Cairo, 26 Shawwal 1436/11 August 2015 (MINA) – Promoting understanding, a Boston interfaith camp gathers youths from different faiths to bridge gaps and explore cultural and religious differences, as well as tackling fraught relationships among followers of the three Abrahamic faiths
“To put yourself out there and talk about really personal beliefs; to tell your story, often not in their native languages, to your peers, is so brave,” Sindy Wayne, incoming executive director of Kids4Peace Boston, told the Boston Globe on Monday, August 10.
Wayne was talking about Kids4Peace Boston youth camp that was attended by two-dozen children from Boston and Jerusalem. On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agecny (MINA) as reporting.
The 10-day summer event at Camp Merrowvista in New Hampshire aims to promote religious understanding and tolerance through inviting children to know peers from different cultures.
I am in a safe place’’ to discuss religion, participant Abu Tair told The Boston Globe, “because everyone needs peace and wants peace.””
Participants, aged 12 and 13, were encouraged to share confusion and fears over their religious identities.
Extending compassion and understanding “can be about something little,” said Nies-Greeley, 17.
Besides visiting prayer services in Boston, the young participants took part in leadership groups which aim at fostering friendships and mutual appreciation regardless of religious affiliation.
Other activities navigated the historically fraught relationships among Muslims, Jews, and Christians.
For junior counselors who have worked with the program for years, the camp is a “natural fit”.
“I would learn all about their lives,” Farah Abuarja, 23, a Muslim from Palestine and an Arabic speaker, is a graduate student at Northeastern University, told The Boston Globe.
Abuaraja called the experience “incredible.”
“It doesn’t have to be about a war,” junior counselor Elizabeth Nies-Greeley said, wearing the camp shirt emblazoned with “Salaam/Shalom/Peace.”
On Sunday, the camp was concluded with a celebration at the Temple Beth Zion in Brookline filled with singing and dancing
Children swarmed around the Synagogue to take selfies in their last day at the camp. They were also offered food as well as camp souvenirs, such as T-shirts and photos. (T/P007/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)