My name is Toni Matthias Mey. I hold a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Philipps University of Marburg, Germany. Since October I am studying in the Masters’ program “Peace Studies and International Politics” at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. During my stay in Haifa I will be visiting classes of the Master’s program Peace and Conflict Management Studies. Taking into consideration what I have done so far, an internship at IFLAC, is the right thing to enlarge my field of vision and to complement the experience at the campus.
I embrace the chance to work as IFLAC assistant to learn how peace culture can be promoted and to search paths to reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. While in our daily lives violence is dominating the news, is present in movies and even in music, IFLAC strengthens the culture of peace and nonviolent conflict resolution. Peace culture and peace educations means for me, to make opposing parties lift the mask of the enemy, to see the human face behind it. As an assistant at the IFLAC, I am looking forward to come down from the hill of Haifa University and take a closer look at Haifa, where Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druse and nonreligious people, live together. Working close to the founder of IFLAC Prof. Ada Aharoni is a great opportunity to benefit of her life experience and from her inspiring will to create peace.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be assistant at the IFLAC and hope to contribute with critical thinking and constructive work.
CHILDREN’S PEACE POETRY AND STORIES COMPETITION
INVITATION TO CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
Children of the world, from 6 to 18, are invited to write and submit up to 4 Poems, up to 30 lines long, or/and up to a 4-page story, on any aspect of Peace: World Peace, Peace between countries, or Peace in your own Life. You are also invited to send your Peace drawings and paintings. Please send your poems and stories in your own language and in English. The best poems and stories will be published in the book “Children’s Peace Poetry Festival”, that will be widely published on our websites, on Amazon and other places, throughout our Global Village. This beautiful book will show the power of children to bring about Peace in our world in our own time. Please sign the poems and stories with your first and family name, write your age, and the name of your country.
*To: Teachers, Directors and Parents: Please organize and inspire your children with the love of peace. Please encourage to create peace works and sending them to the CHILDREN’S PEACE POETRY AND STORIES FESTIVAL, as soon as possible, according to the Instructions above.
The submitted poems and stories should be sent to the Editors before November 30, 2018. The book will be published in January 2019.
Three Peace organizations are organizing this exciting and important Children’s Peace Book:
- IFLAC: International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace – Ada Aharoni, Haifa, Israel
- UNILETRAS: Joseph Berolo, Bogota, Colombia
- PEACE TRAIN: Jeremy Seligson, Seoul, South Korea
Please send poems and stories in English by Email to the Editors:
And poems and stories in Spanish and Portuguese to Editor:
- Joseph Berolo: Naciones Unidas de las Letras firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Children, we are looking forward to receiving your poems, stories, drawings and paintings soon.
For the creation of a better, more joyful and safer world!
Thanks for your participation,
Best Peace Greetings,
The Editors: Ada, Jeremy, Joseph
IN 3 LANGUAGES: English, French and Spanish
CHILDREN ARE STARS OF PEACE
Dear Children, you were born with loving hearts
And in them star-seeds of peace
You are the future, you are life,
You do not want to die in wars
Like some of your fathers and mothers
Smart children, armed
With smart-phones and computers
You will shoot your peace messages
All over the Middle East
All over our global village
Your rapid fingers will bring us
What we failed to bring you –
A world where not one gun is fired
A world where each child
Is a twinkling star of Peace
Well-fed and smiling at life.
LES ENFANTS SONT DES ÉTOILES DE PAIX
Chers enfants, vous êtes nés avec des cœurs aimants
Et en eux des graines de paix.
Vous êtes l’avenir, vous êtes la vie
Vous ne voulez pas mourir dans les guerres
Comme certains de vos pères et de vos mères
Enfants brillants, vous enverrez vos étoiles de paix
Par vos smartphones et ordinateurs
Partout au Moyen-Orient
Et dans tout notre village mondial.
Vos doigts rapides nous apporteront
Ce que nous n’avons pas pu vous apporter –
Un monde où aucune arme n’est tirée
Pour tuer des pères, des mères et des enfants –
Un monde où chaque enfant est une étoile de paix
Bien nourri et souriant à la vie !
IFLAC CALLS ON PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI LEADERS TO REACH A PEACE TREATY TOO!
Diplomacy has won and has proved that this is the way to resolve conflicts and not aggression, war, terror and violence!
Not only did the Singapore meeting of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un result in a pledge of “no more war,” butPresident Trump even called the former U.S. – South Korea war games “provocative and counterproductive.”
In advance of the summit, the Trump administration said that an agreement with North Korea will be in theform of a Treaty, that can finally end a 70-year long conflict!
This is not about Trump or party politics. This is about the hopes and dreams of 75 million people on the Korean peninsula, as well as the best interests of the American people, and all our Global Village.
Having begun his presidency with threats of using the nuclear button, the success of Trump’s meeting with Kim is all the more extraordinary. Now it is up to the Senate to do their part by supporting the treaty.
IFLAC CALLS ON ALL GOVERNMENTS TO INFLUENCE HAMAS TO RECOGNIZE ISRAEL, and to support an agreement between Israel ad the Palestinians that would satisfy both sides.
History is being made, and we are hopeful and proud to be part of this moment.
Toward a new era of peace, in the Middle East too!
THE IFLAC COMMITTEE
by Sarah Salazar
My Internship as an IFLAC Assistant
A MOST FRUITFUL EXPERIENCE
My internship with The International Forum of the Literature and Culture for Peace (IFLAC) this semester has done so much more for me than what I initially set out to do and gain. I anticipated how my duties would help connect me with my career goal in diplomacy in the future. In the end, my duties also enabled me to use my writing and computer skills to practice promotional work for the organization. For the first time ever, I assumed the position of Sub-Editor for the 2018 IFLAC Anti-War and Peace Anthology. Being under the supervision of the Editor in Chief and the Editor for the Anthology was a challenge which allowed me to learn more concerning the editing and publication process which will help me with my own writing in the future. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be part of the Editorial Committee of such a prestigious and important book and I am proud to see my name included in the IFLAC Anthology, now published on Amazon as both a paperback and Kindle.
My internship with IFLAC has taught me to express opinions diplomatically and promoting peace and while I have begun to cultivate these skills through social networks like Twitter, and as the IFLAC Assistant, these experiences have most importantly given me real hope in IFLAC’s message: a global education of the literature and culture of peace. IFLAC has shown me how it is possible to create change, even when the interest only begins through one person who is willing to foster peace and create positive changes in their local and global community.
Even though my desire has always been to enact positive change around the world, I couldn’t help feeling a bit helpless and on occasion, that I was being naively optimistic whenever I talked to others of my goals. Sometimes I struggled with doubts in my own capabilities and thought I was just not the right person for the job.
Nevertheless, I have learned otherwise under the direct supervision of Professor Ada Aharoni, also the founder and President of IFLAC, through her own inspirational example of creating this effective international organization. Learning of IFLAC’s successful efforts in communities abroad from Colombia to even a few timid participants in the Gaza strip, impressed upon me the message that with my own determination, I too can make an impact in my local community of San Diego and globally one day as a diplomat. The internship readings and reviews I have made throughout this time, such as Author Ada Aharoni’s intricate works, From The Nile to the Jordan, The Woman in White [both published on Amazon] and the impactful peace poem collection, Horizon of Hope, have been filled with the message and hope for peace which I certainly believe can make a difference now.
The American inventor and politician, Benjamin Franklin was asked once concerning the government his colleagues and he had given the people. His response was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” This famous quote of Franklin’s is the way I understand the message of Peace to be. Organizations like IFLAC give us the tools to bring PEACE into this world, however, it is up to us, the global citizens of this world to keep the Peace, to promote it, to push the message forward until it is sung from every mountain top, until it is read to every child upon their mothers’ laps, until it fills our dreams at night, until we eat Peace and taste its’ sweetness in our mouths and inhale it through our nostrils.
Working very close to Prof. Ada has given me the opportunity to learn more about her personal life and the wonderful person she is. I found her personal story fascinating! Learning how she grew up in Egypt as a young Jewish woman and about the “Second Exodus of the Jews from Egypt” beginning in 1948 after the establishment of the state of Israel which she experienced is a chapter of history which has shocked me. Growing up, the American school system only taught me about the Holocaust, but never had I learned about the atrocities committed to the Jewish people living in the Middle East, of their expulsion of their own homes, their forced immigration, and the theft of all their monetary assets as acts of spite and revenge from their Arab neighbors. Today, half the citizens of Israel are made up of Jews from the Arab countries with their progeny and the history of their cruel uprooting being forgotten. This is why it is important to write down the history as Prof. Ada has done to help Palestinians who have the impression that they are the only victims who have suffered from the Arab-Israel conflict. As we know, every war brings destruction and pain to both sides, not just one. When all honest leaders of all countries tell the whole narrative of the Jews’ uprooting and teach of the “Second Exodus” in all universities, this generation will promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis. When the Palestinians will understand that they are not the only victims of this conflict, they will also want to make peace with Israel like Egypt and Jordan.
It sickens me that the world has chosen to overlook this part of history; the education system has buried the memory of it under the grains of desert sands. This knowledge motivates me further to lend my voice and my pen to bring light to the injustices of the world, to seek truth and expose the lies that many are afraid to reveal.
In conclusion, working with IFLAC has renewed my hope in bringing a peaceful future. If we unite our “pens and our smartphones” and make this message loud enough, the world will have to hear. IFLAC has also rekindled the fire in me to make positive changes through my future occupation as a diplomat and shown me how I may lead a purposeful life.
Review of Ada Aharoni’s Book: Not in Vain
Not in Vain: An Extraordinary Life is a wonderful narration of part of the life of Thea Wolf, delicately pieced together by author Ada Aharoni. I was greatly intrigued by the introduction as Aharoni narrates how this book took form. It seems as if fate brought these two amazing women, who have lived a part of their lives in Egypt together in Jerusalem when Ada gave a talk about the uprooting of the Jewish community in Egypt in the mid-20th century.
The industrious Thea, a German Jewish nurse succeeded to save many lives in the Hospital of the Jewish Community in Alexandria, Egypt as well as the lives of destitute refugees from the Nazi Holocaust in Europe! She succeeded to do this with the help not only of the Jewish Community in Egypt, but also with the help of Egyptian Moslem officials, whom she convinced, such as the port officials in Alexandria, the Police, The Passport Authorities, the Prison authorities, and the Train’s officials. This book presents an unknown hidden and important historical gem, showing how Jews and Arabs cooperated in such an important issue of saving lives together in Egypt during the Second World War. This true story continues to speak profoundly to both men and women today.
As I read Thea Wolf’s background story in Hessen, Germany, where she was born, I see that Thea’s parents succeeded to instill in her to value human life above all. If the outcome of these values produce remarkable people like Thea, who desire to help the pain and sickness in the world, imagine a world where people live by this standard, where children are shown to love their neighbors and raised to help the suffering and needy. How many more Theas would our global community then have? It is an exciting and successful example which should encourage us to raise our children better, with the bright and hopeful perspective, that they too will one day bloom as beautifully as Thea with the desire engraved in their hearts “to not live their own life in vain”.
This shows us that NGOs like IFLAC which share similar goals of educating children to be raised in the light of the culture of peace is the right road to have citizens who are dedicated to the goal of peace in our global village.
I have also realized this book’s importance as a model example of peace in the Middle East which is relevant today. Thea’s motto to lead a useful life becomes her attribute which endears her to others, giving her the powerful tool of influence among her community in Alexandria. As the Head Nurse at the Jewish Hospital, the kindness shared by her and her colleagues towards their patients is what earns her the trust, respect, and loyalty of the local Jewish Community. Because of her sincerity and strength of character, Thea lives a purposeful life, and succeeds to save many Jewish Refugees fleeing from the shadows of the Nazi threat. Leaders and citizens from around the world may read and learn from her example how to bring Jews and Arabs together to live once again in symbiotic harmony. The answer is in Thea’s story and example, through mutual respect and understanding of one another’s culture. These are qualities which must be earned.
Lastly, as a story which resonates loudly for both men and women today, Thea shows us how simple dedicated people can change the world, no matter the restrictions of tradition, religion, or culture. In a time where women were not allowed or encouraged to make their own decisions, live away from home, or develop a career, Thea broke all of the above traditions because she had a calling in her heart. Thea’s goal is reflected through the powerful words of Emily Dickinson:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain…
I shall not live in vain.
Because she lives with a purpose, Thea manages to change minds and save lives. In order to succeed, however, it is important that this be a true and continuous aspiration in one’s life. This determination is what keeps Thea going in the middle of war, cultural differences, and other struggles. Mostly, our goals are what help us remain true to ourselves and move us forward during fragile times.
Thea was indeed a woman ahead of her time. Her ingenuity and passion to more efficiently save wounded Allied soldiers under General Montgomery is shown during the battle of El-Alamein against the Nazi General Rommel. Thea said that she was so full of sorrow when the wounded soldiers died in her arms because of the time that it took to determine their blood type in order to save their lives. This devastation is how she was inspired her to create the first blood bank. In a time without modern refrigeration, Thea’s ingenuity was to take blocks of ice in a tub and begin to categorize blood types and storing them in packets inside these cold storage containers fashioned by these tubs. By this method, she was able to more effectively save these wounded soldiers. Her innovative medical advancement, the first Blood Bank, played an imperative role to save these Allied soldiers.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this exciting and authentic historical biography, portraying an exemplary feminist heroine, Thea Wolf. She should be known and widely acknowledged today all over our global village. Her successful efforts of conflict resolution in the Middle East should be taught to children, youngsters, in colleges, and global universities. Her story should be read and her values should be adopted by world leaders in hope that this peace and cooperation among Arab and Jewish neighbors, may once again be obtained.
THIS AWARD WINNING BOOK IS SOLD ON AMAZON KINDLE AND AS A PAPERBACK; YOU CAN ORDER IT AT THE LINK BELOW:
*Ada Aharoni is a cultural sociologist, writer and poet. She is the founder and active President of World IFLAC (The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace). Her work may be found on www.amazon.com including her recent publication of Anti-War and Peace Anthology. For more information on her organization, please visit https://iflac.wordpress.com/.
Women and their role as Peace Bringers in Ada Aharoni’s New Book of Poems Horizon of Peace By Sarah SalazarPosted: 2018/03/24
Women and their role as Peace Bringers in Ada Aharoni’s New Book of Poems
Horizon of Peace
By Sarah Salazar
Ada Aharoni is an Israeli poet, writer, sociologist, and founder of: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC).
In her new book of poetry, “Horizon of Hope” (2018), published by Gvanim, she has created a collection of her work which welcomes the future of a world BEYOND WAR, with zeal and full of hope. This is one of the first bilingual books of poetry in English facing Hebrew, published in Israel, which is advantageous for people who wish to read the verses in its original English language, as well as to reach a larger international community with her convincing message for peace. When this message is brought in two languages and to two cultures it redoubles its impact and effect.
An additional advantage of having the e English in front of the Hebrew is that it allows the Hebrew reader to improve his English, and it allows the English reader to learn and improve his Hebrew. The reason why Prof. Ada Aharoni wrote her poems in English first, is that she was in an English School from the first lass in Cairo Egypt, where she was born, and after she came to Israel she continued her English studies at the Hebrew University and then she travelled to London and received her English Literature M.Phil. at Birkbeck College at the University of London.
Throughout her poems, peace is at the center of her message. Sometimes, this hope for peace is read as a hushed whisper, muffled into silence by oppressive and non-attentive authorities. In her poem “No Talking”, Aharoni describes the pain of losing loved ones on both sides of violence and cries which fall on deaf ears which are shown in the following sections:
The politicians decided –
No talking with the enemy
How can we convince violent leaders
To talk and not to shoot?
And we weep together with all the
Innocent people from both sides,
But still, first and foremost –
Each stanza is separated with a yell of, “NO TALKING!” as if to suppress those who dare oppose the leaders’ greed for violence and bloodshed by planting seeds of hope for peace. “No Talking” reflects leaders’ refusal to have an open dialogue, smothering their people into silence. Aharoni’s book is a journey which follows these hurt people, urges them to rise and demand peace. In “I Want to Kill You, War”, her poem personifies War. It shows great disgust for how it is maintained like a vile mascot that feeds from under the governors’ table:
The governors of the world go on
Feeding your fat belly with fresh
And nuclear arms, with blurring eyes…
Poems are carefully and purposefully placed, creating a narrative which the reader may follow along and see the transformation of war and terror victims as they begin to rise despite their oppressive leaders. Aharoni demonstrates her firm stance against the violence in “You Can’t Bomb Me Again”:
because I don’t allow you to bomb me
nor to choke
nor rape me anymore,
for I have my own strength now
and my own creative
peace business now….
The women of the world have arisen from their “sarcophagus”, where men have buried them, and now they are conscious of their being the majority of citizens in the world and that they have the power of numbers in the political game, and the assuredness that their cause of wanting to be equal in the running of the world is not only their right, but also democratic.
In another poem, entitled: “Year of Hope,” instead of waiting for the right leaders, Aharoni demonstrates her strength, showing the readers the way to peace by telling us to claim it. She says:
We face a choice – to rise to this
moment in time
And be the Peace we want to see –
It all depends on us, for we Peace – Lovers
Are the largest global community!
As the founder of IFLAC, she is a personal example that one can create change with others who are willing to make peace and promote it. In her poems, sometimes the hope for peace becomes like a painful human cry holding out its arms for the unseen world peace as in the powerful poem: “What is Peace for Me?”:
When I look at you our golden children
And feel the next war
Pinching the center of my heart.
There are additional moving cries of the victims of War: “‘We want to live – not die!’”. The book represents not only women’s desire, but also the whole of humanity’s desire to see this world of peace come to pass. It makes us wonder if we shall remain like the Biblical Moses who only looked on from afar from Mount Moriah, seeing the promised land on the horizon, yet never being able to reach it and taste its sweetness. The whole book expresses the opposite, as it clearly impregnates us with this clear and beautiful “Horizon of Hope”!
The narrator in “If a White Horse from Jerusalem” expresses her concern on when Peace shall arrive, and she urges peacemakers to bring it soon:
Perhaps before my hair falls
Before my teeth drop
Before my breath whistles
Before I go. . .
Aharoni shows the reader that War, Terror and Violence bring only destruction, and no benefit to one or the other. It creates a vicious cycle that makes victims of us all. In “Killing Us Softly” she warns where these present conflicts will lead us. War and Violence have nowhere else to lead us but to that place where no one is left standing, we teach our children:
“Stop fighting, you will hurt each Other,”
Then we calmly proceed
to annihilate one another.
We breed black widows
With red eyes in our labs!
Aharoni is true to herself and her dream for women and their role for peace, capturing the bravery of women, of mothers who stand united to fight for the better future of their children.
One of the effective sections in the book is titled “WOMEN’S VISION,” in which women are prized for their natural intuition of love and kindness.
Peace is like a second nature to women, as shown in “Siniora: My New Friend in Gaza”, when Ada visited Gaza, with a group of members of IFLAC, before the first Intifada. It insinuates the possibility and ease in which women from conflicting lands can bring reconciliation and healing together through bridges of communication, understanding and friendship. In a world of paternalism, men have held power so long, but have failed in the bringing peace. After having created close feelings with her new Palestinian friend Siniora, at the Palestinian Museum in Khan Yunis, her poem calls on men to learn from the example of women:
Men! Learn from women for a change
Let women help you make peace,
With women it is as natural, as easy as that.
Ada strongly believes that women are the future bringers of peace in this changing world. In a “Bridge of Peace”, an Israeli woman calls out:
“My Arab sister,
Let us build a sturdy bridge
From your olive world to mine” ….
Through all her powerful, true, and deeply moving poem, the whole book “Horizon of Hope,” speaks to us profoundly and effectively, to you and me, the readers. It gives us the profound vision and hope, as well as example, as Ada writes, to” build a sturdy bridge of Jasmine understanding”.
Ada continues to show us through her profoundly powerful poem: “Peace Is A Woman and A Mother”, that women’s natural inclination for nurture and intuition in abating conflict in the home between every member, makes her the expert and logical choice for the next generation of Peace Bringers. For women have arisen and are now ready to give birth to Peace:
Peace is indeed a pregnant woman,
Peace is a mother.
The wonderfully hopeful message we get from this beautiful book is that it is up to us all women and men, youth and children, to create the next chapter of equal responsibility for our planet and for humanity, to gain ground and grow closer to that horizon of hope for peace, until we behold it face to face, and hold powerfully it in our own hands.
Reading this powerful and lyrical bilingual book has been a wonderful and enriching experience for me, as Ada Aharoni has excelled in putting into words images and feelings that so many people cry out for in their hearts, but do not know how to express. As a Hebrew language student, this is a brilliant opportunity for me to practice and enrich my Hebrew, while retaining their impressive and profound original English, right beside the beautiful Hebrew.
My name is Sarah Salazar and I am in my second semester studying abroad at the University of Haifa. For me, home is San Diego, California in the USA. I am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Arts in English and International Studies at San Diego State University. Through the University of Haifa’s International School, I am now taking courses through the Peace and Conflict track as well as learning Arabic and Hebrew.
After learning about Israel throughout my childhood at home, I was curious to see this country for myself. My parents raised me to love this land and its people. As I entered college, I listened to discussions on campus. I realized that the naive and negative perspective concerning Jews and Israel did not help foster fair academic and political discussions at my university. It was then that I began to take every opportunity to promote Israel in a positive manner. I was a lone activist at first. It was difficult to find support or interest in such an unpopular topic in my school. Through different channels, I discovered Hillel on my campus and other organizations such as Christians United for Israel to to join. Their guidance and support have taught me how to confront aggression from opposing parties and have encouraged me to pursue diplomacy and to study abroad in Israel.
My goal while studying in Israel and for this internship is to be able to learn up close about the conflicts existing between Israel and its neighbors. While I began with great motivation for the possibility of peace between Israel and its neighbors upon my arrival last year, the conflict, as I knew it, seemed to become greater than I had understood it to be while living here that even I became discouraged. I began to entertain private doubts on its resolution. However, upon after meeting with IFLAC’s Founder, Professor Ada Aharoni, my faith in peace for this region has been restored through the organizations’ methods: communication, understanding and bridges of literature. As a student, writer, and aspiring diplomat, I hope to use IFLAC’s model of using positive communication to help create a narrative that can engage an uninformed society in creating reform. I have chosen to look forward, dream for a better tomorrow, and ensure my participation in bringing peace, anti-war, and anti-terror by the use of diplomatic words, communication and understanding.
Why I chose IFLAC?
I changed my career goal from teaching to diplomacy near my last year as an undergraduate. I have had little academic experience in politics and foreign relations to prepare me for International Relations, but I am open to learn as much as possible.
I chose to intern with IFLAC because of my interest in diplomacy, Israel, and the Middle East. It is a privilege to work with IFLAC as my mentor as I take the initiative to prepare myself for my future career. In order to become an effective diplomat, it is necessary to experience the culture, language, and the people firsthand to make informed decisions that will lead to peace in the region.
Through my appreciation for and knowledge of literature, I know that IFLAC will teach me a lot about promoting peace. This internship merges my background in English and my professional interest in diplomacy. I want to gain experience in work related to peace promotion with an established organization. With IFLAC, I hope to become a stronger advocate for peace and for Israel through my discourse. I want to further develop my oratory and writing skills through the lens of peace and conflict resolution to apply in the future with a global community. .
Thank you IFLAC for giving me this opportunity to learn by your side on how to take steps for promoting anti-war and peace.