Author: Philip Feinstein

The good dialogue: Synagogue audience listens to Palestinians

On Sunday 14 June there was an interesting gathering of Jewish people at the Newtown Synagogue Community Hall  –  this open-minded group was there to hear the views of three eminent Palestinians. Although the three speakers had different backgrounds, their collective points were absorbed by a very keen audience willing to learn from their Middle Eastern neighbours.  Nahed Odeh: After obtaining a law degree in Alexandria, Egypt, and gaining her Masters at Al-Quds University, Nahed Odeh started her professional life as a lawyer in Jordan as well as in Palestine. She progressed through many organisations on women and children’s rights as...

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The lucky country got luckier

Multiculturalism in Australia has come a long way and testimony to this was the event on Thursday 21 May 2015 marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW (ECCNSW).  Founded on 27 July 1975, the ECCNSW filled a void by allowing a diversity of ethnic communities to form a coalition in one voice. As a peak body, the ECCNSW is a consistent and vocal advocate of multiculturalism and provides a conduit between ethnic communities, government and the wider community. Its strength lies in grass roots knowledge of the needs of ethnic communities. The...

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Soccer, Surf and Sailing – making peace with sport

They say that wars should be fought on the football field where, other than pride, no-one really gets hurt. There is a lot of merit in that idea, as has been proven over and over. Even during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, both the Allies and Germans were reported to have put down their arms for a game of soccer. This theory is now being practised again… In early 2013 a Muslim/Jewish team of Aussie Rules footballers calling themselves MULU, participated in the Melbourne Multicultural Unity Cup. Being an interfaith group, there were games played by both men...

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Music Instruments for forgotten refugees

Despite some of the Australian Detention Centres closing, there is still a huge gap when it comes to music instruments being supplied to stressful refugees in custody. When the detention centres at Pontville (Tasmania), Scherger (Queensland) and Port Augusta and Inverbrackie (South Australia) closed down, music instruments from those centres were transferred to other detention centres. But somehow Yongah Hill in Western Australia was forgotten. And the same can be said for the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres. There are many desperate refugees from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, as well as other places, who are stuck at those centres. And once again the Music for Refugee project is doing all it can to assist. With music instruments being donated from a variety of people in Sydney, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, Music for Refugees has shipped a large container of instruments to Yongah Hill. And this has come about with the assistance of SERCO, the managing agents of all mainland Australian detention centres, agreeing to deliver the consignment. The asylum seekers at Yongah Hill are in for a pleasant surprise when they see that guitars, ukuleles, violins and bongos, plus other instruments, are about to be delivered to them. Music for Refugees has also packaged two huge containers for delivery to Nauru and Manus Island. In this case the deliveries will also include guitars, ukuleles, bongos...

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Vortex for Peace: Interfaith dialogue

Recently, I attended the Together for Humanity ( gala dinner at the Sapphire Function Centre in Auburn. It attracted almost 250 Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs and others who came to hear the former Governor, Marie Bashir, plus other extraordinary speakers and also to see a performance by the internationally acclaimed Aboriginal Cultural Dance Group: Minning Minni Kaiwarrine. One of the objectives of the Together for Humanity organisation is to bring together young people who have never met a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian or other faiths before. The evening commenced with an enthralling speech by student Ibrahim Sakar. He...

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august, 2018

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