Festival urges Middle East faith dialogue

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Interfaith reconciliation in the Middle East was a key theme at the Global Peace Festival USA on Washington's National Mall.

Elik El-Hanen, an Israeli Jew, and Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian Arab spoke on behalf of a group of 500 bereaved Jewish and Arab families who joined to support each other Saturday. El-Hanen's 14-year-old sister was killed in Jerusalem by a suicide bomber. Abu Sarah's brother was beaten to death by Israeli troops.


Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Bardea of Ramat Gan in Israel and Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi, head of the Supreme Juridical Council of Palestine, were among 18 interfaith religious leaders who took part in a ceremony of unity by pouring bowls of holy water representing their own traditions into a common bowl.

Interfaith leaders from the Global Peace Festival, GPF, will travel to the Middle East in September with the Middle East Peace Initiative, a grass roots movement working with religious communities in the region.

GPF Co-chairman Hyun-jin Moon is chairman of News World Communications, Inc., which owns UPI.

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