Bereaved Parents and PAU, October 2013

Article from the January 2014 Edition of Global Mental Health Newsletter

On October 14, 2013 Robi Damelin and Bassam Aramin of the Parents Circle of Bereaved Parents spoke to the PAU community about the tragic loss of loved ones they and other Israelis and Palestinians have suffered.

The Parents Circle is a grassroots organization that promotes reconciliation as an alternative to hatred and revenge. It is made up of more than 600 Israeli and Palestinian families, who have all lost an immediate family member to the conflict. Its long term vision is to create a framework for a reconciliation process to be an integral part of any future peace agreements. Robi spoke about the loss of her son David, who was killed by a Palestinian sniper while he was guarding a checkpoint near a settlement during his army reserve service. Bassam grew up in Hebron and at 17, he was caught planning an attack on Israeli troops, and spent seven years in prison. He spoke about the loss of his ten-year-old daughter Abir, who was gunned down and killed outside her school. Bassam also cofounded Combatants for Peace, an organization of former Israeli and Palestinian combatants leading a non-violent struggle against the occu-pation. While at PAU, Robi, Bassam, and our Chaplain Byron Bland explored together future collaboration around efforts to address trauma and promote reconciliation.

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