Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mediocre Day Two Photos Posted!

For some bland photos from the Grand Bazzar, Spice Market, and Peace/Resource Conflict sessions from day two, click here!

Students Model Civility, Explore Breathtaking City

ISTANBUL, TURKEY—PEACE CAMP, DAY ONE--It didn’t take long for the Israeli-Palestinian issue to come up today, at the first day of People to People International’s Peace Camp. However, since establishing dialogue between different people is one of the goals of the camp, no one objected.

At Peace Camp, 28 students from 23 countries have gathered to discuss, well, peace. We have one student from Palestine (the West Bank), and another student from Israel.

At lunch, our Palestinian student (Zain) and our Israeli student (Yuval) discussed peace prospects in their region. (They are pictured here, with Zain on the left, visiting the Hagia Sofia). While not much new ground was broken, I was taken aback by the civility and politeness of the discussion. Indeed, the respect shown by both students was remarkable—indeed, something the world’s “adult” leaders could emulate.

Later, one of our group leaders, the irrepressible Barb Capozzi, reported that one student told her that she couldn’t believe that she was actually having a civil discussion with an Israeli.

Creating an atmosphere where the students can open up like this is certainly one of the goals of this endeavor, which kicked off with a discussion about expectations for the camp and was followed by some get-acquainted activities.

Then, the group toured some of Istanbul’s treasures—the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and the underground cistern. All were exhausted but exhilarated by the day’s end, which featured a visit to an island restaurant for some of Turkey’s best kebabs.
(PJ Camp group leader Christine Knutter takes a much-needed break on the bus on the way back to the hotel).

For a complete photo album of the day's festivities, click here.

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