Ada Aharoni
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    IFLAC is a voluntary Association that strives for peace by building bridges of understanding and peace through culture, literature and communication. IFLAC is founded and directed by Egyptian-born Israeli writer Ada Aharoni (Ph.D), since 1999.


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    Poems by Ada Aharoni: Peace Poems | Women Poems

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    A Review of Ada Aharoni’s Rare Flower by Darcy Curwen

    THE BOOK RARE FLOWER BY POET ADA AHARONI

    BROUGHT ME PEACE

    By Darcy Curwen

    “This book will profoundly change the life of every reader. It movingly connects the personal with the political,” Evelin Lindner, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies

    Dr. Ada Aharoni has been recognized globally for her work in peace, poetry, social-cultural issues, for her great contributions towards global peace and women’s issues. Ada has received prizes for her work including: winning the World Crown of Poetry, the British Council Poetry Award and the “President Shimon Peres Peace Culture Award,” to name a few.  I greatly enjoyed reading, thinking about and reflecting on Ada’s book, “Rare Flower: Life, Love and Peace Poems,” published in 2012, and in Hebrew in 2021. This powerful collection of writing is guided by Ada’s lived experiences. Rare Flower is further complemented by her linguistic reservoir, sharp and detailed observations and a curiosity rooted in the quest of peace. As the reader we are transported from Cairo to Paris to Israel and beyond.

    I was very moved reading about Ada’s experiences with the loss of her dear daughter Tali, to which her book  titled Rare Flower is dedicated: “Talia Winkler, my brave and wonderful daughter, passed away at the age of 55, on July 8, 2011, after a courageous and creative struggle against cancer, for thirteen eventful years, in which she continued enjoying life, creating, dancing and singing.” I believe one of the biggest reasons this collection of poems is so noteworthy is because writing from a place of authenticity and vulnerability is ultimately writing from a position of strength and conviction. 

    Through her writing, Ada exposes the readers to themes of love, peace and change, as well as stability. In my opinion writing is a way of making meaning. Stories and poems are powerful, as they offer a profound revealing of a world of experiences. Through storytelling and her ‘Diplomatic Poetry”, Ada talks about war and peace, as well as social relationships, the past and the future. Her poem Seaweed follows:

    I grapple with the edge of the taste

    And shape of nuclear bombs–

    Probably like deadly rotten

    Mushroom and seaweed

    Nuclear bombs, to me, refer to a willingness of politicians to harm others in the name of peace, using mass destruction. Through referencing (rotten) ordinary foods the readers envision a taste in their mouth and have a visceral reaction. It is understood this food is poisonous for our bodies, yet Leaders who are War-Mongers, frame war as success instead of realizing that bombs are rotten and shocking to the tongue and are as dirty onions to the whole body.

    Ada’s Love, Peace and Women’s Poems

    One of her love poems which impressed me, is titled The Marriage of Science and Poetry. The reason I like this title so much is because these two fields, science and poetry, are often pitted against each other as oppositional. One is viewed as objective and the other subjective. One is rational, the other is emotional. Many systems of oppression rely on binaries. Ada says, “Although our methods and tools are divergent, we both want to probe the actuality of things to investigate phenomena beyond their surfaces”.

    Through writing, as a form of questioning, Ada is able to draw attention to what is often perceived as what should be good, natural and normal. The poem: Geisha Girls, delivers a powerful statement:

    Mother, why did you tell me

    They are just psychological hostesses

    Sometimes singers and dancers, but nothing more?

    Through Ada’s visit to a “Geisha House” in Hokkaido, in north Japan, with a Japanese Professor and his wife, Mrs. Kikuji realizes for the first time, what really goes on in Geisha Houses, where her husband goes every day after work. She then decides to leave him, and she wishes that the Geishas should ride the Tatami mat and float right out of their lives.

    In her moving Women poems, Ada succeeds to show how not only men suffer in wars, but that women and children too, greatly suffer in war time and face tragic vulnerabilities. She convincingly shows how male systems of power dominate women and their bodies. In her powerful poem: You Cannot Bomb Me Anymore, she writes:

    Listen, little big man,

    You cannot bomb me

    Anymore

    Because I don’t allow you

    To bomb me anymore

    Nor to choke

    Nor rape me anymore,

    For I have my own strength now

    And my own creative

    Peace-business now!

    Using poetry to call for Peace in her poem: “Chameleon”, she writes:

    Let’s help each other

    Love each other

    Despite our different colors,

    Not hurt each other

    It is such a loss of humanity, creativity and possibility, when we enact violent systems against those who are different from us, or those we perceive to be thinking and acting differently in society. In sharing with us her beautiful collection of profound and impressive poems about Peace and Love Ada gives us new feelings and perceptions about the pain of losing a child, but also about the joy and hope of living a meaningful and rich life.

    In her last poem of the book’s section on “Women”, she writes in “Grandmother and the Wolf”:

    They were too grim,

    Those brothers Grimm,

    And they had it all wrong–

    For grandmothers you see,

    Are very strong!

    Here Ada is able to use a popular childhood story (Little Red Riding Hood via the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales) to reimagine the narrative of a weak, feeble grandmother figure, which I interpret to reflect broader attitudes about women of all ages and girls. In the poem, at the end, it is the grandmother, who gobbles up the bad evil wolves in society, and not the other way round! Women are more than 51% of global society, and in the “Me Too” era, women too create the laws, and rule the world together with the men.

    Through poem writing, Ada flips the script on the traditional and gendered narrative about the weak and defenseless, domestic Grandmother. By doing so, she opens the door for the readers to ask some of the most important questions we as individuals can ask which are: ‘Why is it this way? How did this come to be?’ Her wise, deeply thought, philosophical poems, enrich us with confidence and strength that it can be otherwise, and the time has come for a “Global Me Too – Women’s Revolution”, hinted at in her great and powerful poem: “I Am Not in Your Museum Anymore!” :

    Embalmed in your

    mummifying caresses

    I was a zombie

    A bandaged mummy

    In an ancient sarcophagus

    Patiently waiting centuries

    For you to open the lid

    When you could spare the time

    I loved this poem for many reasons, first, women can no longer endure remaining under the refutable male supremacy. Women were nailed shut in a coffin of customs and circumstances, for ages, where discrimination, war and horrific damages, are considered normal. Secondly, I find it moving that the setting for this liberation of women poem is an imaginary museum, which symbolizes life, and relations of women and men in the past. By firmly declaring in her poem, “I don’t belong to your museum anymore!”, Ada tells the reader and modern society, that she, and all other women, have the right to self-determination, freedom and full equality.

    This excellent book enriched me in thoughts and feelings, and it brought me new levels of hope that if I and others act to bring change, it would bring us not only Peace of mind and heart, but also Global Peace in our whole Global Village.

    Darcy Curwen


    MAY THE NEW YEAR BE FULL OF FLOWERING WISHES AND SMILES! (My latest painting for the New Year 2021. Acrylic on canvas) With love, Ada Aharoni שנה חדשה מלאת פרחים וחיוכים


    CONGRATULATIONS TO NICOLE WYSZYNSKI FOR HER DIPLOMA – IFLAC DIRECTOR AND PEACE AMBASSADOR FOR THE U.S.

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    WELCOME TO OUR NEW IFLAC INTERN DARCY CURWEN 2021

    My name is Darcy Curwen. I’m currently studying at the University of Haifa to finish a BA from Eckerd College, Florida. I grew up in the United States and England. Regarding academics I am interested in how systems of power are reproduced and constructed. The United States broadly operates wielding white supremacist ideology, national religious narratives, patriarchy and predatory capitalism. Understanding this I have focused on critical race theory and intersectional and trans feminist teachings.

    I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with IFLAC and Prof. Ada Aharoni. I very much appreciate that the activism of this organization does not confine itself to one avenue or issue. Communication and information sharing come in the form of poetry, music, international thinkers and so much more. I hope to balance advocacy through listening, asking questions and sharing what I have learned thus far.


    Opening Speech by Professor Ada Aharoni at the IFLAC World Peace Congress in Peru

    Dear excellent President of the Congress, Dr. Victor….and Preparation Committee of this impressive seventh IFLAC World Congress, Dr. Maria Azcona, IFLAC Director in South America and excellent translator, Prof. Ernesto Kahan, IFLAC World Vice President, and IFLAC Peace Ambassadors all over the world.

    It is a great honor for me to open this great IFLAC WORLD CONGRESS in Chimbote , Peru.  You brave IFLAC members of Chimbote, have worked hard for two years to prepare this wonderful Congress, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for understanding so deeply the values and message of IFLAC, and for giving them a  powerful voice and lofty wings in this great Congress. You have organized the first IFLAC WORLD CONGRESS in South America, and have thus proved on the one hand that Peace Culture creates bridges between all Cultures and all people, and strengthens the peace elements in them.  You have also proven by the organization of this World Congress, that our world is indeed a Global Village, and you have given it today a wonderful promoting Congress of Peace Gift. 

    “IFLAC: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace”, is based on the Word, words and bridges of peace, through our writings, our peace poetry and actions, and our supreme conviction that a safer and better world beyond war, a world of peace and safety is indeed possible. The great scientist, Albert Einstein said:”Imagination is more important than knowledge!”  We at IFLAC, prove that he is right by providing the imaginative plan for the creation of a peaceful global village,  through our words and through our poetry and writings, on which this peaceful and better Global Village can be built. 

    This unique Congress will  prove too that poetry is one of the best tools for spreading the message of peace among people and nations. Poetry can penetrate deep into the heart of human beings, on both sides of a Conflict, and to soften and erase the wounds and misunderstandings between enemies that have piled up during the years of hatred,  war and destruction.  The intimate and probing tool of IFLAC poetry divulges the essence of the human system in general, this we see in poems that penetrate the long and deep roots of cultural civilization.

    I would like to dedicate my Poem:  A NEW YEAR OF  PEACE  CREATED IN CHIMBOTE, to Dr. Victor and this wonderful Congress: ( Dear Maria,  I suggest you read the poem in Spanish first, and then I read it in English).

       IFLAC MAGICAL WORLD PEACE CONGRESS IN CHILE, CHIMBOTE (2021)

    We embrace you smiling, Congress of Peace,

    In Chimbote, in Chile,

    In which you are creating a Global Peace Village

    Where not one gun is fired,

    Not one tank or one bomb remains.

    You strengthen democracy and spread

    The power of people for peace.

    Global poverty has already been cut in half

    However, in the Global Peace Village

    You will banish war and poverty altogether.

    Never before have ordinary people

    Had more power to solve conflicts

    And to decide their own fate.


    We’re poised on the edge between

    Our oldest fears and deepest dreams

    We face a choice – and we rise

    To the message of this hopeful Congress

    And throw the War monster out of our lives.

    We IFLAC peace marchers are bringing hope

     And hope is the war- game changer.

    Hope, is the wing on which we rise

    And the Congress is the map

     Of how and where to fly.

    We fly straight to the peace lovers of our world

    Who are the largest global community,

    They will embrace the message of

    This wonderful Chimbote Iflac Congress

    And will magically end the game of war and terror.

    We salute you and adopt you as our cherished treasure

    Great Chile IFLAC Congress in Chimbote.

    Prof. Ada Aharoni, IFLAC World President

                             


    IFLAC 7th World Congress and First One in Latin America – in Chimbote, Peru

    THE LIGHT OF PEACE SHINES IN CHIMBOTE

    La Luz de la Paz Brilla in Chimbote

    Dedicated to the IFLAC World Congress in Peru (2021)

     

    We embrace you hopeful Congress of Peace,

    In Chimbote, Peru,

    In which you are creating a Global Peace Village

    Where not one gun is fired,

    Not one tank or one bomb will explode,

    And every child in the world will be well fed

    And well educated,

    For the Light of Peace shines in Chimbote

    La Luz de la Paz Brilla in Chimbote

     

    In IFLAC Chimbote Congress, you strengthen democracy

    And spread Peace Culture to

    All Latin America and to the whole world.

    We rise in this hopeful Chimbote Congress

    And throw the War and the Corona monsters

    Out of our lives and out of our Planet forever.

    For the Light of Peace shines in Chimbote.

    La Luz de la Paz Brilla in Chimbote

     

    The Chimbote Peace message flies straight

     To all the peace lovers of our world

    Who are the largest global community,

    They embrace the message of

    This wonderful Chimbote IFLAC Congress

    And it  will end war and terror in the whole world.

    We salute you as our cherished treasure

    Great IFLAC World Congress in Peru

    For the Light of Peace shines in Chimbote.

    La Luz de la Paz Brilla in Chimbote

    Prof. Ada Aharoni, IFLAC World President

     

    Prof. Ada Aharoni read the poem above at the Opening of the great IFLAC WORLD PEACE Chimbote, Peru Congress, and at the Closure after 5 wonderful days, she read the following: VICTOR’S VICTORY:

    Poem Dedicated to wonderful Dr. Victor Unyen Velezmoro, on the Closure of

    the Great IFLAC WORLD PEACE CONGRESS in Chimbote, Peru

    VICTOR’S  VICTORY

    You wise Victor fully understood the values of IFLAC

    And you wisely opened all its lights and secrets

    In the amazing World Congress, in Chimbote.

    You deeply realized that

    Guns can kill soldiers

    But only WORDS can kill War!

    That guns can kill Terrorists

    But only Words can kill Terror!

    That Guns can kill criminals

    But only words can kill crime!

    The light of Peace shining from

    Your mighty Congress in Chimbote is your victory, it

    Will wipe away with strong wings

    War, Terror and Crime from our Planet –

    And create a safe and peaceful Global Village

    Full of joy, peace, creativity and love.

    With admiration and deep friendship, IFLAC Pres. Ada Aharoni


    My Remarkable Experience at IFLAC

    Nicole Wyszynski

    Goodbye Nicole, thanks for all you did for IFLAC and humanity and have a great life!

    As an intern for IFLAC: the International Forum For the Literature and Culture of Peace, I was amazed that literature can have such an influence on peace education, peace building and on combating terror. Like in IFLAC’s logo, I learned that the pen is stronger than the sword because it can kill the ideology of terrorists itself which is also made from words.

    One of my revealing experiences was being introduced to the history of Jews living in Arabic nations for centuries and then experiencing a tragic banishment and uprooting following the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. The world is very familiar with the Palestinian refugee problem, yet it is unaware of the Jewish refugee problem after expulsion from Arab countries where they lived for centuries. Approximately a million Jews were uprooted from Arab countries, while approximately 650,000 Palestinians fled from Israel under the advice of the Mufti of Jerusalem. The difference between the two cases is that those expelled from Arab lands had a State to go to if they wanted, while those who left in fear from Palestine have yet to establish a Palestinian State of their own.

    I found this particularly interesting because I am not Israeli nor Palestinian, so I did not have a biased position on the topic before. Through my internship at IFLAC, I learned a tremendous amount of history and the culture of the Middle East that I was not previously exposed to. The exposure to the sufferings and grievances of both Israelis and Palestinians have opened my eyes to the conflict in a way I did not look at it before. I learned that you really cannot understand the complexity of a conflict simply from the media. Communicating respectfully with Professor Ada Aharoni, lecturers and students has allowed me to understand the tough, yet similar challenges people must overcome all across the globe.

    I read and wrote reviews the IFLAC Anti-Terror and Peace Anthology and IFLAC Anti-War and Peace Anthology edited by Prof. Ada Aharoni and Dr. Vijay Kumar Roy, written by peace researchers, poets, authors and artists. My education through literature has introduced me to new concepts and theories of peace education. I now understand more deeply the absurdity of war and terror. It is barbaric to first kill one another and reach a peace treaty after. The peace treaty should come first, rather than kill our children, and husbands. War and terrorism are costly and destructive. We need to abolish the idea that war and terrorism serves as a mechanism to somehow resolve conflicts and fix problems in the world.

    I loved starting each day of work with cake and coffee discussing Middle Eastern Politics with Ada. It was the greatest pleasure to learn intimate details of Ada’s life such as her time in the IDF, her time in the Nahshonim Kibbutz and growing up in Cairo. Working for Ada Aharoni has taught me to think better when I communicate or try to express myself. Using twitter and creating and managing IFLAC’s new Facebook community page reinforced how easy it is for my generation to spread ideas of peace. My most important collaborative project with Ada has been drafting the first Israeli Women’s Charter, that calls for all women to vote for women and pass a law: One Man One Woman in every key position in the country like in Scandinavia and in France. It was a special project as it is the first ever Israeli Women’s Charter, and I hope it will be spread by media to influence society to accept women as equal and to give them equal representation. Women usually resolve conflict more peacefully than men, and with more women in power the political climate could be very different and positive. I am grateful that my work at IFLAC was shared on the IFLAC website and with many people. I have enjoyed being an intern at this unique NGO, and I am proud to be a member of IFLAC.

    Nicole Wyszynski


    A Review of Ada Aharoni’s From the Nile to the Jordan by Nicole Wyszynski

     

    COVER - FROM THE NILE TO THE JORDAN - BESTSELLER.JPG

    I fully enjoyed reading the book From the Nile to the Jordan which tells the tale of Inbar Etty who grew up as a Jewish girl in Egypt during the mid-twentieth century. Inbar is intellectually curious and thoughtful, delivering fascinating research results on Jewish history in Egypt. The book presents themes of romantic love and tragedy. I learned so much about the Second Exodus, which seems to be forgotten in history.  I really enjoyed the end of the book when Inbar traveled to host a class on conflict resolution. It was fascinating to hear the perspectives of Palestinian students and the narrative they have accepted on the Arab-Israeli conflict, as most of the world has. The book is presented in such a great way in that it is incredibly factual, yet told as a story, making it so hard to put the book down. This book should be widely read in schools just like Shakespeare’s plays and Edgar Allan Poe’s novels are. It is imperative that people learn the facts and statistics of this Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was saddened to learn that I reached the end of the book! I truly wish this piece was longer. A fascinating read.


    Review of Ada Aharoni’s The Woman in White: An Extraordinary Life By Nicole Wyszynski

    WOMAN IN WHITE-COVER

    Ada Aharoni’s The Woman in White: An Extraordinary Life discusses the life of a extraordinary individual who pursues nursing. The book exposes pre- World War II beliefs of what a normal Jewish girls’ life should look like.  Expectations of Jewish women were to learn embroidery, how to cook and clean, and to marry a good Jewish man. Thea Woolf denounced this societal expectation. For her, her biggest fear was to live her life in vain, hence the title of the book.  Thea takes on the assignment as the head nurse and surgical nurse to a newly opened Jewish Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt.

    The book reveals the collaboration between Jews and Arabs to save Jews from the Holocaust.  As the Second World War began, an influx of refugees began to move to Cairo to escape Nazi Germany and anti-Semitism in Europe. The hospital, together with Egyptians, police and port authorities extended help to relocate many Jews to Palestine. Some refugees were hidden for months in Egypt, while the secret police hunted for them. Allied soldiers and victims of tragic bombings committed by the German and Italian air force were treated at the hospital. When the Nazi General Rommel was in El Alamein, at the door of Alexandria, Thea invented the first Blood Bank, and she saved many wounded soldiers of the Allied forces under General Montgomery.

    Numerous narratives relative moving stories of Jewish fugitives from Nazi Europe, who used Egypt as a stop point on their destination to Palestine, and they were warmly fed and healed to health by staff of the Jewish hospital.

    The near penetration of Nazi forces into Alexandria  in 1942 caused numerous Jewish refugees and patients to flee to Asmara, Bethlehem, Ethiopia and Sudan with only a small suitcase in hand. Thea was able to remain in Egypt to continue her service at the hospital, and to Jews on their journey to Palestine. When she found out the terrible tragedy that all her family, 72 people, were murdered by Nazis, she felt her place was in Israel. Thea left for Israel in February 1947 and two months later began to work at the Government Schweitzer Hospital in Tiberias. Thea married Dr. Julius Levinsohn, a German-Jewish lawyer, who helped her to overcome her terrible tragedy, and she adopted a boy named Michael whose parents were killed during a raid in Yugoslavia.

    Thea’s story reveals that no matter how difficult circumstances can be, people can still heal and is able to rebuild their lives after destruction, disaster and loss. She is a courageous and inspirational heroine who risked so much to save others knowing what the consequences could be. Thea is a courageous model for all times, independent, wise and full of creative energy. This book is important because it shows what a difference one person can make through sharing love and kindness. One the other hand, the book shows the damage to humanity and society one evil individual, like Hitler, can commit through hatred. This is a captivating biography and historical book with a strong anti-war theme, which brings a new aspect of The Second World War, as it appeared in Egypt. Another important aspect is that we never knew that the Muslim Egyptians helped the Jewish community in Egypt to save Jews from the Holocaust. This lifesaving collaboration between Jews and Arabs, should be a model for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians today.


    Children’s Peace Poetry by Ada Aharoni and Jeremy Seligson Reviewed by Nicole Wyszynski

    Children's peace poetry

    This amazing and moving Children’s Peace Poetry book offers poems and drawings from children of 27 nations from around the world offering their desire to contribute to world peace. Though they are very young, their work astonishingly demonstrates their acknowledgement of the problems in their society, and that they share similar issues with others that live thousands of miles from them. Their artwork is important because their drawings are usually hopeful, positive and optimistic. They are colorful works with figures that portray love and diversity. But we also have poems and drawings that are very sad. The children through their poems and art also show the horror that they face because of war and violence. The drawings are darker and feature blood and x’s drawn over where a person’s eyes should be. The idea of peace is for some something beautiful and happy, while for others it is a nonexistent longing in their lives. These young poets and artists have contributed to an important peace project that should be taught and assigned in schools and colleges.

    The contents of the book include drawings and poems from six diverse regions (five continents) 1) Africa: Algeria, Cameroon, Congo, Senegal, Togo. 2) Asia: South Korea, Thailand. 3) Europe: Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Holland 4). Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey 5). North America: USA 6)Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru.

    9-year-old Cressence Nfegue of Cameron pleads for war to go away because “peace is the most important thing.” Without peace, he warns that children will be hungry and cannot go to school. A young teenager from Nigeria shared a poem on the rights of children to study in school and live in their nations peacefully. Lyna Meziane (15 years old) is unable to go to school because it costs money that her parents do not have. Lyna shares…

    The rights of the child are numerous,

    Each one has rights.

    It’s not important where he or she is ;

    Children have the right

    To be nourished, housed,

    And to live in their own

    Country peacefully.

    All children ought to go to school

    And express themselves

    With their own words

    A child must learn to read and write

    And have hobbies he or she loves.

    A boy from Congo, 10-year-old Benedicte Iteso, shares the same pain of Lyna from Nigeria. He questions where in the world can a child wake up and go to school without being chased out of class due to the parents being unable to afford the child’s education. Benedicte expresses how sad he comes home because in his country, children cannot go to school every day. He pleads “Here in Kinshasa, one cannot learn. Is there a country where school is not expensive? We don’t know what to do. Please help my country.” As a child, I was also told to never to complain about going to school, because someone in this world there is a child who would do anything to be able to go to school.

    One child shares her mother’s experience in war. 9-year-old Lena from Serbia shares:

    “War is stupid! Corpses lie on the ground, Children are murdered, Parents, too.

    I know about war; My mother told me. How it was for her. Basically terrible; Bombs fall from the sky, houses are destroyed. Peace is great! In Germany there is peace. When we go to the playground, we don’t feel scared. We can afford food and drink. That’s my story, I look forward to hearing yours.”

    One boy share’s the loss of his father. Adam, from Haifa Israel he reminisces:

    “I was four years old when my father left for the war. I remember like in a dream; He was tall and strong and had a sweet smile. I miss him; I want him to come back home, but he won’t because he was killed in the war, although he was so strong! I hate the war; I miss my father like I miss water when I am very thirsty.”

    Amir (12 years old) from the Israeli-Gaza border writes about the loss of his baby brother:

    “My three-year-old brother Amir was such a cute little boy with curly blonde hair that glistened in the sun. Deep blue eyes like the sea on a calm day and a gleeful laugh as bells in the sun when I used to swing him up high in our lovely garden.”

    But Amir will not laugh again in the sun. He was hit in his back by a deadly rocket shot from the Terror Gaza Border when he was playing with our dog in the garden. My baby brother Amir was ruthlessly killed. And my life has lost its sun.”

    Another teen from Senegal, 14-year-old Alassane Ndiay writes a poem titled “Appeal to African Presidents.” He addresses many societal issues in his letter :

    “Someone with no clothes will not go naked to school. Whoever is sick cannot study. The hungry have to be fed, dressed and healed. Whoever lacks the basics cannot work. Capitalism in the 21st century is inhuman; The rich are egoistical;  They forget the impoverished. Money becomes a demon that destroys life”

    Amanda, 9 years old from Serbia/Germany shares her anger against war, even though now she is safe in Germany:

    “Here in Germany there is no war. I know I need not fear here; I am safe.

    Why is there war? To destroy things, or perhaps others want our food and drink, our money. Why isn’t there peace all over?

    Marco More (15 years old) from Peru gives an explanation for violence:

    Violence is due to the darkness in the hearts of some human beings. In such situations it is important to use our education to oust violence. Also, it is important to show the love that our parents have taught us since we were very small, Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Not only is the writing by these young authors and poets beautiful, but also their drawings. An eleven-year-old, Young-ja of South Korea drew three women. One is Asian, one is White, and one is Black. They are holding hands, and red lovely hearts are drawn around them. They are standing on fresh green grass with colorful flowers all around them. The drawing shares a hope that all races and cultures can be friends and live with support and love for one another.

    A painting by a 7-year-old girl named Joyce from the US expresses great diversity. There are five people drawn, men and women, with different haircuts and colors, different colored skins, and different colored clothing. There are linked arm by arm with smiles on their face. For Joyce, peace is bringing all together, regardless of race, sex, looks, etc.

    Ji-Min, an 11-year-old from South Korea draws the two flags of North and South Korea with a plus sign between them. Underneath she has the words” Don’t separate! I love unification.” The “love” is drawn as a heart instead of the word. The background of the drawing is pink with red hearts all around. She also has drawings of weapons, explosives, angry soldiers, and a map of North and South Korea  drawn in bubbles that have a solid line going through them. She implies, no more to this war, division and hostility between the two nations. Another drawing from South Korea, by 12-year-old Do Youn also expresses a wish for the two Koreas to be united. The two nations’ maps are drawn by pink flowers surrounding them.

    While some of the drawings are very colorful with sunshines, rainbows, flowers and waterfalls, some drawings are quite painful to see. 11-year-old of South Korea, Kang-Been draws an image of an injured person in the middle of a field. There are splatters of blood coming from his stomach the entire floor around him is red. Far in the distance there is a small patch of green grass with the sun shining above it. Around the presumably diseased person, there is a nuclear bomb drawn, weapons, and swords. When you look closely at the picture, you can see there is a one big red X drawn across all the weapons. The drawing suggests the boy’s opposition to guns and violence and the tragedy it brings to human beings. The drawing makes you question how was this person killed? If he took a different turn a few seconds before, could he have survived the horrible attack that killed him? War is so deadly and destructive, and it has the ability to end a life in the matter of seconds!

    A drawing by 11-year-old Do Yun of South Korea titled “Face of War with A Mouth Full of Blood” shows a boy symbolizing WAR, with black teeth and a bloody mouth. No body, just the  face of WAR. The picture is tantalizing and amazingly powerful!

    Grownups sometimes do not think of children’s right to play, right to the freedom of expression, the right to education. Society usually focuses on issues of the adult, while the children’s interests come second. War causes the cessation of children to live in love and peace, and often not to live at all. The works of these children reveals how wise they are in recognizing the horror  of warfare. The revelations about their hope to live in unity and peace and the encouragement for us to love and respect one another, should be contemplated on a greater scale by governments, parents, educators, and peace researchers. This wonderful book should be in every home, library, school and college, it is highly recommended.

    Nicole Wyszynski