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New Building for Interfaith Dialogue, Study and Prayer Inaugurated

An Inauguration of the new Building at the Pluralistic Spiritual Centre in Memory of Bruno Hussar at Neve Shalom – Wahat al-Salam was held on30 April 2006 followed by a Conference on Peace Building.
The Pluralistic Spiritual Centre in memory of Bruno Hussar is called Doumia Sakinah, which refers to silence and tranquility. It is located in Neve Shalom – Wahat al Salaam, a Jewish-Arab village where the members, Palestinian and Jewish citizens, have chosen to establish and maintain a joint community that is in constant dialogue. The village is attempting to put into practice the principles on which it was founded through a variety of educational activities, namely the School for Peace and the Doumia-Sakinah.   
 
The new building was purposely built to provide a space for prayer, study and dialogue and the inaugural opening on 30 April was followed by a conference on 1 May with the theme: “Seek peace and pursue it”. The occasion provided the opportunity to pay tribute to the founders of Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam, Bruno Hussar and Anne Le Meignen.
 
The inauguration included inaugural speeches, a presentation of the work of Doumia~ Sakinah and words in memory of Bruno Hussar. A variety of people were invited to speak about Bruno Hussar's life and message, and his various roles as mentor, friend and founding member of the community of NS~WAS. Ms. Agneta Ucko, director of the Arigatou Foundation in Geneva brought a greeting and expressed hopes that the new building would serve as a centre for interfaith learning also for children and young people.
 
After a festive dinner, the evening concluded with a concert of the Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra with Wissam Gibran as the conductor. The orchestra is operating under Jeunesses Musicales Israel, a non-profit organization, which objective is to enrich children, youth and adult audiences through high-quality music. It is supported by the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport, and by the Ministry of Education Music Supervision. JM Israel is also a member of Jeunesses Musicales International, a worldwide federation seated in Brussels, encompassing 40 member-states. The Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra is working in cooperation with UNESCO, the Israel Music Conservatory in Tel Aviv and the Society for the nurturing of Arab music in Israel. It provides an opportunity for young musicians to meet and perform for mutual music making and practicing a peaceful dialogue between the two people.
 
The conference on the theme "Seek peace and pursue it” addressed in the first session the meaning and relevance of silence to peace building. The following sessions focused on possible directions for the future development of the Pluralistic Spiritual Centre. Several distinguished speakers from various religious traditions and academics in relevant fields were invited to speak on different aspects of interfaith dialogue and peace building. Dr. Alice Shalvi, also a Council member of the Interfaith Council, and Rev. Dr. Hans Ucko from the WCC, also a member of the Committee of the Interfaith Council were among the speakers at the conference.   
 
The inauguration of the new building and the conference was organized by the coordinators at the Pluralistic Spiritual Centre, Mr. Abdessalam Najjar and Ms. Dorit Shippin, who also serves as coordinator for GNRC activities by Arabs and Jews in Israel.