"I live in a country like many countries, where racism exists, people judge you according to what they see at first glance without trying to get to know you personally. I've always had to deal with it and say, 'This is me, Shwanesh, standing in front of you.' They were always talking to me as you Ethiopians."
Shwanesh Maniov immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia with her family when she was seven years old. While majoring in Middle Eastern Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she became involved in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. As the coordinator for the Israeli foundation Children of Abraham, she organized and participated in exchanges between Israelis and Palestinians that focused on religion, culture, and history. Shwanesh was a facilitator for Palestinian and Israeli teenagers engaged in daily dialogue at the Seeds of Peace summer camp in the United States in 2004.