What if many current conflicts in the world were connected to individual not-healed wounds?

“To heal the unhealed is the raison d’être of our Institute for Healing of Memories, so that the victims are not transformed in perpetrators.”

Michael Lapsley, 2016 Public Peace Prize winner in the category Global Peace and Reconciliation internationally-reputed peacemaker, deserved a commemorative plaque on October 6, 2016, in Montreal.

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Photo : Gilles Pilette

The presentation was made by Brian Bronfman, cofounder of Grant Peacemakers Network and Outils de paix network, as the organizers and financial partners of the Centre de services de justice réparatrice welcome Michael Lapsley who will facilitate the first workshop in Canada offered by the Institute for Healing of Memories based in Capetown, South Africa.

 Peace message delivered by Michael Lapsley to all people who supported his nomination

Thank you for the honour you have bestowed upon me. I am humbled by this acknowledgment of the work I do with my colleagues in the Institute for Healing of Memories.

In our Institute for Healing of Memories, we say that all people have a story to tell, and every story needs a listener.Whenever we are able to listen with compassionate hearts to one another, we find that it is our shared pain that connects us. A key element in peace making is the full acknowledgment of how people have been wronged, and the opportunity to be heard. To break the chain that turns victims into victimisers, there needs to be safe and sacred spaces where people have permission to express how they feel about what happened to them and begin to detoxify. Dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual effects of the past are equally as important components of peace building as political, economic and social transformation.

Michael LAPSLEY is a priest from South Africa who works with victims as well as authors of apartheid and other forms of repression and exclusion, and is publicly recognized for his disarming strength that has transformed wounds into powerful healing and reconciliation. He is visiting Montreal to offer a worship using his approach for healing memories.

Read more:
https://publicpeaceprize.org/michael-lapsley/

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It is time to nominate people or initiatives for the 2017 Public Peace Prize!

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The Public Peace Prize is a citizens’ initiative without borders. Its sole goal is to make better known as many peacemakers and peace initiatives as possible.

Read more:
https://publicpeaceprize.org/how-to-nominate-a-new-candidate/

The Public Peace Prize at the Montreal World Social Forum!!!

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Visit the kiosk of the Public Peace Prize
At the World Social Forum!!!

August 10 -11 – 12, 2016
UQAM – Pavillon SH 201, President Kennedy Avenue

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Join the round-table discussion on promoting peace initiatives and peacemakers,Friday, August 12, 1 PM at the World Social Forum
McGill University, Pavillon Bronfman, (Local OO2),
1001, Sherbrooke West

The Round Table (in French) will bring together several contributors:

  • Anne Beaumier, instigator and President of the Festival de la paix à Victoriaville created in 2009
  • Adriana Eslava, from the Columbian Amazon, Coordinator of Réseau Outils de paix.
  • Elana Wright, Program Officer, Advocacy and Research at Développement et Paix
  • Colette Coughlin, Public relations for the Public Peace Prize
  • Guy Demers, Sociologist, artist and sociocultural mediator, member of Artists for Peace and the international movement ATD Quart Monde
  • Ferdinand Djayerombe Vaweka, native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and president of Antennes de paix – Pax Christi Montréal, working for human rights, social justice and the transformation of conflicts.

The starting question : How to make peace initiatives and peacemakers better known in a media culture centered on sensationalism, scandal and violence?

The Round Table is open, please participate!

 Offer your vote for peace!

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It is time to nominate people or initiatives for the 2017 Public Peace Prize!

The Public Peace Prize is a citizens’ initiative without borders. Its sole goal is to make better known as many peacemakers and peace initiatives as possible.

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Español

¡¡¡El Premio del Público por la Paz estará presente en el Foro Social Mundial 2016 en Montreal!!!
Visite nuestro kiosco los días 10, 11 y 12 de agosto de 2016 en el Pabellón SH de la UQAM (segundo piso) ubicado en 201 Avenida Président-Kennedy.
Participe en nuestra mesa redonda que trata de la promoción de iniciativas y de artesanos de paz, el viernes 12 de agosto a la 1:00 de la tarde en el edificio Bronfman de la Universidad McGill (local 002), ubicado en 1001, calle Sherbrooke Ouest.
Es el tiempo de proponer el nombre de personas o iniciativas al Premio del Público por la Paz 2017, ¡ofrezca su voz a la paz!

Narine Dat SOOKRAM receives a commemorative plaque

narine-dat-sookram-pppOn May 28th, Narine Dat Sookram, the 2016 Public Peace Prize winner in the category of Social Integration & Community Peacemaker, was presented with a commemorative plaque. He received this honour during the Caribbean Dreams Concert in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada).

It is very fitting for him that the award be presented not only at the annual concert that he has been organizing for the immigrant community for the past 14 years, but also that it aligned with the commemoration of Guyana’s 50th Jubilee of independence. A member of the Public Peace Prize team was in attendance to present him with this well-earned mark of recognition and appreciation.

Narine is of Guyanese descent, and his concern and support for others branches out from his local community to the greater Canadian community, extending to the Guyanese community both locally and abroad.

More on
https://publicpeaceprize.org/narine-dat-sookram-2016/

My views on peace!

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Narine Dat Sookram

When it comes to peace I think the most important thing for me is to have people come together to celebrate life together as one.  I also think that it is time that people look beyond our differences not only to respect each other but to make sure that every human being has equal opportunity.  One of the things I try to put into practice is to live my life with a conscious mind, because I believe that peace itself starts from home and I think that it is everyone’s obligation to be part of the process.

However, because of my passion for a more peaceful world, I have initiated a community concert and a community radio show to spread the importance of peace.  In particular, with the Caribbean Dreams Concert, I showcase talents from different cultures and the idea behind it is that I want the broader community to have a better understanding of other cultures, because I strongly believe that the more people are knowledgeable of other cultures the less likely they are to be judgemental.  But when I really come to think about it, there is no better way to promote peace than to have a diverse set of ethnic backgrounds under one roof, because to me it is the best way to breaker the barrier between our differences.

My weekly community radio show is another initiative that is a powerhouse that I use to promote peace.  The good thing with this show is that I get to choose the type of songs I play and usually it’s songs that the Caribbean/West Indian people can listen to and feel a sense of home.  But best of all I get to connect with my listeners locally and internationally where I get to influence them in a positive way.  I really want people to know that there is not a specific formula to promote peace in the world around us, but it is surely possible when we can work together to achieve a common goal.  Though the world is divided, it is up to us to make that history.

Dr. Narine Dat Sookram, Hon. D. Hum. Litt.

February 10, 2016

Laureates for the 2016 Edition of the Public Peace

It’s the first time in the history of the PPP that all the finalists are recognized as winners in their respective categories, and that a man and a woman are both laureates in the same category:  GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER

All of the laureates received considerable support from the public, both in terms of the quantity of “votes” acquired, and the quality of the comments and the support letters received. Marie Dennis is the laureate who received the greatest number of supporting gestures overall, from a largely international audience.

We wish to congratulate these peacemakers for both their determination and their contributions, along with others, to the pursuit of durable peace that is rooted in respect for human dignity and the conviction that it is possible to live in a world without violence or exclusion.

The Public Peace Prize Committee

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The Laureates for the 2016 Edition of the Public Peace Prize are :

MARIE DENNIS

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GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER

Marie DENNIS, of the United States, is a respected icon of peace and reconciliation movements on an international scale. Her implication in a number of endeavours reuniting a compassionate vision, the art of negotiation and spiritual wisdom and her contribution to intercultural and interreligious dialogues are indispensable to world peace. A large number of her project partners and people who have witnessed her work from several countries have expressed their support and admiration to this laureate of the 2016 Public Peace Prize as GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER.

Read the complete profile and the letters of this support for this nomination in their original language at:
https://publicpeaceprize.org/marie-dennis-2016/

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MICHAEL LAPSLEY

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GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER

Michael LAPSLEY, a priest from South Africa who works with victims as well as authors of apartheid and other forms of repression and exclusion, is publicly recognized for his disarming strength that has transformed wounds into powerful healing and reconciliation. The numerous comments and support received online focused on his courage, his approach for healing memories, and warmly recommended he be recognized as GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER for the 2016 Public Peace Prize.

Read the complete profile and the letters of this support for this nomination in their original language at: https://publicpeaceprize.org/michael-lapsley/

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SUZANNE LOISELLE

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JUSTICE and SOLIDARITY ACTIVIST and PEACEMAKER

Suzanne LOISELLE is an international peace and justice activist working from Quebec, Canada. Through her actions as well as her words, she affirms that peace is not possible without justice, and solidarity can only be achieved by analyzing and driving out repressive, warlike tendencies and condemning the racism that divides communities. Suzanne received a large volume of support, in particular from Canada but also from countries such as Brazil and Haiti, recommending the she be attributed the 2016 Public Peace Prize as JUSTICE and SOLIDARITY ACTIVIST and PEACEMAKER

Read the complete profile at:
https://publicpeaceprize.org/suzanne-loiselle/

Read all the letters of this support for this nomination in their original language at:
http://prixpublicpaix.org/suzanne-loiselle/

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ANTOINETTE LAYOUN

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PERSONAL PEACE WEAVER and SOCIAL PEACEMAKER

Antoinette LAYOUN is a therapist and a yoga master in Quebec (Canada). From her experience as a child soldier in Lebanon, Antoinette came away filled with the strength of love and now artfully teaches a way to inner peace that allows people to share their personal peace through constructive, loving lives. The numerous warm comments received from the public that is familiar with her workshops allowed her to be discerned with the 2016 Public Peace Prize as PERSONAL PEACE WEAVER and SOCIAL PEACEMAKER.

Read the complete profile at:
https://publicpeaceprize.org/antoinette-layoun/

Read all the letters of this support for this nomination in their original language (French) at:
http://prixpublicpaix.org/antoinette-layoun/

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NARINE DAT SOOKRAM

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SOCIAL INTEGRATION and COMMUNITY PEACEMAKER

Narine DAT SOOKRAM is a Canadian with Guyanese roots who is an excellent example of the rich social and economic contribution made by immigrants. The huge number of letters of support sent in shows the trust and gratitude of those who have crossed paths with him from across Canada. These letters came mostly from fellow citizens, confronted with the same challenges of integration into an adopted country, and have led him to be awarded with the 2016 Public Peace Prize for SOCIAL INTEGRATION and COMMUNITY PEACEMAKER

Read the complete profile and all the letters of this support for this nomination in their original language at:
https://publicpeaceprize.org/narine-dat-sookram-2016/

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About the Public Peace Prize

The Public Peace Prize is a citizen’s initiative without borders. Its only goal is to make better known as many peacemakers and peace initiatives as possible, beyond all forms of competition!

Unlike other prizes that only disclose the names of the winners; the Public Peace Prize reveals all nominations that have received sufficient support according to an exposed procedure. The voting process invites the public to manifest their appreciation for peacemakers, and to make better known their initiatives, above and beyond all forms of competition.

The method of evaluation takes into consideration public support and several elements counterbalanced according to the impact of the actions of the nominated person or group and their influence on a local, national or international scale.

Every year the jury establishes the prize categories that are best adjusted to the nominations received. It has been decided that for the 2016 edition, the GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER prize will be awarded to both a male and a female nominee.

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IT’S TIME TO PROPOSE A PERSON, A GROUP OR AN INITIATIVE FOR PUBLIC PEACE PRIZE 2017!

Send the name of a peacemaker and the reasons why they should be nominated to:

contact@publicpeaceprize.org

 

 

 

Send us your messages and wishes for the year 2016!

WRITE TO US AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE
MESSAGE FOR PEACE IN 2016
ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE OR BY EMAIL:

contact@publicpeaceprize.org

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SEE OUR MESSAGE BENEATH THE STARS
FOR MORE PEACE AND LESS VIOLENCE.
In response to extremism, a grandfather sends a letter to his grandson born of a mariage between different peoples, cultures and religions. https://publicpeaceprize.org/message-for-peace-in-2016/

Wishing us all a New Year with peace-oriented resolutions!

Art, Altruism and Youth for Peace

Art as a Passport for Peace

Peacemakers with HeARTs

aapilogotrThe African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI) is a Pan-African movement of artists and peace-makers, championing a culture of peace and non-violence in Africa. The overarching objective is to use ”The ARTS” as a weapon and tool for nurturing a culture of peace based on values, attitude, and ways of life conducive to the promotion of peace among individuals, groups and society.

Why APPI?

  • To mobilize a massive movement of artists involved in peace building across Africa.
  • To create a platform in which visual and performing artists can unite their artistic abilities and advocate creatively for non-violent conflict resolution by engaging with each other and their audiences, especially young people in conflict, post-conflict and fragile states.
  • To foster intercultural/youth exchange activities across the continent
  • Champion African art as an educational and outreach force for the attainment of the AU 2063 agenda.

http://www.aapiafrica.org/

Art as Advocacy

Artist Issam Kourbaj at St. Paul's Chapel and with his installation, Another Day Lost, in Trinity Church's south churchyard.

Artist Issam Kourbaj at St. Paul’s Chapel and with his installation, Another Day Lost, in Trinity Church’s south churchyard.

An art installation at Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, is using waste materials to invoke images of refugee camps in an attempt to “foster awareness and spur greater relief efforts on the part of citizens and governments worldwide” for Syrian refugees.

The installation, Another Day Lost, has been installed in the churchyard and parish centre as part Trinity Wall Street’s art-as-advocacy project. It has been created by UK-based Syrian-born artist Issam Kourbaj, and is inspired by aerial photographs of refugee camps.

Another Day Lost offers a sombre perspective on the human cost of the Syrian civil war,” Trinity’s director of justice and reconciliation, the Revd Winnie Varghese, said. “Though far away, we cannot stand by at a time when worldwide, we are faced with a desperate humanitarian crisis. Growing numbers of people need asylum. In global partnership, we must find ways to welcome the stranger to our midst.”

The Episcopal Church has been vocal in its efforts to encourage the United States to accept greater numbers of Syrian refugees.

http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2015/12/art-installation-turns-garbage-into-advocacy-for-syrian-refugees.aspx

The Global Art Project

08-collageThe mission of the Global Art Project is to joyously create a culture of peace through art. The Project celebrates diversity and multi-culturalism while expressing the idea: We Are All One.

The Global Art Project is an International Art Exchange for Peace. Here’s how it works: Participants create a work of art in any medium, expressing their vision of global peace and goodwill. The art is displayed locally in each participant’s community. Global Art Project then organizes an international exchange by matching participants—group-to-group and individual-to-individual. The exchange occurs April 23-30 biennially, resulting in thousands of people sending messages of Peace around the world at one time—visions of unity simultaneously encircle the Earth. The art is sent as a gift of global friendship and exhibited in the receiving community.

Participants may send documentation of the art created and of the people who came together to create the art to the GAP Art Bank. Global Art Project exhibitions, books, slide presentations, and this website give people an opportunity to experience visions of peace and unity created by individuals from diverse cultures around the world.

http://www.globalartproject.org/

Create Peace Project

IMG_0356.edited-1024x768Create Peace Project was founded in May of 2008 by Ross Holzman in San Francisco, CA. CPP was formed in response to the overwhelming amount of violence in the world, the violence and negativity streaming through the mass media, coupled with the severe lack of creative arts in people’s lives, the deterioration of arts-programing in U.S. public schools, and the suffering people are experiencing as a result. Create Peace Project is responding to growing need to strengthen human connection, cultivate self-awareness, spread hope and create peace in people’s lives.

By educating, empowering and activating joyous feelings of self-worth using the universal language of creativity, Create Peace Project achieves it mission of strengthening community and fostering self-awareness through our arts-for-peace practices.

http://createpeaceproject.org/

Mentoring Peace Through Art

phoca_thumb_m_IMG_1937Mentoring Peace Through Art identifies, engages, and develops leadership potential of young individuals through art projects that serve the social needs of diverse communities. This mission is accomplished through its two programs: MuralWorks® in the Streets and MuralWorks® in the Schools.

Whether on the streets or in the classroom, Mentoring Peace Through Art immerses young people in the real-life situation of working together. Regardless of their talent, ability or cultural background, every MuralWorker® is essential to the success of the group: Actionable teamwork turns into a positive work ethic, which, in turn, results in a genuine feeling of self-worth by all participants.

http://www.mentoringpeace.org/index.php/about-us#sthash.t5y3tsdb.dpuf

 

Altruism, Citizen’s Involvement

Mark Zuckerberg to give 99% of Facebook stock
to charity

facebook.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxMark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced to the world in a Facebook post the birth of their first child, a daughter named Max Chan Zuckerberg. They also announced another gift to the world: pledged to donate 99 per cent of their Facebook shares — currently valued at $45 billion (U.S.) — to charity, starting the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to make the world a better place.

In the post, written as a letter to their new baby, Zuckerberg and Chan began: “Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in. Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.”

The co-founder doesn’t plan to give away more than $1 billion a year for at least the next three years, the company said in a separate filing, meaning Zuckerberg will still maintain voting control of Facebook for the foreseeable future.

More details will be released in the months ahead as how the organization and the donations will be doled out, but already some are speculating that it might be the largest donation pledged in history.

http://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2015/12/01/mark-zuckerberg-to-give-99-of-facebook-stock-to-charity.html

Youth and Training in Action for a Peaceful Future

House of Peace

al-Marwani_byTamaraAbdulHadi-NYT-300x163Melodic calls to prayer rise upward, echoing across Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a. Children gleefully run down a flooded street in Old City, past buildings with striking geometric patterns made from burnt red brick and white gypsum. Then a whistling noise cuts through the air, followed by explosions.

Hope lies at the edge of the city – at the Dar Al-Salaam Organisation (DASO) which means “House of Peace”. Founded in 1997 by Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Marwani, DASO is a Yemeni NGO working in conflict resolution, negotiation and countering violent extremism through engagement of tribal and religious leaders and by working with youth. Fiercely driven by his devout Sufi beliefs and a vision of a peaceful Yemen, Sheikh Al-Marwani travels throughout his country tackling volatile and seemingly intractable conflicts.

It is there, within Yemen’s remote villages and towns, that Al-Marwani and DASO work hard for stability by negotiating peace between tribal leaders. This work is not without risk. At least 15 members of DASO have been killed in crossfire between warring tribes as a result of their peacemaking work.[v] The Sheikh, himself, has been targeted for murder. Yet he fearlessly continues his work, despite the risks and the toll it takes:

“Sometimes I can’t sleep…sometimes I feel my head is going to explode but let me tell you: I would give my life if only the world could live in peace.”Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Marwani

https://tanenbaum.org/peacemakers-in-action-network/meet-the-peacemakers/sheikh-abdulrahman-al-marwani/

Arab-Jewish School An Island Of Unity Amid Violence

Presto ID 74668290 This is the Jaffa branch of ìYad bíYadî ó or ìHand in Handî in both Hebrew and Arabic ó a school made up of four kindergarten and two first-grade classes that aims to respond to growing Jewish-Arab segregation and violence with mutual respect and open dialogue. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Presto ID 74668290 This is the Jaffa branch of ìYad bíYadî ó or ìHand in Handî in both Hebrew and Arabic ó a school made up of four kindergarten and two first-grade classes that aims to respond to growing Jewish-Arab segregation and violence with mutual respect and open dialogue. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

“This is the only place where we feel that my children, and my neighbor’s children, are secure.”

JAFFA, Israel — Amid ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israelis, a school in this city seems more determined than ever to teach Arab and Jewish children about coexistence.

In a sunny playground here just 3 miles south of Tel Aviv, children paint recycled tires in vibrant colors and refurbish wooden furniture to beautify a place that many in the community say is their best chance at a peaceful future.

This is the Jaffa branch of “Yad b’Yad” — or “Hand in Hand” in both Hebrew and Arabic — a school made up of four kindergarten and two first-grade classes that aims to respond to growing Jewish-Arab segregation and violence with mutual respect and open dialogue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/israel-hand-in-hand-school_5632628ae4b00aa54a4d416b?utm_hp_ref=interfaith

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Support these actions for Peace!

Compose a comment of support at the bottom of the page on the website or email at:
contact@publicpeaceprize.org

The initiatives that receive enough support, in the form of comments that add up to 100 lines of text, will automatically be nominated for the Public Peace Prize – Read the details.

https://publicpeaceprize.org/

 

 

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Mutual Aid Initiatives to Support Migrants and Local Initiatives

Mutual Aid Initiatives to Support Migrants, Refugees and Victims of Armed Conflict.

Maya ROSTAM

RostamMaya_paixMaya Rostam, a Syrian child-refugee, was discovered in the photography workshops created by Iranian photojournalist Reza while he was visiting Kawergosk Refugee Camp. “I (have) always communicated through photographs and words, this mix helps us to better understand (the) values we have in common. For this exhibition, A Dream of Humanity (Paris, October 2015), I wanted to highlight seven words which are part of our Humanity’s values. Here is one.”

Refugee camps are, for the Iranian photographer, a “land” he knows well. It is suffering he has seen many times and has photographed extensively…

If Reza captures human suffering so accurately, it may be because he himself knows the wounds of exile. Since he was forced to leave Iran in 1981, Reza has been relentlessly photographing wars and the suffering they bring. For over thirty-five years, he who has become one of the most recognized photojournalists in the world has born witness to the refugee situation throughout the world. He has been awarded many distinctions for his photographic work and for his humanitarian commitment.

In a newly established camp, Reza arrived with an idea: initiate children to photography. As he surveyed the alleyways of the Kawergosk camp for his own portfolio, he set up a temporary photography workshop.

She stands there in front of the tent. It requires patience and a silent presence. She has heard the news. On the second day of the photography course, I notice her. It’s her first time there. She observes and listens to our small group of 10 young students from afar. For two days, Maya Rostam, 12-years-old, does not leave us. It is the end of the day when the cold night falls on the camp and everyone disperses to their semblance of a home, in a tent, huddled against one another.

At the end of the second day, I approached her and asked about her constant presence. She tells me about the sounds of war, the long, grueling road of exodus, the scolding sun that beats down upon the survivors and the fatigue of the flight.

And since then, her life in the camp, with its rows of tents, and the occasional lull that makes them believe there is still the possibility of a new life. The days pass, and then months. An immense feeling of boredom invades her every day, the feeling of not living a real life, but a life of survival. I ask her why she is present and her answer reminds me of a child in Tabriz whom I photographed. Maya Rostam said:

“I want to learn photography because I believe that with it, everyone can see what I feel and how we live.”

So, I went to buy other cameras to expand the class, since, like Maya, other children follow us with the same enthusiasm. By the evening, she left with a camera. Her mission? To photograph at night. I added that I would like to see these photographs and if they are good, she could join the course.

Maya clenched the camera like a treasure and ran into the night amid the rows of tents before even fully learning how to use it.

But the next morning, Maya is not there. I am concerned and inquire about her absence, but no one knows which tent is hers. I remain confident.

The course begins. Maya appears and advances timidly. She is embarrassed, terribly embarrassed. I asked her about the delay. She said nothing and lowered her head.

I am busy with other students, but I repeat the question: “Why are you late?”

RostamMaya_chaussures gelées_RezaWithout a word, she extends her camera out towards me to show me this image. She adds in an almost inaudible voice: “My shoes were frozen; I had to wait to put them on.”

I have never been so deeply touched by the symbolic power of an image.

Today, Maya Rostam a 12-year-old Syrian refugee in the Kawergosk camp in Iraq is one of the best students. She is becoming a visual narrator of her own story.

Nomination submitted by

Marie-Hélène Carette
Quebec
2015-10-02

For further information:

Find out more about Reza’s creative process on “Œil pour Œil,” a program dedicated to his work (in French): http://info.arte.tv/fr/loeil-de-reza-photographe#sthash.35wZMwTv.dpuf

Reza’s photography workshops exist because of the story of Maya, 9 years old: https://fr-fr.facebook.com/Rezaphotojournalist/photos/a.340882925986904.76241.331978343544029/572817156126812/?typé/

Exile Voices: Images by the Children of Kawergosk Refugee Camp:

https://maptia.com/reza/stories/exile-voices

Children of Kawergosk Photography Workshop | ARTE Info (in French):

http://info.arte.tv/fr/latelier-photo-des-enfants-de-kawergosk

http://info.arte.tv/fr/loeil-de-reza-photographe#sthash.35wZMwTv.dpuf

A Dream of Humanity, a photographic mosaic by Reza with Ali Bin Thalith and Syrian children refugees (in French): http://www.paris.fr/actualites/reza-expose-son-reve-d-humanite-sur-les-quais-de-seine-2827

From shipwreck to becoming an entrepreneur

Lieutenant Antonio Dovizio of the Italian Navy, just returned from a year at sea performing search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, where his crew rescued more than 5000 people. With Tareke Brhane, a former Eritrean refugee, now a European citizen, who made the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea, he founded the organization, the 3rd of October Committee. Underlining our human connection, Dovizio said, “When you come across a shipwreck, you don’t ask about their nationality, race or status, if they are a refugee or a migrant. You ask if the people are alive or dead.”
https://vimeo.com/140761705

Muslim-Jewish Forum Celebrates Efforts
to Resettle Syrian Refugees

2015-12-15-21-04-25-1On the evening of Tuesday, December 15, the recently created Montreal Muslim-Jewish Forum (MMJF), held a Season of Twinning event at the historic Atwater Public Library in Westmount. The event, which was sponsored by the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) featured Rabbi Lisa Gruschcow of Temple Emanu-El Beth Shalom in Montreal and Shaheen Ashraf, Secretary of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Montreal Chapter on the subject of “Welcoming Syrian Refugees: Muslims and Jews -s Working Together.” Dr. Karen Mock brought greetings from the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims.

Rabbi -Grushcow, who wrote a ground-breaking article in the Montreal Gazette last September entitled “Why Our Congregation is Sponsoring At Least One Syrian Refugee Family”, gave an inspiring overview of how her congregation has moved forward with determination on the project in the months since then; including raising more than $60,000 and filing papers to bring at least two Syrian families to Montreal in coordination with relatives already here, and beginning the process of helping to find employment for members of the soon-to-arrive families.

In the general discussion that followed the presentation by Rabbi Grushcow and Ms. Ashraf, members of the two communities agreed to explore ways to cooperate on facilitating the integration of Syrian and other refugees, making a contribution to the fight against obstacles to immigrant integration and standing together against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. Follow-up plans are to convene the planning committee of the Montreal Muslim-Jewish Forum next month to develop a concrete agenda for ongoing Muslim-Jewish cooperation in Montreal in both the Anglophone and Francophone sectors.

https://ffeu.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/montreal-muslim-jewish-forum-celebrates-efforts-to-resettle-syrian-refugees/

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Local Initiatives that Support Human Dignity
on a Daily Basis

How to turn strangers into dinner companions

static1.squarespace.comUnited Invitations is about food, language and social interaction. It’s about making memorable meals and new dinner constellations happen.

The meal is a dinner, free of charge, and in someone’s home. The meal takes place with no strings attached, and signing up includes no obligations, apart from serving food at the agreed time.

Host and guests participate out of their own free will and with responsibility for themselves.

At least one of the participants should be a person who has moved to this country from a different country. The guest is always welcomed to bring one person along to the dinner.
http://www.unitedinvitations.org

Peace and the City

peace-prize_1 The Union of Dutch Cities and the cities of Barcelona and Bogotá have initiated a new peace prize. The UCLG City of Bogotá Peace Prize is a triennial award for (a coalition of) local governments that have implemented innovative initiatives in conflict prevention, conflict resolution or peace building, that are proven to have had a significant positive impact.
http://www.paxforpeace.nl/stay-informed/news/peace-and-the-city
http://www.peaceprize.uclg.org/en/news/presentation-uclg-city-bogota-peace-prize-2016

Terrorists Want To Divide Us. This Muslim-Jewish Service Project Is Celebrating Unity Instead

Muslims Against Hunger

Volunteers from both faiths will join to feed homeless people in New York City.

Zamir Hassan, founder of Muslims Against Hunger, was feeding homeless people in Boston’s central public park with a group of volunteers when he first learned of the attacks in Paris the previous night.

As the group made their rounds, a homeless man asked one of the volunteers what church she belonged to. Upon learning that she was Muslim, the man asked if she had poisoned the food. Five minutes later, Hassan told The Huffington Post, another man bit into a hummus sandwich handed to him by a volunteer and said, “This is delicious!”

The irony of those two very different exchanges, within minutes of one another, struck Hassan.

On Sunday, Muslims Against Hunger is partnering with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and The Brotherhood Synagogue in New York City for a Muslim-Jewish rally and community service project. The event has taken place annually for five years, Hassan said, but this year’s gathering will take on new importance in the wake of Friday’s attacks.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/muslim-jewish-feed-homeless_564bb543e4b08cda348b5b6e?utm_hp_ref=interfaith

A Vision Of Peace As Muslims, Jews
‘Spread Hummus Not Hate’

HummusPeaceHummus is a signature dish of Middle Eastern cuisine — a delicious spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and seasonings.

On Thursday, hummus will become a symbol of peace as 15 Muslim and Jewish activists break bread together and participate in an all-day bus tour of Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia with a message of reconciliation. Bearing trays of homemade hummus and pita bread, the activists hope to spread the message that Muslims and Jews refuse to be enemies.

The activists will share hummus and pita with people they meet during the day and invite members of the public to sign a “Stand Up for the Other Pledge” created by Dr. Ali Chaudry, President of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/spread-hummus-not-hate_5638fc4ae4b079a43c04d291

They Decided to Use Their Respective Positions
to Reach Out to Each Other

Aram-Daphna-Osnat-lady-on-the-right-e1384358011377-269x300When violence broke out in the Galilee in October 2000, the ensuing destruction deepened tensions between the Jewish town of Karmiel and the neighboring Arab community of Majd Al Kurum. In the wake of the unrest, Osnat Aram-Daphna, principal of the Kalanit school in Karmiel, and Najeeba Sirhan, principal of Al Salaam school in Majd Al Kurum, decided to use their respective positions to reach out to each other.

Together, Osnat and Najeeba promoted open dialogue and understanding between their communities through education. They participated in a program organized by the mayor of Karmiel, leadership of the Arab villages in the Galilee, and the Ministry of Education to promote partnerships among Arab and Israeli educators.

The beginning was difficult and many people were skeptical. Osnat and Najeeba went from one educator to another, attempting to persuade them to become involved. Eventually, they each found 10 teachers who were willing to take the necessary risk, beginning a process of reconciliation for these two small towns.
After one year of meeting regularly, the group of 20 educators found that they had established a network of mutual understanding and trust. Osnat and Najeeba considered how to expand the process beyond the walls of their schools. Their vision was to create a forum for transforming patterns of prejudice and intolerance on a grander scale throughout their two communities.

Because of the transformative power of education, residents of Karmiel and Majd Al Kurum are able to interact as neighbors.

https://tanenbaum.org/peacemakers-in-action-network/meet-the-peacemakers/osnat-aram-daphna-and-najeeba-sirhan/

Homeboy Industries, an alternative to violence

4T7A1886Much violent conflict takes place outside of war zones, often in urban areas. In Los Angeles, Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest, offers youth an alternative to the dangerous streets through job training and employment at his organization, Homeboy Industries. He said, “We have to stand against the idea that some lives are worth more than others.” In his Peace Talk, he described how youth learn to work alongside former enemies, a transformation many did not believe possible.
http://www.homeboyindustries.org

One of San Francisco’s toughest schools transformed
by the power of meditation

4928There was a time when Visitacion Valley middle school in San Francisco could have featured in a gritty US crime drama. Surrounded by drugs and gang violence, the kids were stressed out and agitated. One day children came in to find three dead bodies dumped in the schoolyard. “In 2006 there were 38 killings in our neighbourhood,” says Barry O’Driscoll, the school’s head of physical education (PE). He says the lives of students were infected by violence in the community, and several fights would break out every day.

In 2007 a meditation programme called Quiet Time was brought in to meet some of these challenges. “When I first heard about it I thought it probably wasn’t going to work,” says O’Driscoll. “We get thrown a new thing every couple of years so I didn’t put too much faith in it.” But in April, just a month after meditation began, teachers noticed changes in behaviour. “Students seemed happy,” says O’Driscoll. “They worked harder, paid more attention, were easier to teach and the number of fights fell dramatically.”

The programme, introduced to all ages, sees students sit for 15 minutes of meditation twice a day. Classes take place at students’ desks after the qualified TM teacher rings a bell. Students then repeat a personal mantra (a word from Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language) in their heads until they reach a deep feeling of relaxation. Sometimes the whole school meets to meditate in assemblies.

Before the students learn to meditate, the Quiet Time programme requires all staff to be trained in TM. O’Driscoll was sceptical at first about mediating himself, but since giving it a try he can concentrate better and feels less stressed.

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/nov/24/san-franciscos-toughest-schools-transformed-meditation?CMP=share_btn_fb

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Support these actions for Peace!

Compose a comment of support at the bottom of the page on the website or email at:
contact@publicpeaceprize.org

The initiatives that receive enough support, in the form of comments that add up to 100 lines of text, will automatically be nominated for the Public Peace Prize – Read the details.

https://publicpeaceprize.org/

 

Interreligious Initiatives and Global Actions to Create a Peaceful World

 

Interreligious Initiatives that Bring Leaders
and Citizens Together to Create
a More Harmonious and Equitable World

Muslim Passengers Shield Christians in Kenya Bus Attack

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In a suspected Al Shabab attack that has left two dead, some Muslims stood up in support of their fellow Christian riders, daring attackers to kill them too.

Two people were killed in an attack on a passenger bus in northeast Kenya Monday when suspected Al Shabab militants tried to separate Christian passengers from Muslims aboard, Kenyan officials said.

Three people, including the bus driver were seriously injured in the early morning attack when the bus was heading from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to Mandera town.

The casualty figure could have been much higher in the incident; however, some Muslim passengers reportedly stood up in support of their fellow Christian riders, daring the attackers to kill them too.

“The Muslims stood with the Christians and dared the attackers to kill them all or leave,” Mandera Governor Ali Roba told Anadolu Agency.

http://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/muslim-passengers-shield-christians-in-kenya-bus-attack/494267

Overlapping Jewish, Muslim Holidays Prompt Cooperation In Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (RNS) An interfaith group gathered in a private home Monday (Sept. 21) to head off potential tensions over how Jews and Muslims celebrate Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, two holidays that overlap this year.

An interfaith group gathered in a private home on Sept. 21, 2015 to diffuse potential tensions over how Jews and Muslims celebrate Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, two holidays that overlap this year. Two dozen people of various faiths heard a rabbi explain the laws and traditions of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and a Muslim sheikh explain the laws and traditions of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that honors the willingness of Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham) to heed God's order to sacrifice his son. Photo courtesy of The Abrahamic Reunion

Two dozen people of various faiths heard a rabbi explain the laws and traditions of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and a Muslim sheikh explain the laws and traditions of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that honors the willingness of Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham) to heed God’s order to sacrifice his son.

The day culminated with an interfaith peace walk between the eastern and western parts of the city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and considers it part of its capital. The Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

John Dabis, an American-born Palestinian peace activist who attended the Abrahamic Reunion meeting, said hating Israelis will not bring either people closer to peace.

“If Jews and Arabs don’t get to know each other on a grass-roots level, nothing will change,” said Dabis, who recently co-founded “Home,” a Jewish-Arab outreach organization. He lives in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. His Jewish co-founder, Inon Dan Kahati, lives in Jerusalem.

Dabis has suffered from a progressive neurological condition since 2001, when, he said, Israeli soldiers fired gas at his car when he inadvertently entered a closed military zone. He uses a wheelchair.

Putting aside bitterness and engaging in coexistence work, he said, helped him emerge from the two-year depression he endured immediately after being injured.

A terrorist attack prompted Elana Rozenman, Abrahamic Reunion co-founder and founder of TRUST-Emun, a multifaith peace organization for women, to engage in coexistence work.

In 1997, her son, Noam, was badly injured in a bombing in downtown Jerusalem. At the hospital, she was whisked into the emergency room.

“I was approached by this doctor, who told me his name was Dr. Khoury. I said: ‘That’s an Arab name. One Arab tried to kill my son and you’re trying to save him.’ I realized that I could go in the direction of ‘All Arabs want to kill us,’ but instead I saw that every person is a human being and some are good and some are bad.”

All too often, Rozenman said, Three women hold hands during the interfaith peace walk between the eastern and western parts of Jerusalem on Sept. 21, 2015 after an interfaith group gathering between Jews and Muslims. Photo courtesy of The Abrahamic Reunion
“we see religion being used as a pretext for violent acts and violent words. Religions are not in conflict. People use religion to create conflict.”

Rozenman said the 15 years she has spent working with like-minded Muslims, Christians, Jews and Druze is her way of “strengthening the forces of sanity and nonviolence so other mothers do not have to suffer what I suffered.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/overlapping-jewish-muslim-holidays-prompt-cooperation-in-jerusalem_5602f045e4b00310edf9b537

Combating Religious Prejudice

LogoWithCombatingPrejudiceLong-300x56Tanenbaum offers real world solutions to a real world problem: religious discrimination and hate.

Tanenbaum’s vision is a safe world in which religious differences are respected and daily life reflects the highest values of our shared religious and ethical traditions.

Tanenbaum designs trainings and educational resources to change the way people treat one another and to celebrate the richness of our country’s diversity.

In every conflict, you can find men and women driven by their religious beliefs and ready to risk their lives to end death and destruction. From every different religion, Tanenbaum seeks these heroes out. They name them Peacemakers in Action and invite them to join their Peacemakers in Action Network. Each Peacemaker has a unique personal history and approach to making the world safe.

Tanenbaum facilitates their Network, enabling the Peacemakers to support one another and share knowledge and skills.

https://tanenbaum.org/

Imam, Rabbi And Pastor Join Hands
In Powerful Display Of Unity

main dans la mainThe November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has left the world reeling. Once again, religion is at the crux of a tragedy that has threatened to tear the global community apart.

But in Bethesda, Maryland, Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders stood together over the weekend to share a message of solidarity. Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church hosted an interfaith service on Sunday joined by members of the Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Islamic Community Center of Potomac.

Dr. Tarek Elgawhary of the ICCP, Rabbi Schnitzer of BJC and Pastor David Gray of BHPC lead the congregation through a conversation entitled, “The Pitfalls and Promise of Fear in Our Traditions and World.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/interfaith-service-paris-attacks_564a3c7ee4b08cda348a1096?utm_hp_ref=interfaith

Religions for Peace – International

twoReligions for Peace advances common action among the world’s religious communities for peace.

Multi-religious cooperation for peace is the hallmark of Religions for Peace. This cooperation includes but also goes beyond dialogue and bears fruit in common concrete action. Through Religions for Peace, diverse religious communities discern “deeply held and widely shared” moral concerns, such as transforming violent conflict, promoting just and harmonious societies, advancing human development and protecting the earth. Religions for Peace translate these shared moral concerns into concrete multi-religious action and public statements.

More at:

http://www.religionsforpeaceinternational.org/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religions_for_Peace /

http://www.rfp.org/sites/default/files/pubications/Vienna%20Declaration%20-%20Final.pdf

The Vienna Declaration Welcoming the Other —A Multi-Religious Vision of Peace (2013)

Richard Renshaw

Montréal

Global Actions to Create a Peaceful World

The state-of-the-art peace innovation that could finally resolve a 50-year war

ap_389805192297-e1450286930220After five decades of fighting, Colombia and its guerrillas may be the closest they’ve ever been to peace. The parties signed an agreement on Dec. 15 to resolve the thorniest issue of ongoing peace talks: how to provide restitution to the millions of war-crime victims.

Negotiators still have to reach a final peace deal, which is expected in spring. But experts say the victims’ arrangement is a key step in ending the war, and a model for other nations with entrenched internal fighting.

The “Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition,” as the setup is dubbed, is an ingenious balance between the interests of all the involved parties. It takes elements from reconciliation and justice processes used to settle other conflicts around the world, and improves upon them.

http://qz.com/575791/the-state-of-the-art-peace-innovation-that-could-finally-resolve-a-50-year-war/

PEACE ROAD 2015 Project

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The Peace Road Project is a global peace initiative aimed at bringing world peace and prosperity and putting an end to various problems which cause international disputes and conflicts, such as, race and religion.

The International Peace Highway is the transportation network created by Rev. Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon on the 10th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences in 1981 as a way to implement world peace.

An important objective is the peaceful re-unification of the only divided country in the world, the Korean peninsula. The creation of the DMZ World Peace Park will encourage the support and cooperation of the international community. The International Peace Highway is a way to connect the world into one.
http://peaceroad.net/?page_id=630

Together to Create a More Harmonious and Equitable World

Gitmo Survivor Calls for Amnesty
So Officials May Confess Their War Crimes

aamer_0Despite being held for 14 years without charge at Guantanamo Bay; despite the torture, beatings, and psychological trauma he says he endured there; and despite signs that British intelligence agents knew of the abuse, 48-year-old Shaker Aamer says top UK officials should be granted legal immunity if it will encourage them to tell the truth about their government’s complicity in such atrocities.

“They should be guaranteed that they are not going to go behind bars, so they can tell their part of the story,” Aamer said in an interview with ITV News, his first since returning to the UK in October.

Comparing the U.S. military prison to Harry Potter’s Azkaban—where creatures suck the happiness from criminals—the father of two said Guantánamo Bay is designed to “destroy a human being totally”—mentally, physically, and spiritually.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/12/14/gitmo-survivor-calls-amnesty-so-officials-may-confess-their-war-crimes.

________

Support these actions for Peace!

Compose a comment of support at the bottom of the page on the website or email at:
contact@publicpeaceprize.org

The initiatives that receive enough support, in the form of comments that add up to 100 lines of text, will automatically be nominated for the Public Peace Prize – Read the details.

https://publicpeaceprize.org/

 

 

 

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