A friend and colleague sent me his article the other day about an incredible Ben-Gurion University researcher, Simona Bar-Haim. He sent it to me because I had the privilege of meeting Bar-Haim during my visit to Israel last March through the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University.
But he also sent it because he knew the message would resonate: peace rarely happens between politicians. Peace happens between people.
It can also happen through science.
Bar-Haim and a fellow scientist at Hebron’s Al-Quds University, Akram Amro, began working together in 2006. The researchers are testing two methods of helping young adults aged 14 to 20 years old with cerebral palsy in Israel and the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas. In each population, there’s a group of patients receiving group physical therapy — an inexpensive intervention — and another group using treadmills — a more expensive treatment. There are two types of treadmills the researchers use. One is the conventional sort found in a gym and the other is custom built with a split belt, which forces each leg to move at a different speeds.
Bar-Haim and Amro are equally adamant that peaceful cooperation is the only way to move beyond the perpetuating cycle of conflict.
“Peace is about action, not just talking,” says Amro.