Israeli, Iranian Children Get Acquainted At World Chess Championship
Thessaloniki, Greece — (May 12, 2009)
(lubavitch.com) After the trophies and closing ceremonies at
last week’s World School Chess Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece,
the Israeli and Iranian teams met with their coaches and local Chabad
Rabbi Yoel Kaplan to talk chess and peace.
“I was with the kids all week at our center and cheered them on at
the tournament,” said Kaplan. “The coach of the Iranian team
approached me toward the end of the competition and asked me to help
arrange a meeting for his team and the Israeli team.”
Coach Ebrahim Maddahi, his five players and their family members
met with Israel’s team of six youngsters, family members, coach
Naftali Ben Pinchas and Rabbi Kaplan in a private room at the Grand
Hotel competition center after closing ceremonies.
“With a lot of excitement,” said Kaplan,
“Maddahi addressed the group, calling it a great opportunity and a
demonstration that kids are above the political issues separating the
countries. For a week we played together and had chess in common.
Similarly, the whole world will be united in the future.”