One of his first orders of duty: Teaching children how to throw
Barber visited the Palestinian territories Wednesday and was
greeted by dozens of giddy children. One of them had a football,
but no one knew how to use it. Soon, Barber began showing the
children how to catch and throw the ball.
"I thought, 'Now I feel comfortable, now I'm home,' " Barber
said Thursday. "I was telling them to keep their elbows up
they did well."
The nine-year NFL player went to Israel thanks to Peres, who met
the football player during a trip to New York earlier this year.
Barber visited religious shrines and also made an appearance on
behalf of the Peres Center for Peace. One of the ways the center
tries to improve relationships between Israelis and Palestinians is
through children playing sports together.
After visiting the Palestinian children, whose freedom of
movement is restricted because of Israeli security measures, Barber
talked about places in New York where kids think the Hudson and
East rivers are their boundaries.
"I'd like to work toward providing young people and older
people with opportunities to see something else, allowing them to
have ideas in their heads they never would have thought about," he
Watching children playing sports together on mixed teams in East
Jerusalem, Barber said all the children looked the same to him.
"They're just kids, and I think that gives them a chance as a
generation to solve this conflict," he said.