The 2016 Youth Organized Collaboration on Peace and Sustainability(YOCOPAS)  conference was held at EMIS, and was joined by students from eleven different schools. These schools were located in countries that are in conflict with each other such as Israel, Palestine, Gaza, and the West Bank. YOCOPAS was held in order to give people a chance to meet, to explore each other’s perspectives, to bring peace and sustainability to the Middle East, and to see the true truth. During YOCOPAS, we interviewed a few people about their experiences at YOCOPAS.

What does YOCOPAS mean to you?

Shelley Teken, 16  from Dror High School: “YOCOPAS, to me, means unity. It means [putting] [sic] aside what you have heard so far. Sometimes you hear about stereotypes, sometimes you hear about something bad that’s happened. Even if you don’t believe it, you still cannot avoid it. It’s like you’re taking a break from all of that and coming here to meet the actual people. You actually get to see the truth, and not all those stupid stories that you have no choice but to listen to.”

Why did you decide to join YOCOPAS?

Ofri Yona from Dror High School: “I decided to join YOCOPAS because of tworeasons. Firstly, I want to improve my English. Even though it was hard for me when I talked, I think this is the best way to practice. Another reason is, I’m really interested in Kazakhstan. I want to meet people from Kazakhstan and I want to know what actually happened in Kazakhstan, because we don’t know anything. We know that they are bad people, that they hate us, and that they are mean to us. I know this is not true soI want to know what is really going.”

Did you have an experience that you never had before at YOCOPAS?

Tomer Eyzenberg, 17 from Hakfar Hayarok: Maybe learning new perspectives is an experience that I gained. It wasn’t like I learned the whole skill but I did gain experience. In my workshop, we discussed, we debated and we talked about politics and stuff which I never really try to talk about with people that are not from my class, my region, or my country. So, maybe learning some new perspectives is an experience that I gained.”

Is there something you wish to share with us?

Salar Shawabkeh,from Jordan: “I just want to let everyone know that we really need to cooperate with each other, because Jordan is the second country that is suffering from water shortages. We need to make a change, and if we don’t, Jordan will have nothing in the next ten years. That’s why I came here; to let people know.”

During YOCOPAS, the educators were divided into groups in order to play some games with the goal of getting to know each other more, doing a workshop together to share ideas, or to do something they have never done before. It depends on the workshop that they went to. YOCOPAS conference is an opportunity for young people to get to know new people, do something new, sharing your ideas and discussing about the issues. YOCOPAS brings peace and sustainability to the world.

Interviewing YOCOPAS 2016 Participants

The 2016 Youth Organized Collaboration on Peace and Sustainability (YOCOPAS) conference was recently held at EMIS, including students from eleven different schools. These schools were located in conflicted the conflicted areas Israel and Palestine. YOCOPAS was held in order to give people a chance to meet, to explore each other’s perspective, and to bring peace and sustainability to the Middle East. During YOCOPAS, we interviewed a few people about their experiences.

What does YOCOPAS means to you?

Shelley Teken, from Dror High School: “YOCOPAS to me means unity. It means putting [sic] aside what you have heard so far. Sometimes you hear about stereotypes, sometimes you hear about something bad that’s happened. Even if you don’t believe it, you still cannot avoid it. It’s like you’re taking a break from all of that and coming here to meet the actual people. You actually get to see the truth and not all those stupid stories that you have no choice but to listen to.”

Why did you decide to join YOCOPAS?

Ofri Yona from Dror High School: “I decided to join YOCOPAS because of two reasons. Firstly, I want to improve my English. Even it was hard for me when I talked, I think this is the best way to practice. Another reason is, I’m really interested in Gaza. I want to meet people from Gaza and I want to know what actually happened in Gaza because we don’t know anything. We know that they are bad people, that they hate us, and that they are mean to us. I know this is not true; so I want to know what is really going.”

Did you have an experience that you never had before at YOCOPAS?

Tomer Eyzenberg, from Hakfar Hayarok: “Maybe learning new perspectives is an experience that I gained. It wasn’t like I learned the whole skill but I did gain experience. In my workshop, we discussed, we debated and we talked about politics and stuff like which I never really try to talk about with people that are not from my class, my region or my country. So, maybe learning some new perspectives is an experience that I gained.”

Is there something you wish to share with us?

Salar Shawabkeh, EcoPeace from Jordan: “I just want to let everyone know that we really need to cooperate with each other, because Jordan is the second country that is suffering from water shortages. We need to make a change, and if we don’t, Jordan will have nothing in the next ten years. That’s why I came here to let people know.”

 

Written by: Elite VA
Edited by: Keren Sneh and Shy Zvouloun
Copy edited by: Keren Sneh

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