Google's Hangout: Bridges to Peace
Last September, Google relaunched a project called «Hangout: Bridges to Peace». The project took place in the ancient city of Acre, Israel, where the relationship between Jewish and Arab communities has always been rather tense. There, 40 students from Arab and Jewish schools, along with 200 more students from other Israel communities, collaborated to work as a team on different projects through Google's Hangouts.
As described in the Google Blog, the idea was to «break down some of [the cultural] barriers» with the help of the Internet and make students cooperate and learn more about what they have in common. During the eight month period, the students have been closely cooperating in both Hangouts and real life.
And last week came the final showdown - a tech hub at Google's Tel Aviv office, where the students presented their projects aimed at promoting tolerance and mutual respect between Arab and Jewish communities.
Google promises to launch the project again this fall and involve twice as many participants. Indeed, it is hard to understand whether the project is actually «establishing bridges» or simply promotes Google products, though we can do justice to the megacorp – this type of advertisement at least attempts to «cast off the hatred and plant love in its place.»