Statements from the Team
In the Introduction to the 'Folding Together' Book, Miri and Abeer wrote about the Major Project and the effect it had on them. In addition, Paul has written something specifically for this web site. These three statements are reproduced here, below.
The Project for me was my vision and dream come true. Origami is my life's work. When we folded together we enjoyed the magic of a Japanese atmosphere and came to realise our misconceptions as we learnt to know each other and to develop relationships. As one of the children said: 'Actually, they're like us'. The combination between Japanese culture and the magic of origami helps us to develop relationships of love and respect. The children mentioned that they wanted to be like Miri and Abeer or like Fadi and Paul and it strengthened the feeling that we are adults using the children as a mirror. In our own hands is the ability to change the children. In my eyes, the Project is just beginning. The children of the fourth group will be origami teachers in the next Project. Through them, we will try to develop young leaders who can lead us through origami to a respectful and loving relationship.
For me, the week began on Mondays -- the day we met in a Japanese atmosphere, built on friendship, love and cooperation. For me, seeing the change that happened to the children was like seeing blossom appear on a tree. Origami makes our hearts closer. It was like a common language, with a look in the eyes, a smile and a laugh. At the beginning we had a lot of fear and confusion, but as one of the girls said: 'The activity of the Project took out my fear of the other side'. The Project for us is just a beginning. I hope it can continue and we can continue to pass our message to other children in these hard days. For me, the Project is the most important activity of my life, ever, and I believe its continuation will make all of us strong.
Over the years, I have been privileged to travel much with origami and have seen many remarkable projects. Without doubt, the most remarkable is the 'Folding Together' project in Jerusalem and I am proud to be associated with it in a small way. I must pay tribute to the absolute dedication of Miri and Abeer to the Project, especially Miri, whose vision, tenacity, humanity and understanding of the situation in the region made the Project possible. I have been immensely touched by the outpouring of praise for the project from the families of the children, their schools ...and not least from the children themselves. Clearly, this is a successful Project in a region largely devoid of success stories. Origami may seem an unlikely vehicle for reconciliation, but it has much to teach us all, guided by the loving hands of two extraordinary women.