Middle East

Clarity and confusion in the Middle East

Hearing the stories of both Israelis and Palestinians was a highlight of the Middle East learning tour Seth Ratzlaff participated in two years ago. (Photo by Seth Ratzlaff)

Yella participants walk through Palestine during a 2012 learning tour. (Photo by Seth Ratzlaff)

Seth Ratzlaff

Seth Ratzlaff was part of a group of young adults who travelled to the Middle East in 2012 for a three-week Israeli-Palestinian learning tour. ‘I would love to go back,’ Ratzlaff writes. (Photo courtesy of Seth Ratzlaff)

It’s easy to get fed up with talking about things while studying in college or university; the desire to do something hands-on can be overwhelming. When my religious studies professor told me about a three-week learning tour of Israel and Palestine called Yella, organized, by Mennonite Central Committee Ontario and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.

Muslim, Jewish and Christian Relationships

Classes are going very well. Students are appreciating the role-plays, practical illustrations, and the newly published textbook, which was partially funded by Waterloo North Mennonite Church (Waterloo, Ont.).

Some people are of the opinion that Jews and Muslims have always been, and always will be, in conflict. This is not true. Ishmael and Isaac both received a blessing from their father Abraham (Gen. 17:20), and in the end they came together to jointly bury their father (Gen. 25:9).

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