October, 1994

Shalom from the Negev Desert in Israel,

A few months ago I put out a call asking for your help in finding us a school or contact in a country in the Arab world which would be willing to correspond with our school directly. Until this moment in time, we still haven't succeeded in our quest.

I realize that this is a difficult and sensitive issue. The recent Peace Talks between Israel and her neighbours are both promising and frustrating. Promising because we finally see a glimmer of hope. Frustrating, because all of the movement has been relegated to the political arena and areas of common economic interest. We are still waiting for the new political climate to reach us, the people, and more important, touch the children, who will soon be the new leaders in the Middle East.

I have asked my students, here at the High School for Environmental Studies in the Negev Desert in Israel, to write letters to fellow students in Arab countries, expressing their desire for peace and their views on the importance of such a direct avenue of communication. The letters are directed to no specific address, for we have no idea where they will end up. We only hope that they will somehow find their way to at least one school in an Arab country, and that this school will choose to respond. I feel that this personal message from our children will do more in breaking down barriers than any other personal message that I, any other educator, or politician can send.

I ask of you here to use any means at your disposal to forward these messages on with the hope that they will reach their goal. I trust your judgement and goodwill to use these messages in whatever way possible to help us on our quest.

We, the teachers and students at the High School for Environmental Studies, thank you for your help and understanding.

Wishing you all well, and most important - peace, in every aspect of your lives.

David Lloyd

My name is Reut Granot. First of all I would like to tell you how happy I am to finally have the chance to correspond with a student in an Arab speaking country. I feel that it's very important that we can communicate because I think that if we want to live in peace with one another, the first thing both of us must do is to get rid of the prejudice we have about each other and the best way to do this is by a closer look at each other's way of life, thoughts, opinions and so on. Besides I think that it's nice communicating with children my age from all over the world and it doesn't matter where exactly they are from. I find it very interesting to know how a person my age lives,thinks,and feels.

So, after this long opening i'll introduce my self better. As I said before my name is Reut Granot. I live in a place called Ben Guryoun College, it's a little place in the negev which is a desert in the south of Israel. I study in a special school here in the Ben Guryon College, it's an "environmental stuudies school" which means that we learn a special subject called "the environmental studies", dring the four years we spend in this school we are learning about our close and far environment by going hiking in it as well as studying all there is to know about it in class.

Most of my friends from school don't live with their parents during the school period because our school is a boarding school, boys and girls who love hiking and learning about their surrunding come here from all over Israel, some of them even come from the north and it takes them hours to get here. But me, I'm different from my friends because I do live with my parents here in Ben Guryon College which contains about 200 families. My father is a teacher in my high school, and me mother is a scientist in ther Desert research institute which is one of the institutes here as well. I have an older sister and a younger brother. My older sister will go to the army soon because in our country every young man and woman have to join the army when they turn 18 years old. I certainly hope that until i'll get there there will be no need for any army in the world at all.


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