Peace Through the Eye of a Needle
I was brought on board to work on a new project for a social innovation company that was founded on building peace between Palestinians and Israelis. It is grassroots peace building through fashion. The word interesting does not begin to describe my journey....
I just got home from a crazy whirlwind trip to Isreal and Palestine. Almost daily I was back and forth between Israel and Palestine meeting with the team members from both sides. From a small village made from rubble in Palestine to Tel Aviv to a Peace Building Summit in the West Bank, it was like a major history lesson in 8 days! Stressful. Amazing. Enlightening. Fascinating.
I have never been to the Middle East, so learning about the roots of the fashion brand Two Neighbors was essential for me so I can help them build their brand for the USA market.
Two Neighbors is an emerging fashion social innovation brand that brings women from Palestine together with women from Israel to make beautiful garments using Palestine embroidery and combining it with modern styles which are sewn in Israel. It sounds complicated and it is. Nothing worth doing in life comes easy.
The brand idea emerged from peace talks that have been going on for over a decade with a group started by a Boise, Idaho-based couple called the Center For Emerging Futures. http://www.emergingfutures.org/
Currently, the brand is available online only and ships worldwide. I am working with the team to design new collections and market the brand for the USA market.
There is a documentary about the peace talks and how the brand started.
Here is the link to the trailer:
One day a staff member of Two Neighbors took me to the famous Nativity Church in Bethlehem. She is Muslim and had never been inside the church. On my last day in Jerusalem, Paula the American co-founder of Two Neighbors took me to a tour of Old Jerusalem where I got to tour the Armenian, Christian and Muslim sections of the Old City. It was a massive history lesson in a two-hour walking tour!
I also enjoyed meals in the homes of Palestinian families and Israeli families. The goal of the team is to build peace between the two communities. What a wonderful adventure.
Here are a few images from my journey and stay tuned for more....
|My new BFF at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem|
|The amazing Palestine embroidery that is handmade for the dresses for Two Neighbors|
|Dinner in Bethlehem with a family|
|Sweet Treat in Bethlehem|
|Rubble Palestine village where the embroidery is made|
|Wall near the checkpoint on the way from Bethlehem to Israel|
|The Humble Door to enter the church where Jesus was born in Bethlehem. You have to duck down to enter.|
To learn more about the brand check out the website at www.twoneighbors.com