Deir Alla and Gainesville have been linked since 2015, when Gainesville Mayor Edward Braddy and Deir Alla Mayor Khalifeh Ad-Dayyat signed the document below at a water conference in Chicago.
The Official Resolution
Exchanges & Delegations
Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy signed a sister city agreement with Deir Alla in 2015, and met with Deir Alla Mayor Khalifeh Ad-Dayyat at a conference in Chicago about sharing the water of the Jordan River. In 2017, Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe led a delegation to Deir Alla.
The two cities collaborate through the Jordan Valley Sister Cities Agreement with Sister Cities International, The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and EcoPeace Middle East.
“This is another example of subnational officials and organizations taking the lead in addressing international issues affect their communities. Problems related to access to water and water management are felt acutely at the local level, but can only be solved through international cooperation. Despite the fact that national governments control borders, these communities have shown that progress on these problems can be made through citizen diplomacy and local cooperation.”Adam Kaplan, Vice President of Sister Cities International (2015)
“The agreement will enable mayors in a war torn region to adapt long-standing models of water sharing from the abundant Great Lakes region,”Rachel Havrelock, associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, founder of Freshwater Lab