For many years Gainesville has been involved with a unique three-way Sister City program (Gainesville-Kfar Saba-Qalqilia – the latter are towns in Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, respectively). Sister City International strives to create peace via people-to-people contact.
In hopes of moving plans forward, even at this exciting time in history, Palestinian delegates will be visiting Gainesville from May 18 – 25th to tour, meet, and arrange future cooperative ventures.
The delegates will include the Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority, the medical director of the Qalqilya municipal hospital, as well as both the mayor and director of education for Qalqilya. Considering current events in the Middle East and Gainesville, this visit presents an historic opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to improving Gainesville’s image as well as US/Israeli/Palestinian relations.
Many schedule details are still being worked out as of this printing. The Palestinian delegation will at the Gainesville City Commission meeting on Thursday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m., where the mayor will present a proclamation to the group.
Also, there will be two public forums/ discussions on Sunday, May 22, one at 2 p.m. at the Mennonite Meeting House, 1236 NW 18th Avenue, and the second at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 4000 NW 53 Ave.
For more information or if you are interested in meeting our “Sisters” by attending events, or otherwise being involved with the program, please contact Steve Kalishman, Sister City Program of Gainesville, Inc., at 376-8600.
by Dennis Shuman