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'Roots' Bridges The Divide Between Israel and Palestine

An image of peace activists Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger
Courtesy of Hanan Schlesinger

Even though Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger has lived in the West Bank for 33 years, he had never spent much time with a Palestinian. That was before he met Ali Abu Awwad. Schlesinger lived in the area with for decades seeing Palestinians as an invisible "other." 

Awwad grew up in a militant Palestinian family and spent four years in an Israeli prison, but eventually  devoted his life to nonviolent activism rooted in bringing Israelis and Palestinians together.  In 2014, Awwad and Schlesinger co-founded the organization “Roots." The group bridges the cultural divide between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Schlesinger and Awwad about their personal stories and interpersonal peace efforts in the West Bank. Schlesinger and Awwad speak at 7 p.m. at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro on Thursday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. at the Numen Lumen Pavilion at Elon University and at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel in Aheville on Friday, Oct. 7.

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Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.