IMAGINE 2018: Parallel Essay Contests Bring Culture of Peace, Two State Solution into Schools in Palestine and Israel Winning Essayists to be Honored at National Awards Ceremonies


Imagine: 2018 contest (www.imagine2018.org), parallel essay contests being administered throughout schools in Israel and in Palestine. The essay contests, which were open to students aged 13-17, asked youth to visualize what the region would look like in 10 years if a peace agreement were to be signed in 2008. OneVoice – a youth-led collective of Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, and Arabs using civic engagement to push for a two-state agreement that would guarantee an end to occupation and all kinds of violence, and the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state at peace with Israel – conceived of the contest to enable people to envision some of the tangible benefits that would come from a peace agreement. OneVoice’s Israeli and Palestinian branches worked separately but in parallel to bring the 2018 Essay Contest before students aged 13-17 across all districts in Palestine and Israel.
In Palestine, OneVoice partnered with Palestinian Ministry of Education to facilitate this contest in all public, private, and UNRWA schools throughout the West Bank, and worked with local teachers to bring the contest to Gazan schools. In parallel, OneVoice’s Israeli branch collaborated with the Israeli Ministry of Education, various municipalities, youth movements, and an internet forum called Tapuz (www.tapuz.co.il) to administer the contest throughout Israel.
School and regional administrators as well as OneVoice staff collected submissions, ensuring broad representation from all districts. Approximately 2,000 essays were submitted for the Palestinian contest.
Imagine: 2018 is designed to enable people to conceive of a two state agreement as something attainable, something that would better everyday lives.”
The next phase of the contest will see directors from Israel, Palestine, Hollywood, and the international community bringing these visions to life – turning the ten most compelling of the winning submissions into short films. Nina Jacobson, Executive Producer at DreamWorks Studios, has signed on as Lead Producer for the project, and will facilitate outreach to international and Hollywood directors, as well as coordination between them.

About the OneVoice Movement:
The OneVoice Movement is an international mainstream grassroots movement with over 600,000 signatories in roughly equal numbers both in Israel and in Palestine, and 3,000 youth activists. It aims to amplify the voice of the overwhelming but heretofore silent majority of moderates who wish for peace and prosperity, empowering them to demand accountability from elected epresentatives and work toward a two-state solution guaranteeing and end to occupation and a viable, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel.
OneVoice counts on its Board over 60 foremost dignitaries and business leaders across a wide spectrum of politics and beliefs, joining as OneVoice for conflict resolution. http://www.OneVoiceMovement.org.

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