Sunday Spirituality Series: Spiritual Approaches to Creating Peace in the Middle East
Broadcast on July 28, 2013
With Aliza Hava & Ilana Meallem
Co-Founder EcoME Centre, EcoSpirit MIddle East, Facilitator, Peace Activist, Holder of Sacred space
Ilana Meallem left home at the early age of 18 to follow her passion for global, social and environmental activism serving in various capacities in India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Chile, and Brazil. She received her MA with honors at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) interdisciplinary program promoting Middle East cooperation in environmental protection. As part of her studies she spent 6-months living in a minority Bedouin village in the Negev conducting pioneering research into the environmental and public impacts of waste mismanagement and the heightened exposure of Bedouin women. From 2004-2008, Ilana worked within the alumni department of AIES with Palestinian, Israeli Jordanians and international graduates. Within the framework of her work and life’s calling she has traveled all over the Middle East, promoting healing and reconciliation, not only between humans but between man and the natural environment. In 2009, she created the EcoSpirit Middle East Initiative to help promote peace and cooperation by bringing together regional young leaders and activists for intense gatherings, retreats and workshops in natural wilderness settings. These evens provide the space for deep inner sharing; exploration of nature based spirituality and concepts of embodied leadership. EcoSpirit ME is creating a regional community of spiritually anchored and peer-supported activists who have established deep and truthful relationships, based on trust, respect, acceptance and common vision. Recognizing the need for a home for her work, in 2010, she co-founded the EcoME Centre, Jericho – West Bank. EcoME explores environmental, social and personal sustainability in a multi-cultural context, amidst conflict. EcoME provides a welcoming and mutually accessible location for social networking, formal and informal meetings, trainings, workshops, and outdoor adventure. The Centre is held by a small group of dedicated and visionary individuals, who refuse to accept the current reality of separation, injustice, mistrust and fear.