Surfing for Peace

Let’s illuminate the darkness of the last days with a little ray of sunshine. Let’s go surfing!

This little light of hope that shines amid the recent events in our region is the last project of the organization Surfing 4 Peace.

First things first: presentations! 

Surfing for Peace is a cross-cultural peace initiative created in 2004 by American Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz and Israeli Arthur Rashovan, it’s in Israel that S4P was born. A European section was created in France in 2012.

Bringing people together through a common passion…

Their initiative aims to bridge cultural and political barriers between people in the Mediterranean region and their Diasporas through a common passion: surf first but also skateboard, sport and culture, with an emphasis on coexistence and intercultural dialogue. For this, the association organizes trips that bring together young people from the Mediterranean countries and elsewhere to  experience dialogue and surf!

Samuel Jacquesson, co-founder of the European branch adds three goals:

“In the short term; to show that, with a common passion, people from very different cultures and backgrounds are able to exchange, share and create friendships.

In the mid-term: to develop a network of sport clubs and associations, giving the opportunity for more and more young people to meet, exchange, travel and cooperate together.

In the long term: To create a regional conscious, in the Mediterranean region and beyond, of an open and more tolerant youth, who will eventually vote for peaceful political leaders.”

“People who surf together can live together!” –Doc Paskowitz

In a few days, a group of 15 surfers from 7 countries, Israel, Palestine (Gaza), but also Afghanistan, France, Italy, Morocco and Algeria, will meet in France, near Biarritz for a new sportive and cultural encounter. For them, it will be an opportunity to meet away from the conflicts of their region, “to deconstruct preconceive ideas of these young people through a simple experiment: a journey together, which naturally involves making a step towards the other.”

The association launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to cover the expenses for the six participants with the lowest income. You can learn more about Surfing 4 Peace or make a donation for their latest project here.

Pessimists will say that it will not change a thing. On the contrary, I believe that during these difficult times, we have to promote this kind of initiatives and surf on each wave of hope.

About the Author
French social educator, Chloe Perla Portheault didn't come to live in Israel because of anti-Semitism but in order to try to understand a country and and conflict that people talk so much about from afar. It's been a perpetual quest ever since.