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Israeli Jews and Arabs cooperate in teaching surf rescue

Coexistence can save lives!

The Israel Life Saving Federation (ILSF) and the Surfing 4 Peace club from Jisr al-Zarqa partnered to prevent drownings and save lives, offering a joint surf rescue and water safety course at Dor Beach and Jisr al-Zarqa Beach.

Jewish and Arab Israeli participants learned surf rescue techniques and trained to volunteer with the Israel Life Saving Federation Water Safety Team in its range of water safety activities. This was the ILSF’s first class specifically targeting an Arab community, as part of the organization’s goal of fostering coexistence and preventing drownings throughout all sectors of Israeli society.

Israel Life Saving Federation CEO Paul Hakim says: "One of the foundations of our association is encouraging coexistence. For us, there is no religion, race or gender when it comes to saving lives."

The Surfing 4 Peace surf club in Jisr al-Zarqa is headed by siblings Muhammad and Hamama Jarban. "This is an important tool in educating for values through sports – we have so much in common and it is a shame that we try to emphasize only what’s different," said Hamama Jarban, a professional athlete and Muslim feminist icon who made waves as the face of an Adidas Israel advertising campaign in 2021.

At sessions on Dor Beach and Jisr al-Zarqa beach, students learned to identify the signs of drowning, rescue drowning victims using a lifesaving surf board and rescue tubes, and perform first aid and CPR. They also participated in surf lifesaving and fitness sports in the sea and on the beach.

The Ambassador of Australia, the Hon. Paul Griffiths, was present to hand out the certificates.

Course graduates are trained to be first responders should they happen to be present when someone is drowning, thus helping mitigate a deadly scourge of the Israeli summer.

Every summer, hundreds of Israelis drown or require medical attention after nearly drowning.

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