May Press 2007


Vancouver BPF - Socially Engaged Buddhism -

Storytelling: Experiences in Israel and Palestine

May 23, 2007

Going Home – 
An Evening of Storytelling Based on Experiences
in Israel and Palestine
Naomi Steinberg

Spartacus Books
319 West Hastings
May 26 at 8:00pm (doors at 7:30)
$5 to $25

Storyteller finds hope in Middle East
Going Home – An Evening of Storytelling Based on Experiences in Israel and Palestine.

“I was born when all I once feared – I could love.”
- Rabia (Muslim mystic)

On May 26th, 2007, storyteller Naomi Steinberg will be presenting Going Home, a selection of stories collected in Israel and Palestine. Personal stories and ancient fairytales are woven together to create a picture of the Middle East not often shown by the media.

History of the project:

Close to a year ago, Naomi decided to go to Israel and Palestine in order to see for herself what is happening in this land that has been fought over for centuries. She went with ears and heart open, collecting folktales, personal stories, historical and religious stories – looking to find threads which could be woven into a less cyclically destructive story than the one told in the news. Feeling that dwelling on the burden of life is not as useful as celebrating the strength and grace with which we can live our lives, she met with people in both Israel and Palestine who choose everyday to break the cycles of ignorance and violence right in the home of their own heart.

The show:

Going Home seeks to move beyond describing the conflict or trying to figure out an ‘answer’. The intention is to give space, voice and weight to all the stories of hope and courage which occur simultaneously with all the stories of woe so that these ‘good’ stories might exist too!

Naomi will be highlighting the stories of four people she met:

Sharif Kananaa from Ramallah – a sociologist whose book Speak Bird Speak Again is a collection of Palestinian folk and fairytales

Mariam Abu Regayak from the Negev Desert – a Bedouin woman whose farm, the Tel Sheva Desert Medicine Learning Site, is committed to recognizing the value of traditional knowledge systems

Yuval Lotan from Jaffa – an Israeli army reserve officer who was jailed for a month when he
refused to guard a prison holding Palestinians jailed without trial on “administrative detention”

Angelica Edna Calò Livné from the Galilee – nominated for the 1000 Women Nobel Peace Prize, she started a theatre company which brings together Arab, Christian, Druze and Jewish youth

Their stories provide the context/frame for the telling of The Wonderful Healing Leaves – a traditional Jewish fairytale from the 14th century, collected in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Naomi brought that fairytale to Israel and Palestine to tell in trade for the stories she was privileged to listen to and witness. By telling this story to people she met she learned from their reflections, allowing deeper layers of meaning within the fairytale to reveal themselves.

The evening will also include some soul stirring gospel with members of Cornerstone. This is a gospel group born from the idea that spirit and soul don’t have to necessitate religiosity, but can be represented through sincere expression – specifically through song. The tradition of hymns and spirituals is at the root of their attempt to bring spirit and soul to today’s audience.

Location – Spartacus Books 319 West Hastings, 2nd floor
Date – May 26, 2007
Time – 8:00 pm (doors at 7:30)
Price – $5-25$ (18% of all proceeds will be donated to folks in Israel/Palestine – 18 is the Jewish number symbolizing life)

Naomi Steinberg:

Naomi has been telling stories professionally since 2001. She is a member of the Vancouver Society of Storytelling, the Storytellers of Canada and the Healing Stories Alliance. She believes strongly in the power of stories to catalyze change both personally and globally. She has practiced her craft in such places as the11th Annual International Storytelling Festival in Vancouver, the ‘Science Meets Dharma’ project in Southern India, the ‘In the House Festival’ in Vancouver, and various events in Zurich, Switzerland. She has developed workshops for Vancouver schools through the Vancouver School Board’s Artist in Residence programme as well as facilitating workshops for schools in Morocco, Switzerland and for the Cortona conference in Italy.


Naomi Steinberg
604 719 25 04
story [at] naomi-eliana [dot] ca



May Press 2007






"Education at all levels is one of the principal means to build a culture of peace."
[United Nations, Res/53/243/1999]


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