SodaStream – Building Bridges not Walls

editor Wednesday 1 May 2013 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By C4I International.. SodaStream is an Israeli company producing soda makers to turn water or other fluids into soda, thus preventing pollution due to the production and waist of millions of bottles and cans. The story starts with telling about the 29 year old Rafeh Aglu getting up very early in the morning in the West Bank Palestinian village of Hisme to go to the SodaStream factory 15 kilometers away in Mishor Adumim, by a bus charter from his employer. One of the twenty SodaStream factories around the world. Half of the 1,000 employees inside the SodaStream factory are Palestinians from the West Bank. The company provides its employees jobs, health insurance, social benefits and a high pay scale. Four or five time the wage they earn elsewhere, the company’s CEO Daniel Birnbaum explains. In an open atmosphere, respecting each other’s belief they jointly work together in the production process. New immigrants and locals, Israelis, Arabs, Palestinian-Arabs, Israeli-Arabs, Druze, Muslims, Jews, Russians, and Ethiopians are all working together. The Arabian production manager proudly explains that there isn’t any discrimination. There are prayer rooms for the Muslims and the Jews. SodaStream is proud to build bridges and not walls, inducing friendships and social contacts between the ethnic groups through the internet. Some European critics want to shut down the factory and boycott their products because they say that the factory perpetuates Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory. Nabil Besharat, the Shift Manager explains a different view and vision based on the actual situation in the Palestinian Authority which the critics should listen to and lay to heart. Towards the end of the video Yusuf Bashara takes us to his newly built home in Ramallah and tells us that the house and a plot of land where paid for with the money he earned at the factory. And what it means for him personally to be able to work at the factory. Daniel Birnbaum shares his dream by stating that “ my hope, my prayer, my belief and responsibility at SodaStream is that we will fulfill the prophecy from Isaiah that the Lord will settle disputes for many peoples and  that they will train for war no more!  We can make this happen, one person at the time, one family at the time instead of learning war let them learn to make a soda maker and thus achieve peace and a better future!”

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