Bringing Israeli Youth .
(photo credit: kkl)
The chess tournament for Jewish, Arab and Bedouin youth was held at the end of August in the Negev community of Meitar. The matches lasted for three days, and on the final day, the participants took part in outdoor environmental activities under the guidance of KKL-JNF instructors.
“I started to learn chess not long ago, and I fell in love with the game, because it helps you think,” said 15-year-old Ahmad Adada, from the Bedouin community of Hura. “In this competition, I played against members of my own team and also against Jewish players, and it was a very interesting encounter. I enjoyed the matches, but I would have enjoyed them even more if I’d won,” he concluded.
Almost one hundred youngsters aged between six and sixteen took part in the tournament, which was held this year for the second time. The participants hailed from sixteen different communities, including Beersheba, Arad, Mount Hebron, Hura, Tira and Iksal. The chess games and outdoor activities helped them to get to know one another, and they discovered that they had a great deal in common apart from their shared love for the noble game of chess.
Netanel Haddad of Beersheba won first prize in the tournament. “Chess is an amazing hobby and I get a great deal out of it,” he said. “It’s true my friends make fun of me sometimes, because it’s considered a game for nerds, but I manage to combine everything – friends, studies, playing chess and having fun.” Of the current tournament he added: “It was especially interesting to meet young Bedouin, and I got the opportunity to meet different kinds of guys.”
“If we want to have a future here, we have to invest in the young generation,” said Moshe Yosef, who initiated and organized the tournament. “There’s a great deal of diversity here, but that doesn’t mean the children can’t meet up and do things together. Chess entails competition, but it also involves mutual respect and the rules of fair play.”
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