President Peres to the children:
"I want to tell you that in our eyes you are heroes fighting for life, carrying hope."
Raphael, one of the children, who suffers from a rare muscle disease to President Peres and Barbra Streisand:
It's a great privilege to be here and it was my wish to meet you and Barbra Streisand. You give me strength, optimism and hope."
The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, and Barbra Streisand today fulfilled the wishes of 20 children suffering from life threatening illnesses, as part of a special meeting that took place today at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, with 20 children from the 'Make-A-Wish' foundation which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
The event took place afterthe Office of the President received a beautiful letter 10 days ago from children at the Make-A-Wish foundation in which they asked the staff to fulfill their wish of meeting President Peres for his birthday and to meet Barbra Streisand. During the meeting the children sang with President Peres and Barbra Streisand and presented gifts from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. President Peres said to the children, "I want to tell you that in our eyes you are heroes fighting for life, carrying hope."
One of the children, Raphael aged 19 from Kfar Tavor, said to President Peres and Barbra Streisand, " It's a great privilege to be here and it wass my wish to meet you and Barbra Streisand. I'm excited to be here, Mr. President you give me great optimism, you give me strength, optimism and hope that there will be peace in country. I look up to you as a symbol of hope. Barbra, I want to tell you that your songs make me so happy, so excited. Your singing of Avinu Malkeinu, is a gift to peace in the Middle East. "
Koral Vedder, aged 16 who suffers from a rare form of cancer, surprised Streisand when she sang Streisand's famous song, People. Streisand thanked Koral and said, "That was so beautiful, thank you so much." Following the song the children presented Streisand with a necklace from the foundation with the words "Hope, Strength and Joy." Streisand thanked the children and said, "I shall treasure this, it's so powerful to be in a room with you all and especially the children who touched my heart. When I sing Avinu Malkeinu tomorrow night for President Peres at his birthday party I will sing it for you all so you hear the hope I have for you, for this country, for the world."
Before meeting with the children President Peres and Barbra Streisand conducted a personal meeting in the president's office. President Peres who greeted the singer with a warm embrace said, "You look wonderful, your voice penetrates the soul and the heart. Your songs have no hate within them, only love and prayer." Barbra Streisand thanked President Peres for the compliments and told him of her excitement to be performing in Israel and to be taking part in the president's birthday celebrations.
Photos Mark Neiman GPO