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The village of Wahat al Salam-Neve Shalom (WASNS), which in English translates to “Oasis of Peace,” is a village of Palestinian Arab and Jewish Israeli citizens of Israel “dedicated to building justice, peace and equality in the country and the region” (WASNS, n.d.). My doctoral research explores how the villagers of WASNS live together through the lens of everyday peacebuilding. Everyday peacebuilding “refers to the routinized practices used by individuals and collectives as they navigate their way through life in a deeply divided society” (Mac Ginty 2014, 549). To understand everyday peacebuilding in the context of WASNS, my research asks the following. First, what is peace according to the villagers of WASNS? Second, how do the villagers build peace in the everyday? And, finally, what lessons can we draw from the peacebuilding in WASNS? My talk answers these questions with an analytical focus on the life narratives of the villagers I interviewed and lived alongside over the course of my fieldwork. The aim of the talk is to enter the lived realities of the villagers of WASNS and, in so doing, to reimagine our understandings of peace and what it takes to build it.

Isabela Dos Santos is a PHD student in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

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