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For more information contact mark.a.kinders@uwrf.edu or brenda.k.bredahl@uwrf.edu.

Jerusalem Women Speak Tour Arrives at UWRF

APRIL 13, 2007--UW-River Falls will host a visit of the national Jerusalem Women Speak tour, organized by the Washington, D.C.-based organization Partners for Peace, on Tuesday, April 24. The presentation is from 2:30 to 4:30pm in the University Center Ballroom on campus and repeated from 7 to 9 p.m. at the River Falls Public Library.

The Midwestern tour, happening April 9-26 in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, features three women of the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths who relate their experiences about living in the volatile Mideast region of Israel and Palestine. Huda Abu Arqoub, a Muslim Palestinian from Hebron, Palestine; Tal Dor, a Jewish Israeli from Haifa, Israel; and Amal Nassar, a Christian Palestinian from Bethlehem, Palestine bring their unique experiences together to demonstrate hopes for peace that transcends boundaries of region and religion.

Abu Arquob is an educational consultant with the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian National Authority. One of 12 siblings born to teachers in Jerusalem, Abu Arquob is denied residency and cannot freely travel there to visit relatives. Her family lost 250 acres of family vineyards and olive gardens to Israeli confiscation. A Fulbright Scholar, she holds a master's degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University.

Dor was most recently executive director of Mahapach-Tagier, a Joint Jewish-Palestinian grassroots organization working for peace and social justice. A native in Haifa, Dor's parents were Zionist immigrants from South Africa to Israel in 1948. She has a B.A. in social work from Tel Hai College. Currently living in France, she is co-authoring with Palestinian colleague Manal Al Tamami a book documenting their dialogues as women activists against the occupation.

Nassar is a physiotherapist for infants and a nurse at Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem. On her family's land in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, she helped found the organization Tent of Nations-People Building Bridges, which works for peace and nonviolence. Violence and vandalism has surrounded the organization's headquarters and affected her family, who have been beaten and held at gunpoint by Israeli settlers. Their land and organization is embroiled in a legal battle, and Nassar views the existence of Tent of Nations as an example of nonviolent resistance.

An informal brown bag luncheon, open to the public, will take place from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Falls Room of the University Center. The community is invited to welcome the three speakers with UWRF College of Arts and Sciences Dean Terry Brown; members of the local chapter of American Association of University Women; and students, faculty and staff.

The Jerusalem Women Speak partnership demonstrates that working relationships are possible in seeking peaceful solutions to conflict in the region. The women will share realities of the conflict--loss of family, death, demolition, persecution, violence, and living in a region with altered borders, with rising tensions and conflicts.

The April series is the 13th national tour since 1998 sponsored by Partners for Peace. Partners for Peace is a non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC with the mission of helping to procure a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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