Our Beliefs

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”
– Woodrow T. Wilson

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
– Anais Nin

We believe

That when people only know of each other’s countries through the media, stereotypes and
misunderstandings often abound.

That when people come to understand and care about each other, they will take action to alleviate each other’s suffering.

That the United States has a history of unwise and heartless policies toward El Salvador, Iran, and Palestine, and that these unsound policies have left a legacy of mistrust on both sides.

That the Israel lobby (including its Christian Zionist wing) and the for-profit prison industry lobby distort U.S. policies toward El Salvador/Central American immigrants, Iran, and Palestine away from the U.S. national interest.

That human rights and human needs should be inviolable priorities of U.S. foreign policy.

That sanctions are war by economic means, and that broad sanctions target innocent civilians, which is illegal under international law.

That international humanitarian law should serve as the bedrock of U.S. foreign and asylum
policies.

That better U.S. foreign and asylum policies will improve Americans’ prosperity, security, and moral standing in the world.

That Americans’ listening and learning from their Iranian, Palestinian, and Salvadoran contacts and friends alleviate their burden of carrying their suffering alone.

That listening and learning are incomplete without accompanying action.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world for the better; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Practical aspects

Friends simply commit to a monthly video chat with a person from another country. The calls can be made for free using smartphone apps like WhatsApp, Viber, or Zoom. (Individuals in select locations will be able to go to a Shared_Space to talk, dance, play, and eat as if in the same room.) A commitment of 12 months will allow you to get to know your new friends, find out about their lives and perspectives, and come to care about them and maybe even their community. 

Who can participate?

  1. Each participant must live in one of the four countries or in a Palestinian refugee camp. You will be forming a relationship with someone from a country where you don’t currently have any personal friendships.
  2. Partners must be willing to bring an open mind and heart to the relationship, exercising respect, with the goal of learning about the other. Nothing is required of partners other than creating relationship.
  3. Partners agree that there is no financial interaction (asking or giving money) and also that faith and political beliefs are to be respected without any efforts to convert or change the other. 
  4. Language: Most friends will have to communicate in English or through an English interpretor. If both speak another language in common, they can use that language. 

Documenting the Experience

Certain participants might be open to sharing their journey and recording some parts of their conversations to be later used in shareable products, such as a video log (vlog), podcast, or full-length documentary film. Please indicate on your sign-up form if you might be open to having some part of your interactions recorded for public sharing.

Join the Conversation!

Sign up today to become one of the inaugural 1,000+ monthly video friends. We promise to support you in having an exciting, rewarding journey of learning about another culture and discovering delightful differences and similarities.