In 1993, Miri Golan founded the Israeli Origami Center (IOC). She had previously learnt origami as a girl and had rediscovered it while traveling for 6 months in Japan in the early 1990's. She quickly understood the educational value of origami and upon her return home, founded the IOC. The IOC was initially an organisation that taught origami in schools and which acted as a focal point for anyone in the region interested in origami, but since those early times it has diversified greatly. Site
In 1999, Miri volunteered to teach origami in the Palestinian refugee camps of Balata and Taibe. However, although her experiences were enjoyable and the children enjoyed greatly their contact with origami, it was clear to her that origami should be taught by teachers from the local community.
So, in 2000, she began an informal course in Ramallah on the West Bank, for students at the West Bank university of Ber Zeit, training trainee teachers to become teachers of origami. After 13 meetings, the onset of the Intefada in September 2000 ended the course. However, 3 of the students maintained their relations with Miri and went on to teach origami in 2 Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem, guided by the IOC.
In this way, origami entered the educational system of Palestinian schools and a core of professional Palestinian origami teachers was established.
WIth both Israeli and Palestinian origami teachers now trained, it was possible to consider making joint origami courses for the children of the 2 sides, taught equally by teachers from the 2 sides.
The 'Folding Together' project could now begin.
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