Israeli Arab Study Group
Israeli Arab Study GroupOct 3, 2013 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Oct 3 2013 7:00pm - 9:00pm - We hope you can join us... for a fascinating evening! Thursday, October 3, 7:00 pm at the JCC of Central NJ, 1391 Martine Avenue, in Scotch Plains (1) Meet and greet Top Bedouin elementary teacher from Negev (2) Hear about the Kidron Valley/Wadi Nar Master Plan Musa Abu-Kaf is one of the six outstanding teachers in Israel chosen in a national contest to represent the country. He is a great example of commitment, professionalism and innovative educational approaches. Musa is an elementary school teacher from the Bedouin village of Segev Shalom in the Negev. He was born and raised in a nearby unrecognized village and fought his way to get his own education and raise a successful family. The Kidron Valley/Wadi Nar begins in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Meah Shaarim and Talbieh, skirts the ridges of Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives, passes through Silwan and continues through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea. Some of the Middle East's most famous cultural, religious and historic sites dwell in harmony in the valley, along with underground watercourses, monasteries and breathtaking desert landscapes. Unchecked development, neglect, and an increase in population, resulted in major health, environmental, and economic consequences such as 15 million cubic meters of raw sewage and deposits of solid waste. That's why the master plan agreed upon by both sides serves the best interests of the Valley, regardless of political sovereignty issues. The Master Plan benefits Kidron Valley residents, citizens of Jerusalem, Ubadiya and other towns in the Valley, including the region's Bedouin and monks. Taking the "basin approach" reduces impassable problems to manageable levels. Ignoring borders and concentrating on improving the quality of the environment gives everyone a chance to improve their own livelihood, without compromising their political position. Suleiman Al Assa is mayor of Ubadiya, a Palestinian town of 10,000 residents situated in the Kidron Valley/Wadi Nar on the edge of the Judean desert. His involvement in the fight to remove the sewage from the Valley changed the debate from a political issue to a health imperative. Suleiman engaged the mayors of the adjoining towns to create an association of towns for environmental protection, and to join him in pressuring the Palestinian Authority to resolve the sewage issue. Avner Goren is Israel's national director of the "Abraham Path Initiative." In the Kidron Valley Master Plan, Avner leads the heritage, culture, archaeology, history, pilgrimage and tourism development research and initiatives. He is a renowned archeologist who advocates the importance of cultural heritage, environment, and humanism, an expert on cultural tourism and Bedouin and desert archeology and is involved with many organizations and educational institutions in Israel and abroad. Avner has been working as an archeologist since the 1960's, directing and participating in archeological excavations all over Israel. For 15 years he served as Chief Archeologist in the Sinai Peninsula while it was under Israeli control. Avner was the protagonist in Bruce Feiler's non-fiction books, "Walking the Bible" and "Where God Was Born."