My name is Beth and I will be the anchor for the summer team which will be deploying for the West Bank shortly. I am excited about the wonderful people that will be accompanying me on this trip and about seeing friends that I have not seen since I was last in the region in the summer of 2007.
I have had a relationship with the wonderful people at Michigan Peace Team since I was an intern there during college. At that time they educated me about the situation in Palestine/Israel and I felt that as an American, represented by a government who is deeply involved in this conflict, I had a role in working toward peace. For me, this has meant educating people here in the United States about the conflict, making connections with Palestinians and Israelis who are affected, and traveling to the West Bank to do third party nonviolent intervention work.
My experience with Michigan Peace Team and the Middle East have led me to my current graduate program where I study conflicts and the tools needed to transform them. It has been an enriching experience where I have been able to broaden my knowledge of peace and justice theory, as well as, make valuable connections with students from around the world. I have just recently finished my first year at grad school and have one more year ahead of me. This summer will serve as more practical experience in this field.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to MPT for introducing me to this work and continually including me on the constructive projects they work on. Also, this trip would not have been possible without all of the generous donations which were given by all of the special people around me. Lastly, I thank my family for their ever present support of everything I do.
Well, here we go.