ME. 2.0 Palestinian-Israeli Young Business Leaders Forum in Ramle
Last week we visited the mixed city of Ramle with the members of our ME. 2.0 Palestinian-Israeli Young Business Leaders Forum. We came to learn about the history, culture and innovation in this Jewish-Arabic town. Our forum member, Bissan Salman supported by local tour guide Costa Mansour, was leading the group through her home town, and showed the group landmarks of the city which some of them were also directly connected to her family history. So we visited her uncle, the internationally known artist Nihad Dabit, who lives in a 400 years old building, which he excavated and refurbished by himself, and who constructs sculptures from iron wire such as olive trees, animals and people, often in authentic heights. In the Pools of Arches an underground water reservoir from the Abbasid period, build 789 AD, the members enjoyed a boat ride and could admire the beautiful and well preserved Muslim architecture. The group also learned about the Christian history in the city of Ramle, where in the 15th century Franciscan monks build a hostel for catholic pilgrims and the site was believed to be the former house of one of Jesus’ disciples, Josef of Arimathea, who had buried Jesus body after his crucifixion. Later the group crossed the famous Suk of Ramle and then visited the new academy office the Israeli non-profit ‘Apple Seeds’, which aims at bridging Israel's growing Startup Nation to underserved communities in Israel's social and geographic periphery. We had an inspiring discussion with director Dafna Lifshitz, who told about their amazing Netta project, which they are running for young Arab and Jewish kids from underprivileged and remote areas in the country, whom they elevate through leadership and computer capacity building programs instilling in them the spirit of innovation and lifelong learning motivation. The group discussed the challenges of education in peripheries and how to bridge the socio-economic gaps. Ideas were raised how actors from local and national government as well as the business community and civil society can cooperate to further better results. The tour ended with a delicious dinner at Samir’s restaurant, which belongs to Bissan’s family. Thank you Bissan and family for hosting us and sharing your insights into the city of Ramle!