Channels

Peres Center delegation at the World Cup
Jewish and Arab teens travel to Moscow to play soccer together
Delegation of teenagers from the Peres Center for Peace holds workshops and soccer training on sidelines of World Cup, teaching teens from Qatar, Iraq and Tunisia how they promote peace and dialogue through their shared love of soccer; 'At first we were met with suspicion, but we quickly became best friends with the Iraqi team,' says delegation head Lior Shalom.
A delegation of teenagers from the Peres Center for Peace traveled to Russia for the World Cup to hold workshops and soccer training for teens from all over the world, including from Arab nations.

 

 

The teens—from Jericho, Shoham, Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva—taught their fellow teenagers from Qatar, Iraq and Tunisia how they promote peace and dialogue and allay suspicion through their shared love for the game of soccer.

 

The delegation, invited to Russia by FIFA, is staying with the other teens from all over the globe and holding soccer matches, which will culminate in the final on Saturday night at a soccer pitch set up especially in the center of the Red Square in Moscow.

 

Peres Center delegation at the World Cup
Peres Center delegation at the World Cup
 

 

The final, which is drawing a lot of interest from international media, will feature children from Israel and from all over the Arab world playing together.

 

The delegation is led by Lior Shalom from Tel Aviv, a project manager at the Peres Center for Peace, as well as coordinators Ahmad Roma from Jericho and Yael Tregerman from Rishon LeZion.

 

According to Shalom, the delegation was first met with suspicion. "We saw the stares we were getting, the fear of speaking to us and mostly the fear of playing soccer together. But as soon as they realized we speak Arabic, respect our Palestinian friends, and play and work together under the two flags—the Israeli flag and the Palestinian flag—the barriers were dropped and we quickly became best friends with the Iraqi team. We even taught them a few words in Hebrew," she said.

 

"Now we're teaching lessons and mostly winning and scoring goals," she added.

 


First published: 07.03.18, 15:40
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Jewish and Arab teens travel to Moscow to play soccer together"
Warning:
This will delete your current comment