The projects in Jerusalem that bring together Israeli and Palestinian children may be considered the core work of the 'Folding Together' project. However, the team have been actively involved in other projects that use origami to bring people closer together. Here are some of our activities.
The Presentation of Garlands of 1000 Cranes
Ever since the story of Sadako Sasaki became widely known, the presentation of garlands of 1000 origami cranes has become adopted as a symbol of reconciliation, hope for a better future and peace between peoples.
At official ceremonies in Israel, garlands of 1000 cranes have been presented to the following dignitaries. In all instances, the cranes were folded by Jewish, Moslem and Christian children.
Pope John Paul II
The Dalai Lama
King Hussein of Jordan
Additionally, a garland of 1000 cranes has been laid in the Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan (the site of the Memorial to Sadako Sasaki), presented by representatives of the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families Association. The I-PBFA represents people from both sides who have lost family and friends in the Intefada. The making of the cranes was organised by the 'Folding Together' team. 500 cranes were made by Jewish children from Broshim School, Ramat Aviv and 500 by Moslem children from Melaweer School, Jerusalem. At ceremonies in the two schools, the cranes were given by the children to representatives of the I-PBFA.
The Agmon Hahula (literally: the small lake of Hula) is an artificial lake in the valley of the River Jordan in northern Israel, north of the Knerret (Sea of Galilee). In recent years, it has become the winter stopping point for many tens of thousands of migrating cranes and other birds from northern Europe and Siberia who would previously have continued their migration into northern Africa. The Lake is an official Nature Reserve which receives funding from the Keren Keyemet Foundation (KKL). It is also a tourist attraction of growing importance. It is truly one of the most important birdwatching sites in the world.
Each Autumn, the Lake has an official ceremony to welcome the wintering cranes, of which there were 80,000 in 2004. In 2005, the 'Folding Together' project was invited to participate in the ceremony, inspired by the importance of the crane both to the Lake and the Project.
15 Israeli and 15 Palestinian children from the Project were bussed to the ceremony from Jerusalem to present a garland of 1000 cranes to the Agmon Hahula, for permanent display.
The children also sang the Japanese song 'Sakura' in Japanese, Arabic and Hebrew, arranged by the Japanese musician Mr Isako Fujita and accompanied by the Japanese opera singer Ms Hisako Ikeda, who were both present.
The children also presented a garland of 1000 cranes to Ms Ikeda. Both she and Mr Fujita are from Hiroshima in Japan. The garland will later be presented to the Peace Park.
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