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Interviews with outstanding people, women and talents in the Middle East. Hearing their perspectives on life and learning from their personal stories is the core of our open talks. We want to connect hearts and build cultural bridges between the Middle East and Europe. Read more on safatalents.com

SafaTalents Building Bridges - Europe & Middle East

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur
    • 5,0 • 1 Bewertung

Interviews with outstanding people, women and talents in the Middle East. Hearing their perspectives on life and learning from their personal stories is the core of our open talks. We want to connect hearts and build cultural bridges between the Middle East and Europe. Read more on safatalents.com

    It’s not them and us

    It’s not them and us

    ... It's the people behind

    Podcast Michal: It's not them and us

    As a kid, I felt for the first time what it means to be excluded. Once it was finished, I became a specialist in not getting excluded. Maybe there I started this thing - building bridges.

    I think it made me very sensitive to excluded people in all kinds of aspects of life. ... I include people, I am an expert in bridging - from my heart.

    Michal Sadeh

    Michal Sadeh lives with her family in a beautiful town in the center of Israel. After her military duty, she worked as a journalist and then TV channel manager. Michal realized already when she was a kid how it feels to be excluded and the differences between people. One of those are the different opportunities in life depending on where or in which family you were born into. First, Michal tried to get involved privately. She and her family hosted a foster kid for some years but then she realized that this was not enough for her. She saw the systemic failures and problems and wanted to build her professional life around changing things for the better.

    I live 10 minutes from here and the differences that a woman in my age who was somehow born here - 10 minutes away - and her options in life and my options and her freedom and my freedom is something ... my mind can't bear these gaps.

    Michal Sadeh

    Michal changed career and did a masters degree in social work and change. She came as director of employment and economic program to Jizr AlZarqa, the village just 10 minutes away from her own place but a completely different world.

    In the meantime, Michal has worked with 90 women in the village, many projects have taken place but for Michal the question remains - what has changed? Michal is emotionaly attached to the women and their progress. Even though her job is now somewhere else as an impact manager in an educational entrepreneurship incubator, she is still involved. Whenever she finds partner and funding, she initiates acitivities to build up structures for a longlasting improvement of the employment situation and wellbeing of the women in Jizr. One recent project was to establish an online platform where you can see and purchase the handmade products from the women of Jizr.

    Talking about her own identity as an Israeli Jew, Michal shares her ambiguities and challenges in the times of conflict and war. In Israel there are so many different ethnicities and religious groups which could be seen as richness. The trouble is that it always gets related to conflicts. Michal's position is "trying to see everything" and never to think about "them and us" but always to personalize - be it a neighbour, stranger or terrorist. There is always a person and his/her story. What kept her going during the last war, only one year ago, was her personal relationships. Michal's son was in the army and others suffered on the opposite side. Together with her special Arab friend, she could share all her fears and worries.

    Michal is a role model in the way how she understands her own priviledge of her freedom and the way she tries to enable it for other people.

    I want to be able to keep my free life in Israel and in other places and to feel and understand this freedom that I am priviledged to have.

    Michal Sadeh

    Three perspectives from the same area in central Israel but still very different. Listen to a href="https://safatalents.

    • 41 Min.
    Women are f***ed up everywhere!

    Women are f***ed up everywhere!

    Podcast Celia: Women are f***ed up everywhere

    I am a social entrepreneur in my soul, meaningful social action is the center of my life.

    Celia Jawabreh

    Celia Jawabreh lives in the Arab region of the so called triangle in the center of Israel. She is a very energetic Arab Israeli woman, mother of two and successful in her career as educational counselor. The first time we met through a friend in a gallery promoting crafts of impoverished Arab women in Tel Aviv, Celia took me by surprise. Celia does not look like a typical Arab woman and I was immediately impressed by her strong personality. Celia thinks deep and she reflects everything happening around her with regards to what she can do to improve the situation. No surprise, Celia became a feminist and an activist at an early age and she is involved in many social activities.

    Whenever you want justice for yourself, you have to make sure that if you are not doing justice to the other, you have to do it. ... We don't talk about this, that we have racism between our groups ... we just talk about the racism from the Jewish side because it's much easier to talk about it.

    Celia Jawabreh

    Celia experiences racism and disadvantages as a Palestinian in Israel but she also recognizes the racism within the Arab minority. Together, Muslims, Christians and Druze make up 20% of the Israeli population. One of the core problems she identifies is violence within the Arab society. Arab towns are being threatened by Mafia organizations who obtain their weapons illegally by the Israeli Army. This violence is also a huge threat to the women and femicides are rising. Celia cares about the rights of women and minorities around her. In the interview, Celia shares insights into her own upbringing as a muslim woman and the struggles of being a Palestinian in Israel.

    In my childhood, I saw many women who had an unfair childhood and marriages. I said to myself that this wouldn't happen to me, that's the fire in me. I am very protective of my rights and women rights. ... Whenever I go to places, I think about women, how well do they get paid, under what conditions are they working? It is very important me.

    Celia Jawabreh

    Professionally, Celia loves to create something new and growing her competencies. Right now, she started working in the governmental sector with Branco Weiss, a funding agency in the educational field. Celia works hard to improve the educational system for Arab schools in Israel and making it more efficient.

    Listen to Maisam Jaljuli, another Palestinian feminist voice from Israel. This is the latest UN resolution on the violation of rights of Palestinian women in Israel.

    Gefördert durch die Wirtschaftsagentur Wien

    • 31 Min.
    Building Jewish-Christian Relations

    Building Jewish-Christian Relations

    Podcast Hana Part 2: Building Jewish-Christian Relations

    Hana Bendcowsky is the Program Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations at the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue. Hana's work is educational, she teaches in varied institutions, colleges, academic programs, Christian seminaries, post- and pre military programs, IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) and governmental offices.

    Hana has 27 years of practical experience in interfaith activities. Her expertise is the Christian Communities and the Jewish-Christian relations in the Israeli context. A growing difference between generations is being observed in all Israeli communities and religious groups. Recent surveys showed that younger people have more negative opinions about others and that there is more extremism in general.

    ... and with all the programs that's being done, I think there is more interest and curiosity and opening towards the others. But the younger generation is more ignorant, more closed in its own bubble

    ... it's more segregated, there is a lot less personal familiarities with the other and therefore stereotypes and prejudice and hatred is growing.

    Hana Bendcowsky

    Hana sees the results of her and others' educational work. There is a difference but at the same time she notices that there are more desperate people who are tired of the conflict on both sides. They seem not able to develop any sympathy toward the other.

    I think what we really are trying to do is to remove this stereotype and say: look at the person but not just look at the person as a human being but look at the person with his identity whatever it includes and examine him.

    So not just to like people that are very nice and friendly ... but accept them with their criticism and with their agenda and find a way to work together.

    Hana Bendcowsky

    The conflicts and tensions in Israel are rising. It is very challenging for Hana to balance out troubled feelings from others and also her own. She has to deal with setbacks of her work - sometimes one step forward two steps back - but Hana doesn't lose hope and she will continue to fight for peace.

    What really helps me is the staff here in the Rossing Center because we all struggle with the same thing. And we come here and we talk about it and it really helps. I know if I will not do it then I will not be able to look into my sons eyes and say: we have to stay here because there is a future ... I am here and I want to change it.

    Hana Bendcowsky

    Hana is a professional tour educator in Jerusalem leading study tours in the Christian Quarter.

    Listen to the first episode with Hana.

    Get another perspective from an Israeli Palestinian feminist. Maisam talks openly about the struggles and conflicts she and her fellow Palestinians endure but she also sees the difficulties on the Jewish side.

    Gefördert durch die Wirtschaftsagentur Wien


    • 32 Min.
    Understanding the Other – Diverse identities in the Holy Land

    Understanding the Other – Diverse identities in the Holy Land

    Podcast Hana Part 1: Diverse identities in the Holy Land

    Hana Bendcowsky is the Program Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations at the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue. Growing up in a modern orthodox family and going to an Israeli Hebrew speaking school, Hana knew hardly anything about other religions. Hana's first exposure to Christianity happened when she attended a history class while studying Comparative Religions at Hebrew University.

    ... it actually helped me to reconnect to my own tradition because when I had to meet with Christians and explain them about my own religion, I had to think about what I am doing.

    Hana Bendcowsky

    Hana found out how much of her own identity had been shaped by Christian culture without her being aware of it. The Western, European culture as the leading culture globally defined her experiences through art, literature, music, television ... That was an eye opening experience for her. Hana wanted to understand more about the interconnections between the religions and their roots in Israel.

    I did meet a lot of people who showed me different things that helped me to open my eyes and be aware. It took another few more years to realize that that's what I want to develop. That's the kind of work I want everyone to be exposed to and to change their attitude ... and the way they look at the world.

    Hana Bendcowsky

    In this first episode with Hana, she explains the diversity of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and secular identities in Israel. She talks about the growing tensions also between Christians and Jews and what makes their relationship so special in the Holy Land compared to the European context. The question of who is minority or majority deems particularly important in the light of the occupation and conflict.

    When I start to talk about the Holocaust or about persecution of Jews in Europe or the Crusaders with a local Palestinian, he won't understand the connection why he needs to hear about something that Christians in Europe did to Jews in the Middle Ages ...

    but for Israeli Jews who have no experience of living with Christians, the only thing they know about Christianity is the history. And the history is full of tragedies ...

    Palestinians are not ready to hear about it because they are afraid it would lead us to reduce the responsibility from what's happening here in the conflict.

    Hana Bendcowsky

    Hana is a professional tour educator in Jerusalem leading study tours in the Christian Quarter.

    Listen to a Palestinian feminist voice from Israel. Maisam talks openly about the struggles and conflicts she and her fellow Palestinians endure but she also sees the difficulties on the Jewish side.

    Gefördert durch die Wirtschaftsagentur Wien

    • 25 Min.
    Civil Society can do the change

    Civil Society can do the change

    Podcast Maisam: Civil Society can do the Change

    ... most of the people - Palestinian and Israeli people - are people who really want to live in peace. ... They want to fight for the future of their children, but we are still the silent minority. ... And while the extremists are really ruling our lives here, we should be the alternative.Maisam Jaljuli

    Maisam Jaljuli is the unofficial Ambassador of the civil society in Israel. Born as Arab Palestinian with an Israeli citizenship, she is living and working in the triangle region of Taybe in central Israel. Maisam is married with three kids and she seems to have endless energy engaging in various organizations in the civil society. Maisam is a true believer in the power of grassroots. She initiated and was leading NGO's to change the lives of people for the better. Her main goals are to gain social justice, gender equality and to end the occupation. This is the announcement of her latest engagement.

    I am very proud to be engaged with a lot of civil society organizations and being an active part of the civil society .... it really works on the grassroots level in Israel ... I think in the civil society, we are doing a great job and we are really making changes.Maisam Jaljuli

    Maisam grew up in an environment with strong values of equality, social justice and personal involvement. These values keep driving her to seek changes especially for women in the workplace and in politics. Maisam has been elected for three periods as chairwoman of Na'amat in the triangle region. Na'amat is a feminist organization with a link to the biggest federal Labor Union in Israel.

    15 years ago, only 25% of the Arab women were engaged in the labor market. Now we reached 40%. So we have progress!Maisam Jaljuli

    We have met the ministry of internal security, the ministry of police after we held a demonstration near his house. We demonstrated for a whole month. It was a struggle but we succeeded. Maisam Jaljuli about her activities against violence and crime in Palestinian towns

    Domestic violence and the women who lost their children to crime in the Arab towns in Israel became some of her key activities in the last years. Right now, Maisam is in a transition period to change her focus even more towards the Israeli Palestinian relationships. Maisam talks openly about the struggles and conflicts she and her fellow Palestinians endure but she also sees the difficulties on the Jewish side.

    Her main goal is to be engaged as an active part of the Israeli society. Maisam was awarded the Walking Man prize for social activism in 2017. Her wish is to receive the full acceptance and support of the Israeli establishment for her activities as a Palestinian (and) women in Israel. We had a great inspiring conversation and I really admire her positive contagious energy to continue fighting for a better society for all.

    Listen to another Palestinian voice from across the boarder in Lebanon. Iman talks about her life and role as an educational spe...

    • 45 Min.
    Inclusive spaces and belonging

    Inclusive spaces and belonging

    Podcast Rebar: Inclusive spaces and belonging

    Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah lives with his wife in Sulaimaniya, the second biggest city in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. When he was born, the Kurdish people in the region were still being prosecuted under the Saddam Hussein regime. Rebar was one of the kids who survived the Exodus of one million people to the mountains of Iran and Turkey. He experienced as a child all the hardships Kurdish people were exposed to in Iraq. The relieve only came in 2006 with the new constitution for Iraq which included the official autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan.

    People are recognizing themselves as Kurdish people because of the culture, history and the language which is shared between all whether they are living in Iraq, Syria, Turkey or Iran. So it is not divided, only on the maps, it is divided on imaginary lines.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    Rebar accomplished his Bachelor Degree in architectural design at Erbil University. Back in Sulaimaniya, he worked for an NGO and started showing foreigners the heritage and historical sites of the area. He enrolled in a Masters Program between Brandenburg, Alexandria and Erbil studying models of social healing in post-conflict areas.

    As an architect, I usually design physical structures, but as an heritage advocator, we are trying to preserve the heritage monuments and cultural significance from demolishing and from vanishing in the area. And through this, we have a bigger object, which is the social cohesion and community development.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    Rebar became an expert on the city of Sulaimaniya. He conducts research on the open public spaces in the city. For him, social inclusion is one of the major problems in the area. Rebar identifies it even as one of the top reasons for the mass emigration of young people.

    One of the reasons of mass emigration that we have right now is is the problem of not having an inclusive space for all the people. Poverty is not the reason. Besides social injustice and lack of job opportunity, there is no set of rules respecting the individuality of one being in the city. Your dignity as Kurdish inside Sulaimaniya is under threat by the very own government, by the very own community.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    As a countermeasure, Rebar runs a series of workshops with local people. This is only the start of a participative process for more inclusion. He is still hopeful that a solution is possible.

    I am not a nationalist. But living here means some kind of spiritual connection between me and the land. I feel the authenticity of the area and the people. But it needs a certain kind of solution and medication that we are trying to find. So I cannot leave this area so easily.Rebar Salahaddin Abdallah

    Listen to Joanne Bajjali from Lebanon. She speaks about heritage and the power to create a feeling of national unity for children in post-conflict areas.

    Gefördert durch die Wirtschaftsagentur Wien

    • 36 Min.


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