IT WON’T STOP UNTIL WE TALK!
THE PARENTS CIRCLE- FAMILIES FORUM
Wajih Tmeizi and Nir Oren from the Peace NGO The Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) will give a talk at an open meeting in the Nordic House on November 30th at 20:00 as guests of The Association Iceland-Palestine. No entrance fee and everyone is welcome. The event will also be streamed live.
“By sharing our stories, learning and acknowledging each other’s narratives, changing opinions on social networks, and more, we are trying to change peoples’ minds and confront them with the need for and possibility for reconciliation. If we, Palestinians and Israelis who lost our loved ones, can sit together and talk than anybody else can.”
The Parents Circle – Families Forum is an NGO of Palestinian and Israeli Families who have lost loved ones in the conflict. PCFF advocates dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, peace, justice and for the end of the occupation.
Born in Idna, Palestine, Wajih is a businessman in the field of agriculture.
Wajih is a Palestinian businessman and a father of 5. Wajih’s 13-year old brother was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in 1995, in his hometown, Idna. Tragedy found Wajih’s family again in 2001 when 2 settlers shot and killed 3 of his cousins.
A few years later, Wajih joined The Parents Circle – Families Forum and became an active member, one of six hundred Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost close family members and who work together for reconciliation and a just resolution to the conflict. Wajih serves on the PCFF Board of Directors and was the co-Chairperson for over three years.
Wajih believes that a joint, non-violent Israeli-Palestinian effort is critical to driving a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to the end of the Occupation. In the past two years, in addition to his volunteering facilitation and lecturing in PCFF activities, Wajih was instrumental in the formation of a joint Palestinian – Israeli board of directors for PCFF, making it a fully joint organization in all levels of operation. Wajih is today the Chairman of the Board of PCFF.
Born in 1960 in Tel Aviv, Israel, Nir is a social worker, group facilitator and therapist for addicts.
Like most Israelis, Nir lived with the understanding that his Palestinian neighbours lived under Israeli occupation. He knew what he refers to as “the other side” only as enemies, an image reinforced by the contact he had with Palestinians during his military service.
In 1995, Nir’s ability to separate the national conflict from his personal life was forever destroyed when his mother Zahava (Golda) was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber who boarded the bus on which she was riding. What followed for him was nearly a decade of despair and pain.
In 2003 Nir found the Parents Circle Families Forum—a network of Palestinian and Israeli families, all of whom have lost a loved one to the conflict, who are working together for peace and reconciliation. Through this encounter, he recovered the hope he thought he’d lost forever.
Nir passionately believes that there is no way other than through reconciliation to resolve the widespread suffering in the region. He readily acknowledges the enormous challenges of peace-building, particularly given the harsh day-to-day reality of the region, but is unwavering in his vision for peace. For six years, with his Palestinian counterpart, Nir co-led the PCFF, overseeing reconciliation dialogues and projects for a community of 600 bereaved families who in turn reach out to thousands of individuals each year.