An Israeli multicultural initiative is one of eight international finalists for Prince Albert of Monaco’s Peace and Sport Award.

The winner will be selected by the online community – voting deadline is November 22 — and will be announced during the Peace and Sport Awards Ceremony in Monaco on December 12.

This award honors the best of initiatives carried out in 136 countries on the International Day of Sport for Peace last April 6. Some 1,150 events took place, reaching about 90 million people on social media networks.

400 Jewish and Arab athletes gathered at the Azrieli Ramleh Mall on International Day of Sport for Peace, April 6, 2019. Photo courtesy of ALLMEP

In Israel, about 400 Jewish, Arab, Bedouin, ultra-Orthodox, new-immigrant, asylum-seeker and special-needs “Athletes for Peace” gathered from across the country to celebrate the International Day of Sport and Peace in the multicultural city of Ramleh.

For this unique initiative, 13 organizations banded together, offering activities in soccer, karate, capoeira, frisbee, taekwondo, tennis, wheelchair table tennis, catchball, surfing and kayaking.

Kids from different Israeli populations played together at the International Day of Sport for Peace, April 6, 2019. Photo courtesy of ALLMEP

The event was organized by ALLMEP, the Alliance for Middle East Peace, comprising 110 grassroots NGOs that promote a shared society in Israel and peace in the Middle East through people-to-people activities.

“For many of the Jewish and Arab participants, this was their first taste of meeting the other, and an experience that can end up being truly transformative. A first tentative step toward peace and equality becoming foundational values for the rest of their lives,” said ALLMEP Executive Director John Lyndon.

Tennis was one of 10 sports offered at Israel’s International Day of Sport for Peace in Israel, April 6, 2019. Photo courtesy of ALLMEP

Danny Hakim, an ALLMEP board member and founder of the award-winning Budo for Peace, said, “Especially during these turbulent times, it is important to harness the positive power of sport to bring together diverse communities. The kids see other kids wearing the same clothes, playing together, following the same rules – they have an understanding that peace is possible and it is done from the bottom up.”

Other finalists for the Peace and Sport Awards were initiatives from Pakistan, Italy, Venezuela, Croatia, Georgia and Greece.

Click here by November 22 to vote for Israel (# 6).