In Jerusalem, kids get a kick out of coexistence
Soccer can bring Arabs, Jews together rather than drive them apart, the initiators of a new binational children’s team believe
The children running slaloms through Hapoel Katamon’s soccer field in south Jerusalem would be indistinguishable from one another, were it not for the blue and white T-shirts setting apart Arab from Jew
Two soccer academies — one from the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa and the other from the Jewish neighborhood of Katamon — partnered last month to create Team of Equals, a joint team bringing together soccer enthusiasts across the national divide.
Incorporating roughly 100 children aged 9-12, the new team is supported by The New Israel Fund through its program “Kicking Out Racism and Violence.” According to a press statement released by NIF, the initiative’s goal is to “introduce Jewish children from West Jerusalem to Arab children from East Jerusalem in order to combat the division and hostility between them and advance a shared life in the city.”
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