The parable of the mouse and the lion: Eymon and Ainav, participants of the SFP course in psychology at Ben Gurion university, volunteer at the Hagar association, Beersheva, in the Jewish-Arab kindergarten
Eymon and Einav are two out of 22 Jewish and Arab students that participated in course that the SFP runs at Ben Gurion University (BGU). The course is called ‘The Arab-Jewish Conflict in the Mirror of Theory and Practice’ and is run in partnership with the psychology department at BGU. In the first semester there was an intergroup dialogue about the fact that the Jews were from all over Israel and the Arabs were mostly Bedouin from the south. The dialogue in the first semester was a powerful experience, which the students indicated in the final meeting’s discussion. In the second semester the students volunteered in associations for social change in the south. Most volunteered in the Hagar association and in the Etach-Maci (with you) association, an association who give legal aid to Bedouin women. Eymon and Ainav working in an Arab-Jewish kindergarten run by the Hagar association. They worked with children in both languages and dramatized a story that they read together with the children. The pictures speak for themselves.
A (a Bedouin participant): When I heard of it I said this would be an easy course for credit, but from the first meeting I saw that this would be a difficult and interesting course. What there was here was a conflict between the Bedouin and the state about what the Bedouins feel in their day-to-day life with the state, and you (the Jews) felt like you were the state. I didn’t expect that you would defend the Bedouin, the fact that you listened and understood and knew about our problems and what is going on, that is a lot and I am really grateful to you.
R (a Jewish participant): This course is a real gift. It broke down many of my stereotypes (about Arabs). I don’t know how I look at things politically, I look at you as human beings. In the second semester the work revealed to me the ways the state acts towards the Bedouin. I was in Rahat for the first time.