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Palestinian and Israeli Youth Activists to Speak at Pomona College

Israeli youth leader Shani Gershon and Palestinian youth leader Malaka Samara will visit Pomona College, through the program OneVoice, on Monday, April 21, at 8 p.m., to share their personal experiences and shed light on several key questions regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The questions include: Is the conflict intractable? Can mainstream Israeli and Palestinians actually agree on what they want the future of the region to look like? What is the current pulse of the young generation and what are they doing to make a difference?

Gershon was born in Toronto, moving to Rehovot in central Israel at age 10. She is currently an international relations and communications student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In addition to her studies, she volunteers with Stand with Us, an Israeli advocacy organization; was recently awarded a Leadership, Communication, and Diplomacy Fellowship; and serves as a counselor for international students at the Hebrew University. Gershon has been part of OneVoice for almost two years and is the head of the Jerusalem chapter of OneVoice on Hebrew University’s campus, the first university-based chapter.

Samara is from Tulkaram, a city in the north of Palestine. She is 29 years old, and has a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Al-Najah University - Nablus. She has worked as a substitute English teacher in many schools in Tulkaram and refugee camps with the UN Relief Workers Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) schools. She has also worked for the European Union as an interpreter during the second Palestinian Legislative Council Elections. Samara has participated in many international camps with the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee and has been a volunteer with local institutions that target youth.

The program is open to the public and will be held in the Pomona College Rose Hills Theatre, Smith Campus Center (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). The event is cosponsored by the Pomona Student Union, Muslim Students Association, Hillel (Jewish Student Union), and the Middle Eastern Students Union. For more information, call (781) 534-8225.

OneVoice 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 representatives and ensure that the agenda is not hijacked by forces of militant absolutism. OneVoice was founded in 2002.