University of La Verne's International Festival Echoes Desired Peace for Middle East

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While Israel and Hamas traded rockets and bombs on Thursday, November 15, Israelis and Palestinians were exchanging baklava and art at the University of La Verne.

The 22nd Annual International Festival at the University of La Verne provided a peaceful and educational setting for the campus community to learn about new cultures and showcase its diversity.

As bombs dropped in Israel and Gaza, a world away, two tables stood side-by-side, sharing food and culture, peacefully. Such inter-religious and inter-ethnic activities are proof of mankind’s ability to coexist in peace and give us hope for the future.

While Israel and Hamas traded rockets and bombs on Thursday, November 15, Israelis and Palestinians were exchanging baklava and art at the University of La Verne.

The 22nd Annual International Festival at the University of La Verne provided a peaceful and educational setting for students like Rasha Dubuni [right], representing Palestine, to share her culture with visiting assistant professor of film and television Jake Huberman, [left] from Israel.

“Our campus is centered on valuing inclusivity and diversity,” said La Verne President Devorah Lieberman. “As bombs dropped in Israel and Gaza, a world away, two tables stood side-by-side, sharing food and culture, peacefully. Such inter-religious and inter-ethnic activities are proof of mankind’s ability to coexist in peace and give us hope for the future.”

From Japan to Brazil to Saudi Arabia, students hosted dozens of booths that represented their respected countries through dress, food, art, history, stories and more. Celebrating diversity among people, cultures and faiths, the festival was not only a reminder of the peace and tolerance that all humans are entitled to – regardless of political agenda, but an example of the important role higher education plays in promoting an atmosphere of appreciation and inclusiveness for all nationalities.

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Alisha Rosas
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