"We were willing to kill each other in the past," explained Alon. "We were all a part of the violence. We are people who have been transformed from violence to nonviolence. We realize violence only brings more violence."
But as different as Oweida - who is Palestinian - and Alon - who is Israeli - were growing up, these days they're working together via Combatants for Peace.
Their work to bring peace and understand to Israel and Palestine appears in the new documentary Disturbing the Peace.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. said 'the journey is as important as the goal,'" said Alon. "For us, the fact that we are on the same journey together is in itself a huge success. We are embodying our vision. Right now, just to sit here, an Israeli and a Palestinian who a few years ago were willing to kill each other, it's an embodiment of the solution."
While Disturbing the Peace focuses on bringing harmony to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, filmmakers said this documentary applies to anywhere there is conflict, and that's what makes this film especially relevant right now.
"I don't think a film brings peace," said Disturbing the Peace director and producer Stephen Apkon. "What I do think a film can do is create an emotional transformational movement and then the question is what do we do with that movement. How do we get involved? How do we make it relevant and integrated into our own lives?"
Which can help change the way we think about the other side and bring us together for a common goal -- peace.
Additional events and showings:
- Thursday, Feb. 9: Combatants for Peace panel discussion at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, hosted by Park University – free registration at https://disturbthepeace.eventbrite.com
- Friday, Feb. 10: Filmmaker and Combatants for Peace school visits to Kauffman School (11:30 a.m.) and Hyman Brand Academy (2 p.m.)
- Friday, Feb. 10: Combatants for Peace synagogue visits