This week I attended a two-day workshop for the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project that was held at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark in the Jordan Valley. GWN currently works with 28 cross-border communities that share water resources, be it a small spring or a large aquifer. This meeting provided community coordinators from Jordan, Israel and Palestine an opportunity to get together and plan for a youth camp that is scheduled for the end of the month. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, not only to meet individuals that are passionate about improving their communities but also to move past the theory of “environmental peacebuilding” and see how it works on the ground.
As a reward to sitting in on hours of discussion in Arabic and Hebrew, I was able to join the group on a trip to Umm Qis, an old Roman city perched on a hilltop that overlooks the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee. I will never forget this scene — a group of Jordanians, Israelis, Palestinians and one American sitting around a dinner table, enjoying a spread of mezze and kebabs and watching the sunset.