Innovations

UN Sustainable Development Goal

16
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Business

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  • Nurete Brenner
    Nurete Brenner I think this is a very important story in support of how local, small and medium-sized businesses contribute towards peace in a community and a region. This idea is scalable in the sense that they are a role model for others who might now consider partnering...  more
    November 18, 2016 - 1 likes this
  • Rose Folsom
    Rose Folsom Adam and Alaa have forged a living reminder that what we have in common is much greater than what divides us. They show us the power of things as humble as ice cream to help melt centuries-long animosity.
    November 18, 2016
  • George Dionne
    George Dionne What a find Mihaela. Thank you. This story is a taste of the future - a small example of what is possible for the region and the world. What governments haven't been able to accomplish a small business has. Bravo for Adam and Alaa.
    January 5

Building Peace for the Love of Ice Cream

Date published: 18 Nov 2016
Israel     2 likes   3

Overview

  • Making peace through business
  • Partnership across cultures
  • Bringing people together
  • Commonality over conflict
  • Love of ice cream
innovation photo

Innovation

"Ice cream, common across all cultures, is being heralded as a new language!" The name of the ice cream shop, "Buza," is modified from the Arabic word for ice cream, "Bouza."

The innovation here is that this is a business being run by an Arab and a Jew in a country where most people see the other side as an enemy. The two owners are proving that it's possible to cooperate and to bridge the divide. Adam Ziv, a Jewish kibbutznik from Sasa and Alaa Sawitat, an Arab Muslim from Ma'alot Tarshiha, partnered together to open Buza and to model how peace is possible through business. Their partnership has brought the communities together. They also employ people from both communities so their partnership has contributed to the flourishing of their communities. 

 

Overall impact

The collaboration between Adam Ziv and Alaa Sawitat has crossed difficult cultural and religious boundaries.

Adam says, "If we use the business as a bridge accepted by everybody, I believe we could have a different reality, like the Buza partnership, where everyone works on the same goal - and it is easy to communicate if everyone has the same goal."

Their contribution to the peace dialogue is to state emphatically that peace is possible when there is a common goal. Buza is a model for both communities in the Western Galil city, Maalot Tarshicha, where Jews and Arabs live side-by-side but do not always form alliances or friendships. They are proving that it is possible to build peace through commerce. 

Inspiration

Adam Ziv tells how he traveled through Europe and developed a taste for ice cream. He started dreaming of returning to his homeland in Israel and opening an ice cream store. He spent a couple months as an apprentice in a "gelateria" in the city of Vinci in Tuscany, Italy. Upon his return to Israel, Adam shared his dream with his long time friend Alaa Sawitat and together they decided to open an ice cream business pairing their passion for ice cream and their passion for peace. In our interview, Adam shared that their business has now grown to five shops, a visitor center, and a small factory.

Business benefit

Buza employs many people in the region regardless of their background.

Adam Ziv says the most surprising result of the business was "the fact that when you do something together and you have the same interest it becomes really easy to communicate  and get along."

Adam Ziv and his partner Alaa Sawitat opened their first ice cream shop in an area where there was no ice cream. In four years they have expanded their business to five stores, a visitor center where people can see how the ice cream is made, and a small factory.

 

Social and environmental benefit

In the making of the ice cream, Adam Ziv uses local produce from Galilee. Only a few ingredients are imported from Italy.

Adam says, "Many groups of people come to Buza, foreigners from as far as China, police officers, soldiers, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and so on, everyone gets along. Just as many different people visit Buza and enjoy the fine ice cream, this business employs a variety of ethnic groups with different religious orientations. The result is the same, everyone gets along."

 

Interview(s)

Adam Ziv, Owner

Join The Conversation

3 comments
  • Nurete Brenner
    Nurete Brenner I think this is a very important story in support of how local, small and medium-sized businesses contribute towards peace in a community and a region. This idea is scalable in the sense that they are a role model for others who might now consider partnering...  more
    November 18, 2016 - 1 likes this
  • Rose Folsom
    Rose Folsom Adam and Alaa have forged a living reminder that what we have in common is much greater than what divides us. They show us the power of things as humble as ice cream to help melt centuries-long animosity.
    November 18, 2016
  • George Dionne
    George Dionne What a find Mihaela. Thank you. This story is a taste of the future - a small example of what is possible for the region and the world. What governments haven't been able to accomplish a small business has. Bravo for Adam and Alaa.
    January 5