As we drove through East Jerusalem it looked like a "normal" town, at first glance.
Then we saw the separation wall. This is a wall (sometimes a fence) that separates the Palestinian towns from the Israeli settlements. How does separation ever create peace or equality? I believe that peace can only come from acceptance.
We visited the Mevasseret Absorption Center: This is a temporary home for Jews who have immigrated from Ethiopia. Imagine moving to a country where you do not speak the language, where people look very different from any you have seen before, you have no money, no transferable skills and you have never before lived in a city. How would you cope?
The Absorption Center provides the tools, training and education required by the Ethiopian immigrants to be able to forge a new life in Israel. It is a difficult transition - particularly for the older adults. The second generation, however, have the same opportunities as all other Jewish children born in Israel.
At the Bedouin camp we visited with an amazing woman who has overcome tremendous obstacles, including a traditional upbringing, a young, arranged marriage, ten children, and prejudice against both women and Bedouins to realize her dreams. These included making a documentary movie, "Against all Odds," flying to Germany to visit her son, and getting a driver's license.
Where did she get her inspiration? She pointed to her heart and said that she was able to accomplish everything because she believed in herself. No matter what limitations are put on us by others, we can always draw strength from within.