UC Santa Barbara Class of 2012
Minor: Global Peace and Security
“Being in OTI was very eye-opening, in that it really called into question not only a lot of my assumptions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also conflict resolution in general. It was, more than anything, a humbling experience, helping me realize that, for the most part, conflict resolution is a process and not an event like we're so often led to believe. It seems true to me that peace can't just arise after politicians agree to settle their differences (though that would be a welcome gesture), but conflicts also require deconstruction in public. Discussion and education seem to be a huge part of that, which my experience with OTI, particularly the group reflections, made that uncomfortably clear.”
I am now at Haifa University in Haifa, Israel studying Peace & Conflict Management working towards my Master's. I would not have had the courage to get involved so deeply in the field of "peace and conflict studies" if it weren't for my experience in Olive Tree Initiative. I think my four years with the group gave me some incredibly valuable tools with which to approach conflict.