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A Celebration of a Rich Journey at a Point of Transition

Combatants For Peace

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Since 2009 Encounters has been the UK’s proud hosts of Combatants for Peace (CfP). Since then we have actively supported Palestinians and Israelis in the use of non-violent creative methods for resolving conflict and the sharing of this experience and learning within the UK. As we hand over our role as host to a new organisation it is time to celebrate our involvement in this transformative work.

Israel and Palestine Tour 2013

Israel and Palestine Tour 2013

Since 2009 Encounters has hosted two visits from extraordinary groups of ex-combatant Israeli and Palestinian members of CfP. These UK tours enabled members to share their personal stories and non-violent creative methods for resolving conflict using theatre as a tool for dialogue, action and transformation. For an organisation whose members risk arrest and resentment from within their own communities simply for meeting, these extraordinary visits to the UK have offered a safe space to deepen relationships within the group and share their creative approach through public events.

Combatants-for-Peace-UK-Tour-2010

Combatants for Peace UK Tour 2010

As the UK representative with Combatants for Peace (CfP), Ben Yeger has been the Encounters associate leading this transformative work. With our support he has travelled to Palestine/Israel to strengthen and deepen the CfP movement’s inner resilience and sustainability. These are journeys he has shared with us through events and workshops, presentations (including at TedxWarkwick) and his writing. He has given us the high points and the challenges of working in spaces with such tension and history, and such potential for change.

It has been a very rich 4 years indeed. The journey has been full of learning through the programme of events and with our partners on this project – namely Combatants for Peace, Amnesty International, J Clark Trust and the Cornish Foundation.  It has been an honour to be involved with this very important work. Now it is time for a transition.

Ben-leading-a-workshop-on-tour,-2013

Ben leading a workshop on tour, 2013

At this point, together with Ben, we have decided that it is time for the work with CfP to develop in new ways. Ben will be creating a bespoke home for CfP in the UK and for this amazing work in conflict transformation.

Ben is setting up ‘Moving Conflicts’ through which he will offer opportunities for individuals, groups and whole communities to explore, embody and transform their relationship to conflict within themselves and in relation to others. Moving Conflicts emerges out of Ben’s own long personal journey and enquiry into the root causes of conflict and mirrors in many ways the CfP model of working with and stepping into the shoes of the ‘other’ and humanising the enemy.  ‘Moving Conflicts’ will become the UK hosts for CfP.

Hebron-Bi-National-Day,-2013

Hebron Bi National Day, 2013

Over the coming months we will be making this transition and along the journey we want to make sure that you, who have come to our events and possibly specifically to events related to Combatants for Peace, have the opportunity to continue to get information about this work from Ben and Moving Conflicts and also have the chance to become part of Friends of CfP UK (should you want to do so) which will evolve over the next year.

2013 binational memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv

2013 Bi national memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv

Therefore, we would ask you to please register your details with Moving Conflict directly. This will have no impact on your registration with Encounters.

In the meantime please keep the following dates for your diary:

5th of December 2014 | Launch of ‘Moving Conflicts’: Humanising the Enemy

An evening conversation with Sami Awwad (CEO of Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem) and Ben Yeger.

Totnes Civic Hall | 8.30-10.30pm

6th of December 2014 | Moving Conflicts Workshop

With Sami and Ben, on transforming trauma and conflict through stepping into the shoes of the other and healing the past.

The Mansion House, Totnes | 10-2pm

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and interest in the work of Encounters and of Combatants for Peace over the years. Your participation and willingness to engage has meant that we have been able to undertake this work, and now at this point are able to celebrate its transition into something new.

We look forward to seeing you soon, possibly at the Moving Conflicts events in December.

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