The Hanita Peace Ridge, a place of sharing
On the Hanita Peace Ridge, men, women and children are actively trying to strengthen their links. They sing and dance. Some others are busy painting wood panels with various forms and colours, searching for harmony. Others are quietly sitting in the shade and talking together, their eyes filled with the light that more clearly than words expresses the respect they have for each other. You might think this is a very ordinary scene. But it takes place in Hanita, on the Israeli-Lebanese border, where these people are working to reconcile their differences in a very sensitive time. Indeed, this is a place in Israel, Galilee, where various minorities- Arab Muslims, Druses, Bedoons, live next to a Jewish population which is itself also heterogenous. All of them share the same desire to establish and preserve a dialog to understand each other, to become closer and to live together in peace, whatever their religious, national, social or cultural backgrounds.
Yuval, Orly and Gilad, the three founding members of the Hanita Peace Ridge project have chosen creative workshops, meetings and lectures, and debates to advance it. More than 40 activities have taken place since 2017, thanks to the involvement of the founders and the positive reaction of many of the local population. This burgeoning activity has given the Hill a special character, leaving no one indifferent. The tourist guide in French Le Petit Futé has mentioned it in its 2019 edition on Israel, showing the growing recognition the project is gaining.
To endow the Hanita Peace Ridge with a visual identity, the Swiss painter Roland Schaller, who has had strong links with Hanita for many years, created in 2017 an engraving showing the symbol of an olive tree with 2 trunks, where doves have gathered. He also conducted a painting workshop for children which realized two blue frescoes now adorning the abandoned watch tower situated on the hill.
Why install a stained glass window on the Hanita Peace Ridge?
Now, the persons in charge of the Hanita Peace Ridge project wish to install a lasting work of art inviting visitors to meditate and to reflect on the conditions needed for peaceful coexistence. They share the symbolism of the olive tree with the two trunks and would like to have the engraving turned into a stained-glass window, measuring 110 by 80 centimeters. This is no trivial choice: it takes into account the various capacities of glass, which can resist the harsh weather conditions, but which mainly enables viewers to see the work of art from both sides. Therefore, the stained-glass window will be seen on the top of the hill from Israel as well as from Lebanon, expressing the sharing approach that characterizes the project.
How to support the project?
The founders of the Hanita Peace Ridge don’t have the necessary means to finance the installation of the stained-glass window by themselves: they therefore turn to you for your help. The budget, approximately 15’000 Swiss francs, covers the following elements: creation of the stained-glass window by a Swiss craftsman, cost of transport to Israel, building the metal support in Israel, printing and sending of posters of the stained-glass window to the people supporting the project. The painter Roland Schaller generously offered his work for the project.
Should donations exceed the amount needed for the installation of the stained-glass window, the money will be entirely given to the Hanita Peace Ridge Association to enable financing new activities strengthening the so precious and needed relationships between the inhabitants of the region.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION