'AN EXPERIENCE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE.'

The COME Foundation (Communication Middle East) is a private Dutch foundation that has been giving for already more than 40 years young Palestinians and Israelis the opportunity to get to know each other during 10-day dialogue seminars in Cyprus. The result? Humanization of the ‘other’, broadening of perspectives and growing of hope.

A neutral place where young Palestinians and Israelis can meet each other in a respectful way and have a conversation in an open atmosphere. That is what the COME foundation's dialogue seminar is about.

Newsletter

Twice a year, the COME Foundation publishes the LINK newsletter, which keeps you informed of our activities and contains reports of the seminar.

“It was a life-changing experience.”

“The seminar was difficult, important, unbelievable, frustrating and fun.”

“A lot more people of both sides should take part in such communication initiatives.”

“Getting to know the other and seeing our communalities instead of emphasizing the differences.”

“I will never forget this seminar.”

“I now see the value of dialogue.”

“I am convinced that we can and should change the society from the inside.”

“An eye-opener, I have learned a lot.”

“I think that every Israeli or Palestinian should meet people from the other side, so that they can see that they are, like us, just humans.”

“It teaches us much about ourselves and about the other side.”

“It is one of the most powerful experiences that I have ever had.”

This is what our participants say

Seminars

The annual 10-day dialogue seminars for approximately 30 Israelis and Palestinians between the ages of 20 and 35 provide a safe space for meeting and dialogue. In Cyprus, participants discover that they have more in common than they thought. Prejudice is reduced, fear and mistrust are transformed into trust, and hope for a peaceful, shared future is born. Click on ‘Read more’ below to read more about a specific seminar.

Verandering – seminar 2019

‘Wij zijn de verandering’ “The other side is a human being, just like us.” “All people are humans and have feelings.” Dit zijn twee uitspraken van respectievelijk een joods Israëlische en een ’67 Palestijnse deelnemer aan het dialoogseminar van stichting COME. Zij beantwoordden de vraag welke les zij uit het …

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Ontmoeting is de sleutel – seminar 2018

“Meeting is the key for any future solution” – Israëlische deelnemer “De andere kant zijn ook mensen, met gevoelens, emoties en pijn, net als wij”, zo luidt één van de drie lessen die een ’67 Palestijnse deelnemer uit het seminar meeneemt naar huis. Een Joods Israëlische schrijft: “Menselijke relaties zijn …

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De waarde van dialoog – seminar 2017

Verslag van het dialoogseminar in 2017 “Er is meer begrip ontstaan, elke dag heb ik iets nieuws geleerd, en na felle discussies ontmoetten we elkaar daarna weer als mensen en niet als vijanden.” Dit zei een Palestijnse deelnemer aan het einde van het 11-daagse dialoogseminar. Veel deelnemers zeiden dat er …

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Identiteit – seminar 2016

Seminar 2016 ‘Identiteit’ “Ik had nooit gedacht dat ik vrienden zou kunnen worden met mensen van de andere kant, maar door deze ervaring heb ik geleerd dat dit mogelijk is: we zijn elkaars evenbeeld, we hebben zoveel gemeenschappelijk!” Een andere deelnemer noemde het seminar het meest uitdagende, belangrijkste ding wat …

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FAQ COME Foundation

COME Foundation is a private Dutch foundation that organizes annually a 10-day dialogue seminar
for young Palestinians and Israelis to give them

COME Foundation has a Dutch board, which guarantees the continuity of the organization of the seminars and raises financial resources for this. In addition, the foundation has a committee consisting of two Dutch members (one of whom is the project leader) and a number of Israeli and
Palestinian members. These ‘local committee members’ are former seminar participants. The committee is responsible for preparing and implementing the program and for recruiting, selecting and preparing the participants.

The board of COME Foundation applies every year for funds from several Dutch foundations. In addition, the Foundation has several hundred individual contributors who yearly give money for the work of COME. COME Foundation does not receive any money from any government (not the Dutch nor any other European government, and not the Israeli or the Palestinian governments) nor organizations specially linked to Israel or Palestine. In this way, COME wants to maintain its impartiality and be able to determine its own course.

The main objective of the foundation is to organize dialogue seminars on neutral ground in which Israeli and Palestinian youth (both living in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories) can meet each other, in the context of the conflict situation in the Middle East. By organizing these seminars, COME Foundation wants to show its multiple commitment.

The foundation has a committee consisting of two Dutch members (one of whom is the project leader) and a number of Israeli and Palestinian members. These ‘local committee members’ are former seminar participants. The committee is responsible for preparing and implementing the
program and for the recruitment, selection and preparation of the participants. The project leader functions as the bridge between the local committee and the Dutch board. Except for the project leader, all the committee members and board members do their work for COME Foundation on a voluntary basis.

COME Foundation wants to organize the seminar in a neutral place outside the daily lives of the participants. Cyprus is neutral, close by, and has a familiar atmosphere.

 

Three ‘circumstantial’ groups participate in the seminar: ’67 Palestinians (Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territories), '48 Palestinians (Palestinian Arabs living inside Israel) and Jewish Israelis. This division does not reflect any political idea of the COME Foundation, but reflects practical issues concerning the reparation and travel arrangements of participants. In addition, former seminars have taught us that with this division participants will get the most out of the activities of the seminar. In the event that one of the three groups does not or cannot participate, COME Foundation cancels the seminar.

Yearly we have around 30 participants. In the last years, there have been eight ’48 Palestinian participants, nine ’67 Palestinian and 13 Jewish Israeli participants. In activities for smaller and bigger groups, past seminars taught us that a division similar to this suits different activities the most.

We expect active participation in all activities from the participants, the openness to meet the other sides, the willingness to listen to their stories and the readiness to share your own stories and opinions.

COME Foundation does not expect participants to continue or organize activities after the seminar. The Foundation organizes the seminars as a one time experience for participants. In the past however, it has happened that COME gave logistical and financial support for a second meeting, but only after requests of participants.

COME Foundation accepts everyone as a participant, no matter what his or her background is: religious or non-religious, politically involved or not, right or left wing oriented. However, some conditions are set: the level of spoken English should be good; age range is between 20 and 35 years, with participants preferably between 25 and 30; participants should have the willingness to tell their story and listen to the other sides; and each group should reflect the diversity inside each society.

PUBLICATIEVERPLICHTING ANBI

Stichting C.O.M.E. is sinds 01-01-2008 aangemerkt als algemeen nut beogende instelling (ANBI). Je gift voor het werk van Stichting C.O.M.E. is daarmee geheel of gedeeltelijk aftrekbaar van de belasting. Kijk voor meer informatie op de website van de Belastingdienst.