Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze Families gathered yesterday at Sidna Ali Mosque in Herzeliya just north of Tel Aviv for the AR Families Forum – 53 participants including football-playing children, families bringing different things to share including coffee, guacamole, hummous, baklava, fuul, rice, pita, quinoa tabouleh, and much more.
Participants came from the Galilee, from Tel Aviv, and from around the area – Facilitators Sheikh Ghassan Manasra and Annette introduced the event and each shared readings and poetry about children and families, and everyone enjoyed a delicious meal in the courtyard of Sidna Ali next to the beach on a beautiful afternoon.
Imam Bilal of Sidna Ali Mosque came and spoke to the group about the value of what the AR is doing, and Abed Manasra shared that when the minaret of Sidna Ali fell in a storm, there was only one remaining photograph of the minaret – a photo with his Grandfather Abedelsalam Manasra and his father Sheikh Ghassan and others – and that photograph was used to construct the minaret from the exact same stones that had fallen.
Flags of Healing the Heart of the Holy Land (HHHL) danced on the olive trees in the wind, and were gifted to the Mosque and the Imam, who said he will leave them there in the courtyard and hopes the AR will come for Iftar or other events at Sidna Ali.
The HHHL international peace journey group was also present with David Less, Anna Less, Chris Miller, Jessica Bromby, Zeze Manasra, Dvorah Kost, Kathleen Lyons, Blayne Hougen, Katie Emmons, Kismet Weeber, Annie Borifsky, Kelly MacPherson, Jeff Sprowls, and our videographers Haider Hussain and Max.
A beautiful atmosphere of friendship and connection was present with children playing, adults discussing the texts and getting to know each other, and food and baklava being shared by all.
Special thanks to all the supporters of Healing the heart of the holy land on our Indiegogo campaign for supporting this and the other upcoming events!!