To achieve peace, what can the community do?

May 28, 2004|by BOB MAGINNIS

Finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may be the toughest challenge facing those who run U.S. foreign policy. Other than praying for an answer or lobbying for a political solution, is there really anything that the average citizen can do?

Yes, according to Aref Dajani, a Washington, D.C.-based Palestinian-American statistician, and Walter Ruby, a Jewish-American author based in New York City.

Dajani and Ruby have written an article promoting the idea of two independent states, with their peoples living side by side in harmony.

On Thursday, June 17, they'll bring their message to Hagerstown, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the First Christian Church at 1345 Potomac Ave.


They will explore the roots of the conflict, how it plays into the war on terrorism, its role in U.S. foreign policy and how those in Washington County can help promote a peaceful solution.

The free event is being sponsored by the First Christian Church, the Ezekiel's Place Retreat Center and the Interfaith Coalition of Washington County.

The last group was formed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, to promote understanding between those of different faiths.

For more information on this event, contact Pastor Ed Poling by phone at 301-733-3565, or by e-mail at Additional information may also be obtained by contacting Dick Anson of Ezekiel's Place by phone at 304-754-6563, or by e-mail at

Earlier this year, the interfaith coalition agreed to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build a home in the Boonsboro area.

I am publicity coordinator for that project and support it because there is no better way to get to know people than to work on a project with them.

Instead of seeing those you work with as members of a group, they become real people and friendships develop as a result of the shared effort.

But getting this project done involves more than deciding to do it. Money must be raised and volunteer help lined up to do the actual work under the direction of construction professionals.

The next meeting of the steering committee will be held on Tuesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, located at the corner of Washington and Mulberry streets.

If you think you'd like to help with this project, contact me by phone at 301-791-7622, or by e-mail at

Sherry Brown Cooper, Habitat's executive director, prefers e-mails and her address is:

Peggy Bushey, CEO of the Cavetown Planing Mill, has served Washington County in a variety of ways, including as a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission. Recently she was appointed to the group negotiating with companies that want to redevelop the old Fort Ritchie Army base.

But on Sunday, June 27, Bushey will serve in a different way by hosting a fund-raiser for the Humane Society of Washington County, in honor of her late husband Dave Alderson, who passed away on Memorial Day of 2003.

The event is the "Bone to be Wild" motorcycle ride, which will leave from Williamsport Harley-Davidson at 11 a.m., travel to Fort Frederick for a picnic catered by Hoffman's Meats and conclude at 3:30 p.m. at the Creekside Inn, for some music, food and fellowship.

For information on how to get involved, Call Bushey at 301-733-7940, ext 211, or the Humane Society at 301-733-2060.

If you haven't yet done so, please send me your stories about the veteran in your life, so that I can give out the seven American flags I'm awarding as part of the "Healing Field" project.

If you'd like one of these for your favorite veteran, tell me his or her story in 100 words or less. The deadline is Tuesday, June 1.

Send stories to A Flag for a Vet, The Herald-Mail, 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown, Md., 21740, or e-mail them to:

For more information about the Healing Field project, please call 301-791-2224.

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