along with the many thing i have gotten during my studies at the arava institute, the things i value most are the wonderful friends i made. they made it possible for me to see the conflict from their eyes and opened their hearts to me and my story. these kind of personal connections, in my opinion, are the only way to break the wall and understand that the other is not that different. the arava istitute gives hope by bringing people from all over the world, people who want to change things for the better. thank you!
The American branch of the machon has done a great job keeping me engaged with the middle east. As a former student it was a great experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I attended the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in 2005-2006 with funding from Fulbright. My experience was challenging and fun, and, academically-speaking, a great transition into interdisciplinary pedagogy. Socially, it is a unique experience considering it includes a sub-section of conflicting parties in the region and actively includes activities for dealing with those issues constructively. In addition, the kibbutz, and of course, the desert life, are a fantastic view into how communities can live meaningfully in the margins.
I was a student at the Arava Institute for one semester, fall 2004. I thought it was a phenomenal place, engaged in very important work, with a wonderful culture and vision.
My experience as a student at the Arava Institute last fall is truly indescribable. The interactions, conversations, courses, and friendships completely altered my vision of the world. I have never felt so many complex emotions in my life, let alone have the opportunity to discuss them and unwrap them with a group of devoted and caring individuals working at AIES. My experience has inspired me to continue interfaith, peace and environmental work in my own locale, and not to judge a country or situation until I have truly heard the many voices involved.
I was a student at the Arava Institute in fall 2004 and spring 2005. The Institute is clearly groundbreaking, inspirational, significant, and successful. One of the many ways in which the Institute impacted me was by seeing the work ethic of the staff and professors. One cannot find such a high level of professors being so accessible at other institutions. Their work ethic is something I have tried to take with me as I move forward. Lastly, whether or not you think that co-existence is attainable on a macro-level, it is unequivocally necessary to have organizations like AIES try and succeed on a micro-level, and they should be supported.
I spent about a year at the arave institute about 10 years ago (1999-2000). This year has been, by far, the most memreable year of my life and I have made two dgrees since, got married and had a child... The arave institute has been a magical place for me. Getting up every morning was exciting, people were beutiful, and activities and studies were more than just interesting. i learned a lot in that year, about people and about nature and about our world and in many ways, the year at the arava institiute shaped who I am today. this place is important for so many reasons but if to name just one it would be the understanding of how full life could be when you are in the right place. I was a student there for one year and I must say I have become less optimistic since I left this place but it certainly fills you up with spirit and will to make the world a better place
I am a Palestine from Bethlehem city, and I live in the middle of the long conflict between Jews and Arabs. In February, 2008 I completed my studies at the Arava Institute (AIES), and I started the joint Master program between AIES and Ben-Gurion University. This unique institute, provide the students – Jews and Arabs- a peaceful environment, equal opportunities, and amazing tools and knowledge to understand the narrative of the other side, the need for a secure home, rights of existence and ways of cooperation to survive in this small land. It also provides us with good knowledge and methods of how we should cooperate to protect our shared environments, and a better chance for good education.
I rode with the Arava last year. Myfirst long distance ride. The commraderie was great, and the enthusiam of the mult-ethnic support grtoup from Arava was contagious. I hope to repeat the trip next year. Ralph Rosenberg MD
Great way to travel and see the country from a totally different visual perspective, claiming the mountains out of the Dead Sea and riding through the dessert was a wonderful experience. The ride is not just about the bicycle but also about the many conservation challenges facing the region, The Arava Institute provided the riders with lasting long memories of a Israel spirituality, politics, environment, and its history
Not only did the Arava Institute shape my fundamental views of the Israeli Palestinian conflict toward coexistence and peace, but I met my wife there. Blanketed by the desert and open skies of the Arava Valley, AIES continues to expand young minds and I hope it always will.
I know friends of the Arava through my experience in the Arava Institute for Envrioenmental Studies. The effort that they did to find funds for me and other Jordanian and Palestian students, as well as Israelis made it possible for me to come and study about the enviornment and peace in the middle east. This life changing experience made me what i am today, an activists in my community in environmental and peace issues. I am so thankfull for the effort and the work that both; the Arava Institute and Friends of the Arava did to make that happen.
I was a student at the Arava Institute in 2005. The semester I spent at the Institute was by far the most meaningful in my educational journey. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to live, study and travel with such and inspiring group of students from Israel, Jordan, and the US. The Arava brought us together with the shared goal of improving our environment and supported us as we worked though our sometimes painful differences. Where else can an Israeli jew dress up as Santa Claus to surprise a Jordanian Christian on X-Mas eve, or can a group of Americans guide Arab and Israeli friends through thanksgiving preparations? The unique blend of academics, activism, reflection, and celebration at the Arava Institute should serve as a model for organizations around the world working on peace-building and co-existence.
Truly a remarkable organization that really influenced the lives of many people, in the goal for peace & healthy environment in the middle-east. As a student at the Arava Institute I received a many skills and friends that I wish to keep for a long time. They have my support!
I was a student in the Arava Institute on 2006, this experience had a big impact on my life. It gave me an inspiring learning anvironment, with high level teachers, and amazing mix of students. after living in Israel for almost 30 years, The Arava institue allowed me to meet and relate to palestinians the first time in my life. Today, I'm involved in forming environmenal socical networks in Ireland, and started growing an organic market garden, I can proudly say that the Arava Institute helped me sow the seeds of my present life. I recomand this institute for anyone.
My name is Liza Shtromberg, and I was a student at the Arava Institute for two semesters, Fall 2007 ans Spring 2008. I was attracted to AIES because it's environmental aspect as well as the co-existence component. As an Israeli student, who lived for many years in the US, I always longed for an opportunity for personal interaction with Palestinians. The program offered me the combination of two things I am passionate about. I found the academic component very engaging and rich with content and opportunity for learning, as well as hands on participation in projects, and on the ground interaction with parties involved in the subjects we I studied. I really enjoyed making friends and dialoging with Palestinians, and feel privileged to have had this opportunity thank to AIES. I met Academics, peace activists on both Jewish and Arab sides and feel that at AIES people who are truly interested in working towards a peaceful solution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict can find a forum and allies in this goal. I would highly recommend attending and supporting the Arava to anyone who is looking to be involved in something meaningful that is producing results, and contributing to a brighter future in the Middle East and the rest of the world.
Studying at the Arava Institute has taught me how to consider the world around me. I have learned how to listen compassionately, act on my compassion for the world, and teach others how to do the same.
I went on the Israel Ride in November of last year, and got to experience first hand what the Arava Institute has to offer. In terms of education about the environment the Arava Institute is leading the way, in Israel and abroad, for new ways to look at our relationship to the environment. Moreover, the Arava Institute is revolutionizing the way we interact with others in order to make our environmental goals a reality. Right now I am studying the environment at Carnegie Mellon University, and hope one day to participate in one of the many programs the Arava Institute has to offer.
I was a student at the Arava Institute 10 years ago and have had many experiences with the organization, its professors, students and supporters since then. The institute helps create a safer, more secure and peaceful middle east. My experience, as a Jewish American, of living with Muslim students from Gaza and Jordan, was a transforming one. The Institute builds leaders in environmental policy, experts in environmental sciences, and passoniate advocates in environmental conservation. However, it is the joint love for our shared environment which brings Arab, Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, Christian students together. I can not say enough about the importance of the Arava Institute's work.
The Arava institute was an amazing experience that truly changed my life. It opened my eyes to the world and first introduced me to solar energy, which is now how I make a living!