A travel report by Bernhard Unterholzner (in the picture from left to right: Mayor Mazin G'Nayem, Bernhard Unterholzner, and Ehsan Khlaily) | Foto: Hamad © ROPE

International youth encounters are among ROPE’s utmost concerns. To meet new partners for youth exchange, we participated in a workshop of the Coordination Center for German-Israeli Youth Exchange (ConAct ), funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

The first part of the program (17th – 23rd March) took me to Tel Aviv, where I could learn about Israel, it’s people, it’s history and about topics of youth work. Above all I could meet our exchange partner Ehsan Khlaily of the "Misgav – Arabic Community & Sports Center", which organises the communal sports activities of the municipality Sakhnin.

The town with its 30.000 inhabitants is located in the north of Israel, in the middle of the green mountains of Galilee, nearby Haifa and Nazareth. The community consists mainly of Muslims and a Christian minority, in the surrounding villages live also jewish Israelis. They all do sports together.

I was cordially received, my hosts introduced me to the mayor and other important personalities of Sakhnin and showed me around very well. The town is proud of the Football Club Bnei Sakhnin, the only Arab team in the Israeli first division. Many trainers train the different teams of the club, among them the former professional player and trainer of the Israeli Women’s National Team, Rony Schneider, who teaches young trainers.

In Sakhnin around 300 young athletes train football, basketball, fitness, swimming, mountain biking, martial arts, ballet and more. The common project of ROPE and Misgav – Arabic Community & Sports Center will be a youth exchange, during which the participants will produce a short film about their living environment in Sakhnin and Darmstadt. Starting in 2019, ca. 12 youngsters from each country will visit each other and stay with guest families.

We are looking forward very much to the second part of the Match-Making-Seminar in June, when we can receive our guests from Sakhnin in Darmstadt.

Bernhard Unterholzner

More photos and a report in Arabic can be found on the Website of Sakhnin’s newspaper.

Coordination Center for German-Israeli Youth Exchange (ConAct )

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Sakhnin

Football Club Bnei Sakhnin

Website of Sakhnin’s newspaper

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