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Can an ancient board game achieve peace?

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(28 Aug 2017) LEADIN:Jews and Arabs came together in Jerusalem on Thursday for a peaceful battle - on the backgammon board. STORYLINE:The ancient city walls of Jerusalem are the backdrop for more interfaith rivalry, but this time it's friendly.Arabs and Jews are here to play the ancient game of backgammon, one of the oldest board games known to man.The first backgammon championship of Jerusalem has been organised by a group advocating dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Organiser Zaki Djamal thinks that backgammon is going to bring peace to the Middle East."We do it because first of all we think that there needs to be more interaction between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem in what is typically a divided city, there isn't very much joint cultural content that can be experienced and consumed together so we wanted to create kind of a joint cultural experience," says Djamal. The goal for the organisers is to create interaction between neighbours that are usually segregated. "In all our events leading up to this grand final, we've had Jews travel to East Palestinian Jerusalem, Arabs travel to Jewish West Jerusalem for the tournaments and that's how we started kind of help people get introduced to the other neighbourhood to the other type of people," says Djamal. Dozens of locals gather to witness the competition.The 250 participants are competing for a cash prize of roughly 6,000 US dollars - and the final game is projected onto Jerusalem's walls.The prize is handed over by Masayuki Mochizuki from Japan who is one of the World Backgammon Champions.The winner Gadi Karmeli says the game needs luck but it also needs knowledge. "The atmosphere was very good, I'm very happy. I say that Israelis and Arabs can be together, can enjoy the life, no more war, only Shesh Besh (backgammon), only love, only peace," he says.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4112992 e3a2c824639362277bdab13b78db4531 MEEX MidEast Backgammon Middle East Jerusalem Israel Palestinian territories Lifestyle
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