We just completed an amazing three-week journey to Israel and the West Bank where AWB has been working for the past five years. AWB works here because it is a conflict area where most people suffer from deep trauma. Palestinians suffer displacement, discrimination, economic restriction, high imprisonment rates, and other horrors of the occupation. Israelis suffer from traumatic war experiences, terror attacks, and transgenerational trauma from the Holocaust and centuries of antisemitism. And there are other communities that experience trauma-the Druze, Sudanese refugees, and Palestinians who are also Israeli citizens. It is a complicated place with more nuances than not.
It is AWB’s mission to treat EVERYONE suffering from trauma, to intervene in trauma cycles that perpetuate fear and hatred. We also train practitioners to provide trauma reduction treatments in their own communities so that people can receive support over time.
As part of this WHE trip, AWB trip participants trained a group of Palestinian health-workers in the West Bank to do the NADA protocol. This is the second Palestinian training AWB has done this year, and we hope to do another in the near future as word about this work spreads in the West Bank. The other important element of the training is that we bring Israelis, Americans and Palestinians TOGETHER to train and practice. Then we go to Palestinian communities and provide treatments as a mixed diverse team of professionals. This is part of the healing work-to demonstrate that people can work together to serve diverse communities despite all the conflicts and challenges. During the trip we did clinics (called healing circles) for Bedouin women in Tel Sheva, for Palestinians in Beit Jala and Bethlehem, and for a group of settlers and Palestinian farmers who are trying to work together in the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion.
A few comments from women in Bethlehem after their treatments: “I was afraid before, do not feel afraid now.” “I felt like something was getting out of my body…I had stress and a headache, now I feel much better, no headache or stress.” “I feel like I am in a different world.”
This is the Medicine of Peace.
We learned about indigenous healing practices: Kaballah healing, Bedouin herbology, biblical medicinal plants, modern herb farms in Israel, and how TCM is practiced in integrative settings in Israeli hospitals. We also spent time with old friends from AWB Israel and made many new friends in Palestine. It is easy to give up hope that the conflict here will ever resolve. We are doing what we can, along with many others, to make sure it will. Thank you to everyone who supports our work in this region and throughout the world!
Special thanks to Lhasa OMS and Acurea Medical-USA for donating supplies, and to Ray Lifchez for supporting the Palestinian practitioner training!