Olive Tree Initiative aims to hear both sides in Middle East conflict
- April 26, 2011
- The Olive Tree Initiative is featured in the Daily Pilot April 23, 2011
From the Daily Pilot:
At multicultural UC Irvine, the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region can create fervent debate. While tensions sometimes escalate on campus - as they have with the Irvine 11 case against student protesters - in 2007 a group of students decided to respond to Middle East tensions in a way that wasn't polemical or political. Instead of debating the different sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the confines of the UCI campus, they would travel to the region - meeting with officials, academics, religious leaders and activists - and come back to the community with the results of their conversations. They called their organization the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). Since its inception, the group has organized three university trips and two community trips. Fifteen to 20 UCI students go on the two-week trip, splitting their time equally between Israel and the Palestinian territories. "I think OTI is a really great example of an innovative campus program that has developed a really constructive way of addressing campus tension," said Megan Braun, a UCI graduate who went on the 2010 trip.
For the full story, please visit http://www.dailypilot.com/news/education/tn-dpt-0424-oti-20110423,0,6608...