A group of Arab and Jewish teens is visiting Bloomington-Normal to build a relationship unheard of in their home region. Friends Forever, the organization in charge, will allow the visitors to engage in community service and team-building activities together over the course of two weeks. Siwar Mustafa, who is from Nazareth, says she is excited to learn about Arab culture. She says she hopes the effects of the program last beyond the group's visit to Illinois.
"I expect to change the Jews' perspective about Arabs and also to change mine too," she says. "Also, to be in touch after the program because we are so close now."
The group flew to the United States together. Mustafa says the ride was quiet, but that it didn't take long for the Jews and Arabs to become great friends.
The teens have already attended a Normal Rotary Club meeting and planted trees at Bloomington High School. They plan to continue engaging with the community during their two-week stay.
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