Last week, (17-21 October) the European Platform for Middle East Dialogue partnered with Sarah Arnd Linder and her association Political is Personal to organize an exhibition of the project in the European Parliament.
Political is Personal is an initiative which conducts in-depth interviews with Israeli Jewish and Palestinian women in which they safely and freely share how their lives have been affected by the realities of this conflict. By collecting and reporting these stories, Sarah Arnd Linder and her team aim at providing valuable data for studies and for decision-makers, but also to provide “human validation, empathy and affirmation for women living out the conflict on the ground” as well as an “avenue for others around the world to view this conflict through a new, more complete lens”.
An exhibition at the heart of European Institutions reflects all of these objectives, with an emphasis on raising awareness among decision-makers through exposure to elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their staff, and on providing an extremely relevant venue for others to view the conflict through these women.
For Sarah Arnd Linder: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been analyzed, studied, reported and evaluated from seemingly every possible angle, and a peaceful solution continues to be elusive. Too often, however, this conflict has been discussed from a male-dominated “macro” point of view and there has been too little focus on the experiences, the opinions and the voices of the women who live it. (…) Both gender mainstreaming and UNSCR 1325 are two essential milestones that inspired Political is Personal to create a way in which the women living out the realities and consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be heard.”
The exhibition highlighted some of these powerful stories, and received a lot of interest in the European Parliament. MEP Jean Lambert (UK, Greens/EFA) generously hosted the exhibition with a great interest.
During the opening ceremony, Sarah Arnd Linder presented her project and some of the stories that convinced her of the merit and need for such a project. Jean Lambert and MEP Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL), the Chair of the EP Delegation for Relations with Palestine, gave inspiring remarks on conflict transformation, but also merely on its perception within the European Institutions, discussing this question for decades.
EPMED was particularly grateful and proud to be associated with such a project and successful event, joining our core objectives of achieving a thorough understanding of the people living conflict. EPMED was founded both to empower Europe to effectively facilitate dialogue to reach a better understanding, and to allow local voices to be heard and to influence policy-making. Reading and hearing these women’s stories lent to our simple yet powerful goal of humanising the other, and personalising the conflict.
We look forward to further collaborations with Sarah Arnd Linder and with other grassroots initiatives such as hers.
For more information:
On Political is Personal: http://www.
On MEP Jean Lambert: http://www.europarl.
On MEP Martina Anderson: http://www.europarl.
On The Pollination Project: https://thepollinationproject.org/