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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    Ada Aharoni on Middle East, Peace and Writing

    Text: Solveig Hansen

    A Palestinian and an Israeli State side by side could trigger a domino effect of peace in the region and the world. The 1967 borders would give the Palestinians enough land to create a flourishing State of Palestine, and everybody would help them, including Israel. There were more Jews thrown out of Arab countries than Palestinians who fled Israel when the State of Israel was established. Extremist opinions and actions are major hurdles for the development of a real democracy in Egypt.

    These were some of Prof. Aharoni’s answers to the questions from the Reddit community during her Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. She also told the readers that she tries to write 8 hours a day. “8 hours,” a reader commented, “for those who think writing comes easy…”

    Ada Aharoni

    Ada Aharoni answering questions at Reddit

    What do you see as a solution(s) to the Israel-Palestine conflict? How long do you think this would take/occur?
    A solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, in my opinion, would be a two-state solution: A State of Palestine and the State of Israel living in peace side by side, and flourishing together. IFLAC calls upon the leaders from both sides to compromise, with consideration of each others’ interests. This conflict has been raging for too long, with thousands of people who have been killed. A Palestinian State and Israeli State living side by side in peace and harmony could emerge into a domino effect of peace throughout the Middle East and the world. As to how long it would take? We at IFLAC hope that it will be like Secretary of State Kerry’s 9 month peace talks plan.

    In your personal opinion, what specifically are some of the biggest hurdles that Egypt and the Middle East in general need to overcome to achieve Democracy?
    Some of the major hurdles are fanaticism and the massive protests by the “Muslim Brotherhood” that do not believe in democracy. Extremist opinions and actions are dangerous hurdles that hinder the development of a real democracy in Egypt. However, we hope that the new young and democratic forces that yearn for progress and democracy in Egypt, helped by the Egyptian army, will soon be successful to overcome all the bigotry, and hatred hurdles on their way. I wish them lots of success, they deserve it!

    What do you think of the United States of America trying to democratize Middle Eastern countries? Is it a positive or negative thing?
    I think it is a very positive thing to encourage democracy in the Middle East. However, the United States seems not to know enough about the Middle East and should be very careful not to impose Western methods and thinking on Eastern countries. For instance, in the case of Egypt in the current crisis, at some point the US called on a collaboration between the “Muslim Brotherhood” party of ex president Moursi, and the democratic forces led by the Egyptian army, and this of course would not work, as the Egyptian people are trying to get rid of the influence of the “Muslim Brotherhood” that are against progress. This time, the US should let the Egyptian people do it their way in the paving of a real democracy, and the creation of a better life for the Egyptian people.

    What are the similarities and differences between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi (Yiddish) literature? And, is Judeo-Arabic considered a living language?
    There are several Judeo-Arabic dialects, like for instance the Moroccan one. Some of them are studied at certain universities in Israel, but there is almost no literature written in these dialects today.

    There are indeed differences in the Sephardi and Ashkenazi literature. A great deal of the Ashkenazi Literature is based on the greatest tragedy that befell the Jewish people, THE NAZI SHOA. The Sephardi Literature deals a great deal with the tragedy of the uprooting of the Jews from the Arab Countries during the mid twentieth century, where they had lived for more than 2000 years. There were close to a million Jews in the Arab Countries in 1948. After the State of Israel was established they were ousted and escaped with only their shirts on their backs. This story is not well known and many of the Sephardi writers (like me), feel that it is our duty to tell it, through our experience and our research.

    Could you describe your writing process?
    I try to write at least 8 hours a day. I start my day with swimming in the pool then I write for 4 hours until lunch, another hour before going to sleep for an hour, then in the evening, after my other activities, I try to work for another 3 hours. One of my favorite authors is Saul Bellow, and I wrote my Ph.D. on “Saul Bellow’s Introspective Voice” before he got the Nobel Prize for literature. My main theme throughout my work is PEACE and a world beyond war.

    See all the questions and answers at Reddit


    One Comment on “Ada Aharoni on Middle East, Peace and Writing”

    1. Great interview … it is true that most people do not know of the exodus of Jews from the former Ottoman Empire. Even fewer know the role Britain and France played add to this the role of Russia in the area. Foreign wars have been and are still fought in that part of the world. Imported to the area are prejudices and misconceptions such as the infamous Zionist Protocol that was part of Russian culture. France and England divided up the area like England did in India and two states that are Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh. France divided up Lebanon made it Christian. Israel was divided surrounded by Gaza and Palestine. This has caused anger, anguish and division between people who lived side by side for over 2000 years.

      One of the things I am thankful for is that I have met, listened to, talked with people of various backgrounds and religious beliefs. They my friends who are Jewish, Christian and Muslim told me religion was not the problem politics .and the politicization of religion causes extremism, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, that hurts not only Christians and the few Jews left in Egypt but also Muslims but mostly Muslim women.

      I am very thankful for Dr. Ada Aharoni as I have read all her books, and have enjoyed her concept of peace and her building of bridges between people by extending a hand of friendship and a kind word. Her philosophy is telling the truth by telling our individual truth out of these truth comes a more universal truth, as each group be it ethnic, religious or non-religious will say out loud we want peace. I have not met one women that wanted to send her son or daughter to war she did not want her child to die nor the child of another woman.


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