Through events, interviews and online exhibitions, A.C.T. will give a voice to those who seek to ACT for Peace.
Check out this page on a regular basis, it will be updated with information about events and blog posts about interesting coexistence projects. Enjoy!
For more information or if you have an idea or have heard of an interesting project send us a note
This unique combination didn’t surprise these two female cooks: “I guess we’ve disappointed all those who were expecting action and quarrels. The good bond between us was formed because we think alike about people”.
This friendship was formed on the set of this season’s Master Chef – Israel. Among pots and pans, Salma and Elinor discovered that two women coming from opposing sides of the Israeli society, had more than a few things in common.
“On the set, I didn’t see a difference between Salma and the other female competitors” says Elinor “but on the screen, when I saw how the photographers captured Salma and I on the same shoot, I realized how big this connection was”.
“I don’t judge people by looks” says Salma “Some people radiate goodness and you fall in love with them right away. Lots of people noticed my connection to Elinor because they thought we had similar personalities”.
“When I met Salma” Elinor continues, “I saw a wonderful person. I didn’t see a flag, I saw a person and the same thing applies to my friendship with Maya, the Jewish vegan competitor who holds left-wing viewpoints and opposes the fact that I live in a settlement in Gush Etzion, in the northern Judean hills in the West Bank. Every person has strong beliefs and viewpoints that lead him/her throughout life but those beliefs don’t affect who they are as human beings”.
“I’m not representing anyone” says Salma
Elinor: “Do people in your village say anything about the fact that you have a friend who’s a settler?”
Salma: “No one said anything”
Elinor: “People gently told me “we saw you hugging Salma”
Salma: When I entered the show, I didn’t think I would become friends with the Jewish religious competitor”
Elinor: “Neither did I. There are Arabs from your village who work in our settlement so I’ve had some interactions with Arabs before but never did I have a female…Arab friend?”
Salma: “Indeed, I’m Arab, aren’t I?”
Elinor: “Or should I say “Muslim?”
Salma: “A Muslim Arab”
Elinor: “Ok, so I’ve never had such a relationship with a Muslim Arab woman”
Elinor works at the Mushroom Farm in Tekoa and Salma is a nurse and a Research Coordinator of clinical trials on Altzheimer’s.
The two young women provide the required recipe needed to bring peace and love between Jews and Arabs but their relationship also provides a glimpse into the deep conflict, the prejudice and the fear that lie between us. For example, when we wanted this interview to take place in one of their houses, it didn’t work out.
“I’m really sorry I didn’t want to come to your house” Elinor says to Salma “but I’m scared. I have this deep fear inside of me. I know Salma and I trust her completely but I don’t want to come to a place where everybody’s going to stare at me.
Salma didn’t want to go to Elinor’s house either because she was afraid of the Jewish settlers. “What am I going to do in a settlement? How will I be looked at? On the other hand, if Elinor comes to my village, I’m sure nothing bad will happen to her. People in our village respect Jews but she thinks it’s scary and I am scared of going to Tekoa”
The compromise for the meeting was a Kosher Café in Tel Aviv.
“Here, in Tel Aviv, it is more acceptable. Tel Aviv is more open to these things” Elinor says.
“I said that it would be better if we met somewhere in the middle, at this point, but it doesn’t mean I will never come to visit Elinor in Tekoa” Salma adds. “My husband knows Rabbi Froman, the Rabbi of the settlement Tekoa and loves him”
Elinor: “Salma, wouldn’t you like to live in a Palestinian country?”
Salma: “I would like to live in a country that makes me feel like I belong, that doesn’t prevent me from serving in its military because I’m Arab, but, right now, when I see what goes on in Arab countries – I don’t think I would like to live anywhere else. There’s mor order here than what we see in other places around the world. We feel good here. I have a life, work, people I know and love. I would love it if this friendship with Elinor will cause people to think that there’s another way but I’m also realistic and I understand that this friendship won’t bring peace”.
Elinor: “we want to live in peace, without sirens, without wars. And it all begins with the common people”
The war between Israel and Gaza posed a first obstacle in this new friendship but even the rockets fired from both sides a week and half ago didn’t shake their peaceful viewpoints.
“It wasn’t Salma who fired those rockets from Gaza” says Elinor
“I heard some responses from people living in Gaza who said they didn’t want to be a part of all this war”.
Who is Niro ? What would you want people to know about you
SuperN!RO is the next worldwide pop sensation. He is a singer/song writer, dancer/actor from Israel who desires to use pop music to spread the message of peace. SuperN!RO has a genuine compassion for others and wants to make a lasting difference in the world.
Who is Khaled ? What would you want people to know about you
Khaled is a groundbreaking Palestinian artist whose unique brand of Alternative World Fusion music combines hard rock, Spanish style guitar and Middle Eastern music elements into one explosive listening experience. Through his creative process, he aims to innovate song writing and guitar playing like never before. He enjoys cooking and eating, wining and dining over good conversation. Two things to live by, “Listen,” and “We’re all in this together.”
Who is Darling? What would you want people to know about you
I am, as N!RO calls me, a CRAZY lady! And he’s right. I am creating a future for myself that will take me all over the world. I will continue to build and direct One Passion and also create some adventures of my own. I plan to stay very involved in the World Peace movement, especially in the Middle East. I have fallen in LOVE with the Israeli and Palestinian people and it is on my heart to make a difference in this conflict.
Who are your musical inspirations ?
N!RO: Alanis Morissette, Robbie Williams, David Guetta, Lady GaGa, The Beatles, Soundtrack for Wicked, and other music by Stephen Schwartz, Israeli music. Keane, Madonna, John Mayer, Back Street Boys, and more.
Khaled: Tool, Led Zepplin, Rage Against the Machine, Paco De Lucia, System of a Down, Mars Volta, The Doors, Gypsy Kings, Fareed al Atrash and many more.
How did you guys meet?
N!RO: In NYC. We were in the same group in a Landmark Education personal development program.
Khaled: We met in NYC.
Was it love at first site?
N!RO: Um…same as Khaled…hair at first sight!
Khaled: It was hair at first sight.
Tell us about One Passion?
N!RO: Most of what I would say is the same as what Darling shared so I don’t need to repeat any of that. Young people today are all about music, freedom, peace, and love. One Passion-The Project knows this and plans to reach out to young people with these messages in the language they know best…music. 1P is more than our campaign on Indiegogo…but this campaign is where it all begins. One Passion starts here…with our social network and an amazing music video and then keeps expanding from there.
Khaled: One passion is the idea that life, peace and love are a shared passion in the world. The project is a web platform for people from around the world in conflict to come together, share, collaborate and produce great art.
Darling: Well, you’ve seen the video and know that the project was created out of growing relationship between the guys. N!RO is actually the creator, and Khaled loved the idea and it began that way. I entered the scene about 2 months later. It began with the original idea of creating a social network for young artists from conflict areas to meet and work on music projects together…and also to create our own music video to serve as an example of peaceful collaboration and to drive traffic to the social network. The vision just kept expanding and now, our vision is to use music, especially pop music to reach the young pop culture with the message that they can be the ones to turn it all around and create something new. We want to target young people because they are still deciding where they stand…they can still be persuaded to choose the way of peace. We want to target the pop culture because it is all over the world…and has a lot of influence in society, especially in the arts and entertainment industry. We want to make World Peace the next really cool social trend…like Lady GaGa with her Anti-Bullying campaign. She used her fans (monsters) to strengthen and spread her campaign. We have a similar vision…but for World Peace. And…since the guys are from the Middle East themselves…I think this is a very POWERFUL message for them to share with the world.
Was it something you always wanted to do, or recently felt a need ?
N!RO: I’ve always felt a need to do pop music, to be a pop sensation. It wasn’t until recently, after meeting Khaled, a Palestinian, someone who was supposed to be my enemy, and taking time to get to know him and noticing how cool he was, that I realized that he wasn’t my enemy, but he was my friend. That’s when the need for me to make a difference in the conflict between our people began to grow.
Darling: Actually, I got involved in May of 2012 when N!RO asked me to be the Leader of this project. There was a need for someone with administrative/leadership skills to get the project organized. When he first told me about it a month before, it made me cry I was so moved. I was inspired with my Israeli friend’s desire to reach out to both Israelis and Palestinians, especially young people from those cultures, and empower and inspire them to be the generation to create a new beginning of peace. When he asked if I’d lead the project…I said, YEEEES! I am a strong stand for peace…peace within ourselves…and peace with others. This is what I plan to invest the rest of my life doing…spreading peace.
Who are the key players involved in the project ?
N!RO: All the people the others already mentioned.
Khaled: Nir, Darling, Khaled, Amir, Jon, Lary
Darling: Nir, Khaled, Lary, and myself, mostly. We do have 2 other team members Amir, and Jon in London that have smaller roles and have been with us almost since the beginning. Some of they will help us with is waiting on funding. All of these guys are THE REAL DEAL and I am fortunate to get to work with such amazing and extraordinary young men. And, they are a lot of fun, too!
What do you hope to accomplish?
M!RO: For this campaign I hope to accomplish: Hundreds of thousands of followers and views on our videos, to enroll a few huge music producers to produce the One Passion song with us, to connect with a successful producer to produce the music video.
Khaled: Justice and peace for all.
Darling: I want to see One Passion-The Project take off. I want to see lots of people getting infected with the 1P virus! I’d like for us to raise the finds we need make the video and get our social network ready to go public. I’d also like to make some REALLY good connections with other key people in the peace movement and music industry.
Will your collaboration be purely A-political? Do you guys talk about politics?
N!RO: No. The focus of 1P is on what we will unite people, and to have fun, celebrate youth, peace, freedom, culture, and sex.
Darling: While we may address the political arena here and there, that is not the focus of One Passion. Our focus is on creating unity and bridges of peace. Politics tends to cause division. People have many different viewpoints and most people are pretty passionate about their political views. If we want to promote peace and unity…we must remain neutral and welcome all people no matter where they stand on the issues of the day.
In the words of Shakespeare “If Music be the food of Love, play on” do you believe that to be true ?
N!RO: For sure!
Darling: I LOVE Shakespeare and am delighted to see a quote from him. YES!! Music is pure magic to me. It can touch, inspire, stimulate, motivate, encourage, sustain, and awaken me. It is a powerful means of self –expression that speaks to my heart. Play on, I say!
When is comes to peace, Does Size Matter ? (You’ll have to be creative with this one J)
N!RO: Size matters. It’s really both. It doesn’t matter because peace starts inside each of us, so it’s small because it’s just with us, and then it grows and becomes many people, the power of community and then size does matter, it can really make a difference.
Khaled: Power comes in numbers. So yes. Not only must we spread the message of peace, we must also take meaningful action towards what is just and is for the greatest good of us all.
Darling: There are so many directions I could go with this! On the one hand, you could say more/bigger is better. More people working for peace, more money to fund peace efforts, more people forgiving each other, more people in high government positions working to end conflict among nations, etc. Then, there’s the other hand, there is less/smaller. Less hate, less prejudice, less blaming each other, less thinking of ourselves, etc. But, you also have those inspiring stories of HUGE things being accomplished by a SMALL number of people…which flies in the face of “bigger is better”. In the words of Margaret Mead : “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” It is the latter of all of these that inspires me the most…the idea that just a handful of people, like we are now with 1P, can and ARE making a difference that is RIGHT NOW being felt by the world. I KNOW this to be true. I am living it right now!