The Elders

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“Wonderful young people. They uplift you”

On the second day of their visit to the Middle East in August 2009, The Elders meet Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. They also cross into the West Bank, where they meet women from the Qalandia refugee camp and listen to the concerns of young Palestinians.

After meeting Shimon Peres, the Elders said: “For us the most positive point was the President's statement that the time for peace is now.”

The Elders cross into the West Bank from Israel through Qalandia checkpoint, a journey many Palestinians make every day.

18-year old Palestinian Zaina Abu Hamda describes to the Elders the impact the Qalandia checkpoint has on her daily life.

Ela Bhatt looks at the work produced by women at the Qalandia Women’s Cooperative.

The Elders meet Salaam Fayyad: “He's always frank in expressing opinions and putting forth ideas.”

Mary Robinson meets young Palestinian women.

Desmond Tutu: “The insights young people have shared with us are just extraordinary.”

Ela Bhatt: “Women are the key to building peace. Women’s participation is an integral part of any peace process.”

The Elders began their second day of their visit to the Middle East with a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres as well as a meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. Later they crossed into the West Bank via the Qalandia checkpoint, a crossing that many Palestinians have to use every day to get to work or school in Israel.

The Elders also visited the Qalandia Camp Handicraft Cooperative where women and children who live in the Qalandia refugee camp are given the tools to achieve their own economic independence. At the end of the day, young Palestinians shared with the Elders their frustrations about the current situation and their future aspirations.

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