On the Weekend of  31 Oct to 02 Nov 2019,  EMIS held the 5th annual youth conference for peace and sustainability (YOCOPAS). Our theme for this year was, “Ecosystems of peace,” and to explore this subject we brought 180 students from the west bank, Israel, and Denmark so we could explore what ecosystems of peace are, and workshops on how to initiate projects that benefit their societies.  During the weekend, participants participated in activities that acquaint them with cross-culture management, how successful societies are planned, and by using examples such as the Rwandan genocide, South African Apartheid, and the conditions that made the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland possible. The participants attended workshops that gave them a knowledge of different pathways in building peaceful societies and evaluations of whether these examples could be used as a model when thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

One of the highlights of the weekend, for most participants, was a lecture by Itai Anghel, an Internationally accredited journalist and documentary filmmaker who covers conflict zones around the world. His lecture, he mainly concentrated on the Ecosystems of war and what are the challenges during the process to an Ecosystem of peace by using DR Congo and Kurdish women fighting to keep their land.  According to one participant, “ YOCOPAS gave me a broad perspective on the state of the world and how as humans we are all striving for the same principles of peace, equity, and equality.”

For EMIS, hosting an event such as YOCOPAS is a way for us to extend our mission statement and ensure that the life-changing experience that our students have passes across other students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience. YOCOPAS is an expansion of our vision to create sustainable peace in the middle east. https://www.yocopas.org/