Ada receives President Shimon Peres Award 2012Posted: 2012/09/09
Text: Solveig Hansen
On September 4, Ada proudly received the Israeli President’s Award for Volunteerism, for promoting peace initiatives between Jews and Arabs.
“Ada Aharoni, I am very impressed by all the wonderful work you do for promoting Peace Culture and Peace between Israel and her neighbors,” President Shimon Peres said when he presented her with the Award.
The ceremony took place at the official residence of President Peres in Jerusalem. Ada invited 45 guests to attend the ceremony with her.
Dr. Yosef Gotlieb, Chair of IFLAC Jerusalem, writes:
I was invited to the ceremony by my dear friend, Dr. Ada Aharoni, a writer, poet, scholar and activist who was one of the six leaders and five organizations – eleven in all award winners. Ada was recognized for her outstanding life contributions since the early 1970s on behalf of “peace culture between Arabs and Jews.” I have come to know Ada in the context of the International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC), a group active all over the world and composed of people of letters dedicated to the advancement of peace. Ada, who immigrated alone to Israel from Egypt at the age of seventeen, is a former chair of the World Congress of Egyptian Jews and a tireless fighter for coexistence and understanding.
Despite the afternoon heat, President Peres actively participated in the ceremony. His words conveyed wisdom, experience and benevolence and he was warmly received. He spoke about the vital role volunteerism played in the state-building process. He asserts that it remains a core value of the Israeli national ethos.
One of the President’s most incisive remarks related to the rising role that civil society and volunteer organizations play in public affairs. He believes that government authority is being replaced around the world by civil initiatives and popular will channeled into action.
I believe that the President, who is keenly aware of emerging trends, is right on the mark and this is one of the basic messages I make in Rise, A Novel of Contemporary Israel, where the Rise movement is the instrument of change at a time when the government is unwilling or unable to advance the interests of the country’s citizenry.