MaisonnaveWednesday 24 September 2014
On Monday 22nd September we were honored to receive the French ambassador to Israel H.E. M. Patrick Maisonnave.
M. Maisonnave was welcomed by a group that included WAS-NS co-founder Ms. Anne Le Meignen, new municipal chairman Mr. Adnan Manaa, Communications office staff Ms. Rita Boulos, Mr. Howard Shippin and intern Ms. Liat Tuv. We were joined also by francophone village members Yair and Corrine Ben-Shabbat. The Ben Shabbats had made the initial contact with the ambassador through a mutual friend, who joined for the visit.
Adnan Manaa gave a welcoming speech (attached) thanking the ambassador. In the letter, he mentioned our recent experience with the Gaza conflict and our attempts to garner humanitarian assistance for Gaza hospitals in its aftermath. The ambassador agreed that from his own perspective and that of his government, the war had achieved little or nothing.
Rita Boulos gave a general introduction and provided an overview of the village and its educational institutions. M. Maisonnave listened attentively, asking questions and commenting.
Afterwards we began a walking tour of the village, visiting first the School for Peace. There, he was received by director Dr. Nava Sonnenschein and program manager Mr. Wasim Biroumi. They explained the objectives, programs and methodology of the School for Peace. They paid special attention to current change agents programs. The ambassador showed much interest in their work, asking many questions, and engaging in a fruitful discussion.
The next stop was the Primary School, where we were greeted by the new principal, Ms. Carmela Ferber. The ambassador asked numerous questions about the school and visited the fourth grade English class taught by village member and teacher Ms. Raida Aishe-Khatib. M. Maisonnave spoke directly with the children, asking how they felt at the school. All those who responded said they were very happy to be at the school because it enables Jewish and Palestinian students to learn together peacefully.
The short walking tour ended with a light lunch at the Ahlan café back at the village entrance. While enjoying local delicacies lovingly prepared by café patrons Dyana and Rayek, we engaged in further discussion about the work and goals of the village. We were also joined by an additional francophone village member, Prof. Yair Auron.
The ambassador showed great interest in the community and expressed a keen understanding of the issues with which it is engaged. He promised to return to the village for another visit in order to understand our work and goals in more depth.
We are very appreciative and happy that the French ambassador chose to visit our village and hope that this will lead to further useful cooperation with the embassy.
Visit by British Friends GroupThursday 3 March 2016
A group brought by the British Friends of NSWAS toured the Village and sites in the region.
Colorado University Students Visit WASNSThursday 19 June 2014
Students of “Justice, Human Rights, and Democracy in Israel and the West Bank” course visit the village
School class visits destroyed Palestinian villagesMonday 6 January 2014 by C&D Office
German school students were shown around the Ayalon-Canada park, and what used to be the Palestinian village of Imwas.
Swedish Association visits NSWASTuesday 12 November 2013 by Christina Valentin, Public Relations
On Tuesday, November 12, a delegation from the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vardförbundet) visited Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom. The group, which included Ms. Sineva Ribeiro (...)
A Letter to MASA about the Importance of the VillageThursday 19 September 2013 by C&D Office
Lera Yavich writes a letter about the importance of incorporating the village tour into MASA after visiting Wahat al Salam - Neve Shalom.
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