At the Crossroads of Peace A New Collaboration Connects Alumni & Students with Peace-building Efforts in the Middle East
4 Dickey Center • Fall 2011
achel Siegel '14 and Saara-Anne Azizi '14 spent this summer at camp, thanks to the members of the Class of 1957 and the Dickey Center. But in addition to building campfires, they contributed to the building of peace. Their experience marked the beginning of a pilot project between the Class of 1957, the Dickey Center and Seeds of Peace, an internationally renowned organization aimed at peace building and leadership development with youth from around the globe. Selected from first year participants of the Dickey Center’s Great Issues Scholars program (first-year students who complete a year-long educational program on global issues with the Dickey Center), Azizi and Siegel spent this summer at the Seeds of Peace International camp in Otisfield, Maine and will spend their next Dartmouth leave-term continuing their work with the organization in the Middle East. The opportunity arose from a fortuitous merging of interests. The Dickey Center was looking for ways to provide Great Issues Scholars with a valuable capstone
experience in their first-year summer. Officers of the Class of 1957 already involved in Seeds of Peace projects sought to connect this work to their alma mater. Together, the Class, the Center, and Seeds of Peace decided to test out a pilot project of collaboration. Azizi and Siegel were drawn to the opportunity for different reasons. The daughter of a Muslim Afghan father and Catholic French mother, Azizi says, “To a certain extent I have witnessed first-hand the clashes that result from diverging religions, backgrounds, and a lack of understanding about another.” For her, the opportunity to be part of the transformative learning process integrated into Seeds of Peace programs was essential to her own understanding of difference and conflictresolution. “Seeds of Peace not only helps young people see the individual faces of a group, but also gives them the tools to lead the push for change.” Siegel, who comes from a Reformed Jewish background, became interested in the complexities and multidimensional
5 Crossroads Volume 14 • Number 1
along with the respect that they generated. I am really looking forward to learning what their total experience was like when they meet with our class at Homecoming.” The connection between the alumni and young students is one of the unique aspects of this program. The students' extended involvement with the program– during their first-year summer at the Seeds of Peace camp in Maine, and on a future leave term in the Middle East–allows the students and the Class of 1957 several opportunities to connect. Azizi and Siegel will speak to the class about their summer experience at a class reunion in Hanover this fall. They also will be sharing reflection papers and photographs from their experience with the '57s via e-mail and web. Additionally, as their projects in the region get underway, the students will be connecting with the '57s about their work, their impact, and project ideas for the next round of selected interns. “I hope the Class of '57 and the students are able to start an on-going dialogue about the peace-building process in the region,” says Amy Newcomb, Student Programs Officer at the Dickey Center. “It would be wonderful to see the students and alumni learning from one another and sharing in this experience.” The internships and partnership with Seeds of Peace have been made possible by the generous gift of the Dartmouth Class of 1957 and additional donations from their classmates. This winter the Dickey Center will select the next set of Seeds of Peace interns to build on this connection between Dartmouth students, alumni, and youth in the Middle East.
nature of the Middle East conflicts through debates in her high school Model United Nations club. “Watching the Seeds of Peace camp, the product of one man's dream, bring together 192 teenagers who may have otherwise never met anyone like their new friends, was incredible,” says Siegel. “Similarly, I was baffled both at how I was able to impact scores of Israeli, Arab, and American teenagers, and how these teenagers impacted me. Working at Seeds of Peace was truly a life-changing experience, and I cannot wait to continue my involvement with the organization.” “The mission of Seeds of Peace is to empower leaders of the next generation,” says Daniel Noah Moses, PhD, Director of the Seeds of Peace Educators’ Program. “These lucky Dartmouth students have tangible support to experience and integrate what they learn at camp and in the region into their college careers, and into their lives. I look forward to seeing what they accomplish.” Bruce Bernstein '57, says he is excited to see young Dartmouth students engaging with this work under the guidance of Seeds of Peace. Bernstein and fellow '57 classmate Tom Macy, visited Azizi and Siegel at the Seeds of Peace camp this summer, and will join fellow alumni and friends in a trip to Israel and Palestine in November to visit the Seeds of Peace programs there. “From what I observed they were each doing an excellent job facing the challenge of working with a mixed group of teenage girls from areas in conflict: Israel and Palestine, and India and Pakistan. One could see the warmth that passed between them and their “Seeds,”