February 25, 2020
Leaving Jerusalem under duress
A Palestinian couple speaks
February 25, 2020, 7:30 pm
Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St. W, Ottawa
Nazira and Sami Silwadi have deep ties to the city of Jerusalem, which was their long-time home until recently. There they were active in an organization called Kids4Peace, which brings Jewish and Arab youth together so as to build bridges between their communities. But in 2016, the Silwadis felt compelled to emigrate with their children to Canada because of an untenable political situation and the day-to-day stresses on Arab residents of the city. The Silwadis will speak about the experiences that made them leave and their desire to foster better understanding between Arabs and Jews.
Nazira was a lifelong resident of Jerusalem until 2016. She obtained her B.A. from Bethlehem University in 1997 and has been employed by the United Nations since 2000. In Jerusalem, she was involved in Kids4Peace, helping plan and implement its activities. In both Jerusalem and the West Bank she has spoken about her life in Jerusalem and the complications encountered when she married her husband from the West Bank. In Nazira’s words, “We are all one. In order for all to live together in peace we need to know each other better, respect and love one another. These are the values we teach to our children. Together peace is possible.”
Sami was born and raised in Ramallah. In 1996 he received his B.Sc. from Bethlehem University with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. In Jerusalem, he worked for the Armenian Gold Factory for eight years and has also had experience as a restaurant owner and manager in Bethlehem. Sami was instrumental in enrolling his eldest son Youssef in the Kids4Peace program and volunteered with that organization. His principal in life is “know, love and respect all.”
Sponsored by Canadian Friends of Peace NowIn collaboration with: The New Israel Fund of Canada and Hashomer Hatzair Canada
CFPN is the largest Jewish organization in Canada that is Zionist and dedicated entirely to promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace on the basis of the two-state solution.