Festival seeks peace through soccer

Adri Hamael is bringing Israelis and Palestinians together again at a Vancouver soccer field.

Adri Hamael is bringing Israelis and Palestinians together again at a Vancouver soccer field.

Hamael, the founder of the Vancouver International Soccer Festival, has managed to merge two things that are near and dear to him.

“I’m passionate about soccer and about Middle East peace and that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time — just putting my two passions together,” Hamael said.

More than just a tournament, the fifth annual event will allow Palestinians and Jews compete and play together in a friendly atmosphere.

“We have 400 multi-ethnic and international soccer players playing in 24 teams,” said Hamael.
The Peace It Together Society, which for the first time will benefit exclusively from the event, was founded by Hamael, a Palestinian, with friend and partner Reena Lazar, who is Jewish. The organization is dedicated to the promotion of peace amongst Israelis and Palestinians.

“When we are on the field, nationality, religion and skin colour don’t matter, we are just one team working hard together, trying to win the game,” said Hamael.

“We win and lose as a team.”

 
 
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