The Karama Center
Area C, West Bank
We must stop believing the problems are too big, and that we are too small.
While many struggle to identify where and how to affect change, The Peace Project pinpoints areas to work by asking the simple question “Where can we make the biggest difference?” Now, our sights are set on Israel/Palestine where peace seems further away than ever. Our work has shown us that the one sure way to bring peace closer is to amplify the work of grassroots visionaries via the resources of our diverse international network of creators.
Nonviolence is the art of being human.
Born as a refugee to a political family, Ali Abu Awwad was arrested as a teenager during the First Intifada and spent four years in an Israeli prison where he learned about non-violence while studying the lives of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. After being released due to the Oslo Accord, Ali was badly wounded and his brother violently killed during the Second Intifada. A fortuitous meeting with Israelis who had also lost loved ones in the conflict, set the stage for the founding of Roots.
Peace is where opposing truths can fit together in one place.
In 2014, Ali was instrumental in bringing together two groups who would normally never meet — Palestinian activists and Israeli rabbis from the settlements in the West Bank. Inspired by the transformation that occurred with interaction and dialogue, they co-founded Roots and began the courageous work of finding common ground and forging a way towards equal rights, justice and prosperity on the land both feel a deep connection to.
Shortly after founding Roots, Ali began building Karama (meaning dignity) Center on the land his family has owned for four generations. Karama is in Area C which accounts for nearly 60% of the West Bank’s land. Under Israeli control, upwards of 500,000 Israelis live in 125 settlements and 100 outposts. Israel is constantly building here, but it is virtually prohibited for Palestinians which makes the creation of Karama Center quite remarkable.
The Peace Project will work hand-in-hand with Ali’s team to master plan and transform the existing utilitarian buildings into a holistic campus where peace initiatives and healing work can thrive. Karama Center will express the richness of Palestinian heritage and culture, and inspire international visitors (currently 500 – 700 per week) to believe peace is achievable. Arts & Crafts from Palestine’s rich pool of talent will be showcased and sold to visitors to help sustain local artisans, fund Karama, and spread the message of unity once visitors return home from the Holy Land.
Please join us.