1st June Visit

Daniela Norris, Israeli, and Shireen Anabtawi, Paestinian, visit to Millburn.  1st June 2010.

This unique visit featured two women one Israeli, Daniela Norris, the other Palestinian, Shireen Anabtawi. Last year Daniela was awarded one of the top prizes in the 10th Neil Gunn Writing Competition. Encouraged by this, Daniela and her friend, Shireen, decided to compile a book – Crossing Qalandiya- Exchanges across the Israeli-Palestinian Divide.

The two ladies talked to two S2 history classes about their very different cultures and upbringing and how, through knowing each other, they began to appreciate the “other’s” point of view.

Daniela launched the 2011 Neil Gunn Writing Competition at Eden Court .

Crossing Qalandiya

Exchanges Across the Israeli/Palestinian Divide

Daniela Norris and Shireen Anabtawi


Crossing Qalandiya is a series of letters between two women, Daniela and Shireen. They live less than 100km apart, but could never visit one another at home – so instead they write letters. In these letters they discuss family, childcare, recipes, the local beaches … war and ethnic hatred. Daniela is Israeli and Shireen Palestinian. Their exchange is fraught with challenge, but also a sincere desire on each side to understand the thinking and grievances of the other.

This is a moving and illuminating exchange of ideas – at once accessible and profound, personal and political – and a beacon of hope in the wilderness of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.


Children of Peace


“It is obvious that this book is the outcome of a true friendship between two women, who were wise enough to rise up and see beyond the fears and hostilities” – Shimon Peres

“Shireen and Daniela’s friendship transcends the cognitive and physical barriers posited by walls, checkpoints, settlements, and other forms of colonial aggression that have for long torn us asunder, and proves that a just peace is still possible despite the difficulties of the present” – Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority

“A moving human document” – Sami Michael, author and President of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel

“A wonderful and hopeful book” – Dr. Zeki Ergas, Writers for Peace Committee of International PEN and Secretary General of PEN Suisse Romand Center

“Peace, living together and security for all are possible” –Dr. Ibrahim Khraishi, Ambassador, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Geneva, Member of P.L.O. Central Council