Assaf is a 27 year old student at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies which is part of Ben Gurion University and which is unique in that it has students from Israel, Palestine and Jordan, on the same campus and in the same classes. He is in his third year.
Assaf grew up near Tel Aviv and when his brother came out of the army, he travelled to India and Assaf visited him there and became interested in Buddhism, human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When he entered the army, he refused to be in active duty and saw his service as a medic.
He teaches at the Buddhist Vipassana Center and works with African Refugees and is active in the peace movement. He also teaches Arabic and move music and has used his skills on the guitar to organize ‘Jams for Peace’. Where people use music to spread the message. It even won an award. Assaf has worked to create ‘Listening Circles’ and says, ‘Hatred never helped to achieve any change’. He says he is eager to meet other young Israeli and Palestinian leaders and activists who want to work together to change the situation.
He had previously never been to America.