In February of 2017, Jerusalem Prayer Project's founder Stephen Fiske and his producing partner, filmmaker Robert Corsini, traveled to Jerusalem to begin field production work for the Jerusalem Prayer Project’s feature documentary, Warriors of the Heart: Peacemakers in the Holy Land.
When they interviewed Palestinian activist Huda Aboarquob in the town of Beit Jala in the West Bank, Robert and Stephen were inspired to turn their cameras toward the critical role women are playing in grassroots peace organizing. Huda is the regional Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, an umbrella organization of 106 peace groups from across the region.
Huda, together with the Israeli based ‘Women Wage Peace’ organization, became the central organizers of the 'Women’s March for Hope', which took place in October of 2016. The march began along Northern Israel's border with Lebanon and reached all the way to Jerusalem over the course of two weeks.
The march began modestly with 19 women, 10 Israelis and 9 Palestinians and by the time they arrived in Jerusalem, they were 15,000 strong, rallying in front of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s residence and demanding renewed efforts to make peace a priority AND reality.
Since then, continued turbulence in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict have propelled the women into year-round actions ranging from marches and demonstrations, to meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers, concerts, parlor gatherings, and weekly vigils held outside the Knesset.
Their movement today has grown to over 45,000 members… and JPP is committed to bringing their story to a global audience.
One of the accomplishments of the ‘marches in 2016 and 2017 and ongoing actions, is to demonstrate that Palestinian women together with their Israeli counterparts, are committed to peace-building and reconciliation and that the Israeli government could no longer make the claim of not having willing 'partners' for
peace in Palestine.
The ongoing success of Women Wage Peace is a clear expression of a renewed grassroots Israeli/Palestinian peace movement where women are taking the lead and serving as its power and inspiration.
Huda’s story and those of all participating women, Jew, Arab & Christian, are being echoed around the world.