On October 10 Dalia Bassa, the Health Coordinator of the Civil Administration, and ten other Israeli and Palestinian delegates traveled to the United States to attend Peace Through Health, a U.S. State Department-funded study tour. Dalia`s delegation was one of several from over thirty countries sent to learn about technological advances and discuss challenges in health and medicine.
Peace Through Health began in a Native American reservation in Montana, where Dalia’s delegation learned about Native American lifestyle and culture, including various health issues and methods of treatment. The Native Americans accompanied Dalia’s delegation to Washington D.C. In Montana Dalia served as the mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians while explaining to the Native Americans the differences between Israeli and Palestinian healthcare. In Washington D.C. Dalia connected with a representative from the Ministry of Education in Gaza. The two chatted in Arabic about healthcare and Hamas’ presence in Gaza and agreed to keep in touch after the conference.
Dalia saw the program as a wonderful way to bridge gaps between countries and asses the worldwide healthcare situation from a new perspective. Dr. Abrahamson, an American doctor who participated in Peace Through Health, was astonished to hear Dalia’s heartfelt stories about the Civil Administrations’ work with Palestinians. He asked Dalia why he, an American doctor, had never heard about Israel’s involvement in Palestinian healthcare and how he could learn more about how the Civil Administration helps Palestinians receive medical care. Dalia responded by reiterating the importance of collaboration and public awareness.
Just as the Civil Administration depends upon collaboration and cooperation in its everyday work, these elements were essential to the success of Peace Through Health. From her work at the Civil Administration Dalia understands and appreciates collaboration. In her opinion the personal connections and stories are what made Peace Through Health such a success. “This conference was all about the connections between different countries. When we work together to solve worldwide health problems, we become a stronger team.”