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Bridging Differences with Art

Film making classes are Unite Lebanon Youth Project’s backdoor way of giving practical lessons in conflict resolution, on- and off-screen. Take two students who early on nearly came to blows: four sessions on, they were the funniest, most creative and productive team.

The animosity between marginalized youth living “in religious, social and ethnic isolation” is precisely what ULYP aims to defuse and transform into productive cooperation. “Frame by Frame for Peace” helped participants–Lebanese and Palestinian boys and girls–break down fear barriers and engage with ‘the other’ to produce both short films and mutual understanding. Students who at first swore “No way will I come to [your neighborhood]; your community will kill me,” did visit, gaining trust and deeper social ties.

ULYP empowers over 1,000 Lebanese youth annually free of charge through education, sports, IT, and arts, in the belief that “through the child we educate the family, and through the family we unite the nation.”

For more info – www.unitelebanonyouth.org

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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