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Where in the Middle East do Arabs and Jews Play Together?
They train together on a pitch surrounded by olive groves. They are the team of the Arab-Israeli town of Sakhnin, winners of the 2004 Israeli national soccer championship and home of mega-star Suwan Abbas. The team is made up of Jews and Arabs. Says Abbas, an Israeli Arab, “I think it’s very important for the whole country to know how to practice co-existence.” His growing popularity among all Israelis has been hailed as an example of how bridges can be built between warring communities – especially after he dedicated his goal in the 2006 World Cup playoffs to his “Jewish brothers.” “I thank everyone who cheered for the national team and made no distinction between Arabs and Jews.”
Cover photo: soccer star Suwan Abbas