A Journey with the Youth in the Holy Land To Build Bridges towards the Genfest

From the very beginning of this year we have focused our lives and all our activities with the young people around us, on the Genfest. And so we agreed on a program to ensure a certain continuity.
In January, after having launched the Genfest in the various cities of the Holy Land, we invited everyone to a weekend in Arad, in the zone of the Dead Sea.

“(...) I felt, I experienced, that they loved us, there was real love.”
“It was really great! It was difficult to distinguish among us young people who was Christian and who was Muslim. The phrases (mottos of the Genfest) that I received during the weekend were really right for me.”
“During the walk, I felt that with reciprocal help between us, we were already building the bridges towards the Genfest: “Let’s Bridge!”
“For 6 months I’ve been without work and I was sad. This weekend has given joy back to my heart. Thank you!”

These are some echoes of our weekend from April 20th to 21st.
There were 55 of us from various places of the Holy Land: Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jish, Nazareth, Shfaram and Haifa. Five participants were Muslim.

We arrived at the Youth Hostel of Arad at about 6pm on Friday 20th. Straight after dinner we meet for a moment to get to know each other and to share a little. We also spoke about the preparation for the Genfest.
Then we split into 4 groups for a moment of dialogue, according to the Mottos of the Genfest. Each one received a phrase. Each group went into depth on a different theme: give joy, love everyone, the golden rule, peace.  A truly deep dialogue was created, listening to one another with great respect.

On Saturday we left for an adventure in the desert, in Ein Bokek: a 5 ½ hour walk! We lived different moments during the walk: moments of dialogue, or of contemplation of the beautiful nature, with a spectacular view of the Dead Sea! There were also times of great concentration in the more difficult parts of the walk... We made it together!

At the end of the walk we headed off for the Dead Sea, at Ein Gedi, where other young people were expecting us for lunch: a barbecue on the beach! And we couldn’t miss out on a quick dive!

We left at about 6pm, all happy and content with the wonderful weekend! As we said our goodbyes, we invited everyone to the next appointment that will be in June.
They were two extraordinary days with a great group of young people! It seemed that we knew each other for a long time, even if it was the first time for many to participate in one of our initiatives. Beyond every diversity, because of the different situations we find ourselves in, of our different religions, etc, we experienced so much love, mutual help, respect, syntony: bridges towards the Genfest!