Once a month, we hold "Tribal Fires" in which 100-150 Palestinians and Israelis gather to reach beyond arguments and political posturing to the essential humanity longing to be heard. We pray and sing together, we enjoy a meal and quiet informal time, and we work in listening circles, creating a quality of awareness and attention to the other sorely lacking in our respective societies.
Prior to the "Fires," we painstakingly work with an often uncooperative military to obtain entry permits for West Bank Palestinians so that we can be together. Sometimes we meet in the territories, to make Sulha accessible to those Palestinians who cannot leave. As we depart from the Tribal Fire, we are profoundly empowered, carrying with us renewed inspiration, hope, and determination to continue working to bring the conflict to an end. Says Muneer, "My image of the Jewish people was that they are my enemy and want to kill me no matter what. Now I like to build relationships with those people, and work together on changing each side's hostile perception of the other side."
Several times a year, Sulha sponsors "Sulhita," a gathering of 40-80 youths (ages16-21) who spend several days discussing the issues that concern them. Young Israelis, pre-army service, and their Palestinian peers discuss how they feel about the fact that they may soon find themselves facing each other in confrontations at roadblocks, or in battle. The youths hike in the Judean desert, prepare meals together, sing, drum, dance, and talk deep into the nights, sharing their visions of possible futures, revealing the vibrant optimism and intention of youth. They attain a sense of commonality that lasts well beyond Sulhita, and many of them become volunteers at adult Sulha events.
In addition to Sulha and Sulhita, the Tent of Sarah and Hagar brings women together to provide a safe environment for religious and secular Jewish and Palestinian women to reach out to each other.