One of the wonderful things about blogging is of course the unexpected contacts made via the Internet. Recently, my inbox contained a message from a group of Israeli students "dedicated to raising awareness on the various conflict issues in the Middle East." As I lived and traveled in the Middle East for many years, I have an abiding interest in the region. I find it encouraging that these students have created a project called the Middle East Student Conference (MESC), which "will expose the complicated reality of the Middle East to the world" via a five-day international student peace summit.
From August 17 through the 22nd at Tel Aviv University, Israeli and Palestinian students - as well as students from around the world - will represent the countries involved in the conflict. They will be divided into regional and national delegations and simulate peace talks. Participants will be briefed by Tel Aviv University professors in subjects including Middle Eastern history, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the art of negotiation, diplomacy and more. The conference will include tours of Israel that purport to "offer a deeper understanding of the realities of the situation."