Friday, May 8, 2009

Teaching Women Entrepreneurs About Advocacy in Jerusalem and Palestine

Mission Accomplished!

Mary Schnack, founder of Communication Bridges, Susan Solovic, CEO of Small Business TV and I just returned from the middle east where we were on a special mission with Vital Voices.

We arrived in Tel Aviv and were picked up by our driver who knew the various routes to Jerusalem. The first day we took an informal tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Just getting to know the lay of the land and learn more about the culture we have entered. We passed through various check points and learned of the roads that the Palestinians are not allow to use which makes their commute about an hour longer.

Our host organization, Vital Voices in cooperation with the US Dept of State and the Business Women's Forum in Ramallah provided two full days of business meetings and opportunities for us to interact with the entrepreneurs and policy makers. We visited entrepreneurs in their offices and learned about their challenges and successes. My colleague and friend, Susan Solovic spoke from the media's point of view, Mary Schnack did some excellent media training and assisted the local with talking points and I presented on the CEO's role in Advocacy for economic development.

We learned a great deal and we will share more in time. It was humbling to be in Israel and Palestine. We got a taste of what it is like to live in a part of the world where it is not unusual to have check points along the roads, to be stopped and made to show identification or to see men with machine guns.....including armed body guards tagging along with children going to the Dead Sea.

I will not be complaining about US Airport security, TSA for a while, that's for sure!

No comments: