The 2017 Arava Alumni Peace and Environmental Network (AAPEN) Conference was held in Dana, Jordan, and was attended by 140 current and former students from Israel, Palestine, Jordan and other countries.
The conference began on Friday afternoon with a warm welcome in the picturesque village of Dana, which overlooks Wadi Araba. The conference included several hike options in the beautiful Dana Biosphere Reserve, an afternoon hearing inspiring updates about individual projects and initiatives of fellow alumni, as well as learning about the Arava Institute’s current work. After this session participants took the opportunity to join the international People’s Climate Movement and march together for Climate, Jobs & Justice.
On Sunday morning, the participants enjoyed a wide range of workshops run by alumni and staff of the Institute, including a discussion on the future of the Alumni Network, a career counseling session, community-building exercises, trust exercises, and a break-dance class.
The annual Alumni Conference allows alumni to network with each other, and serves as an essential opportunity for the Arava Institute to maintain a connection with our graduates. This year’s conference was especially inspiring as it was the largest so far, including a number of partners and children of graduates, all part of an ever expanding alumni family. We are already looking forward to meeting at next year’s conference at ‘home’ at the Institute on Kibbutz Ketura.