In an impressive ceremony, Prof. Ada Aharoni received the prestigious
“Hebrew Writers Association Award”, in recognition of her 34 published
books, and her fruitful activities for the promotion of Hebrew culture, and
the culture of peace. The award was awarded to Prof. Aharoni by the Chairman
of the Writers’ Association, Adv. Zvika Nir, together with Deputy Chairman
Adv. Atzmon Yaniv.
Chairman Zvika Nir, spoke about the great and fruitful literary and cultural
activity by Prof. Aharoni in the Writers’ Association, and outside it, to
promote culture and literature in Israel and around the world.
This is a rare event, because only two writers have received this Award
before in the whole of Israel, and Prof. Ada Aharoni is the first writer to
receive this prestigious Award in Haifa and the North of Israel. This Award
follows many awards and prizes that Aharoni received, including the
“President’s Prize for Peace Culture,” presented to her by the late
President Shimon Peres, and the “City of Haifa Honorary Award,” award to her
by Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.
THE IFLAC IPCTV PROJECT – 2017
A GLOBAL PEACE CULTURE TELEVISION
AND INTERNET CHANNEL
By Prof. Ada Aharoni
Today, we are in a period in history of the greatest danger to humankind through the threat of horrendous TERROR organizations, and to nuclear propagation, which can lead to a nuclear war and consequently, to the destruction of humanity and the whole of our planet.
Nuclear weapons are becoming more available worldwide and can be used by irresponsible governments, led by war-mongers, led by motives of jealousy, greed and folly. There is also the great danger that fanatic terrorist organizations may acquire such deadly weapons! The best way to prevent this is to eliminate the “Culture of Violence, Wars and Terror,” by a powerful and effective “Global Culture of Peace”. It is imperative that Governments, World Institutions, and NGO’s mobilize for cultural, ethical and moral means that can overcome this dangerous crisis.
One of the most effective ways to counterbalance the culture of violence and to eliminate terror and war in our global village, is with the creation of a powerful global Television by Satellite and Internet Peace Channel that would spread an influential culture of peace. In our past wars, we disregarded our common humanity and joined in efforts to kill our “enemy and opponents.” However, killing will not stop killing. Nobel Peace Laureate, Elie Wiesel said: “The enemy is he whose story you have not heard.” Indeed, stories and narratives are the founding bricks of culture. Actions, good or bad, begin in the mind, in the stories we hear, tell and view.
Through the IPCTV: THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE CULTURE TELEVISION, we will explore and tell as objectively as possible, the stories and cultural backgrounds of both sides of a conflict. This knowledge of each other will lead to understanding and respect and would help in eliminating the causes of conflict, war and terror, and would promote reconciliation and peace. The IPCTV will be an effective “Preventive Medicine.” It will function as an antidote to the poison of war and violence and spread instead, peace, undestanding and harmony.
At IFLAC: THE INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR THE LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF PEACE, we strive to eliminate the causes of violence that lead to destruction, misery and poverty. To help spread the culture of peace and prevent the horrific tragedy of war, we founded the IFLAC Digest daily Internet Newsletter for the promotion and the creation of Bridges of Culture, Understanding, and Communication among people and nations.
As children are the future, we have also created a new branch titled: IFLAC Kids. Children have made their own Facebook PEACE page through which they can communicate with children all over the world. They place posts about their thoughts on peace, pictures and peace train drawings which they made themselves, to show their compassion with others. However, to guide children in the paths of Peace Culture is not enough; we will also have programs for parents, teachers and students, on the IPCTV.
Wars have hindered the progress of humankind. The most powerful institutions in our world – such as governments, global corporations, and mass media – should help to create and establish the IPCTV. For no more September 11 to occur, responsible organizations should join together, in the saving of our planet and our democratic culture. This should be a primary subject on their agendas, and not put financial profit first, as they mostly do until now. The resulting tragic carnage have been disastrous, and the IPCTV can change all that.
It is imperative that the governments of the world, and global institutions such as: the UN, UNESCO, and the WORLD BANK, join hands to create together with IFLAC and other Peace NGO’s, this so urgently needed IPCTV. In addition, the whole human family should mobilize itself for an ethical and Cultural Revolution – from a culture of violence, as we get on daily TV – to a Culture of Peace that can help alleviate and solve the dangerous cultural crises we are drowning in today.
We must now all think and act as responsible caretakers and trustees of the global culture of peace, of democracy, and of our planet, and we should seek progress and fair benefits for all people. Killing will only trigger more acts of violence and terror by those who hate democracy and put it into jeopardy. Television, Press, Radio and Internet, play a vital role in our lives. The IPCTV will have a special obligation to influence all other media.
The values through which we would like to raise our children are values of progress, hope, creativeness, harmony, and peace. The IPCTV will promote these values and norms, through exciting films and documentaries, and interviews with those who are running our world, as well as with people of all walks of life in opposing camps and countries. This Peace TV will promote democratic and humane goals, such as the fostering of freedom and the elimination of hunger and famine in our world. It will also foster equality between the sexes and the progress of women in all aspects of life, as well as their promotion to be equal leaders of our global village. Our ailing world today needs the caressing and comforting hug of a mother’s embrace.
The Peace Culture TV by Satellite which will be available on Internet too, could start in Haifa, the city of harmony and peace where Jews, Muslims and Christians live and flourish together in harmony. It should then spread to the whole of the troubled Middle East, and it could function at its start in 3 languages: English, Hebrew and Arabic. It could gradually cover other major places of conflict, with the goal, in due time, to cover the whole global village. It will gradually become the most popular TV and Internet Channel because it will have the good of the people at heart, and will reflect what people want of life and will give them tools how to attain it. War is not democratic, because the great majority of the people in the world do not want wars.
The impact of the multitude of NGO’s can increase dramatically by uniting in a global Campaign for the creation of the IPCTV and the foundation of a “Sustainable Future.” The IPCTV will function according to the highest professional standards; it will take into consideration the various ethnic entities, and appeal to every major culture. IFLAC that was founded in 1999 has a long history of excellent materials and subjects it has developed over the years, in its various branches around the world, and it is ready to put them to use at the outset of the establishment of the IPCTV. We call for sponsors for this urgent and challenging project, for the creation of a better global village for our children, and for us, beyond war, violence and hunger.
The IPCTV will have a sacred obligation as the mouths, eyes and ears of the people in our Global Village to:
— Feature not only problems, but also solutions to the problems.
— Headline cases of peaceful development and harmonious progress in human endeavors that replace: War, Terror, violence, hate, fear, jealousy and greed, with: Peace, love of peace, harmony, honesty and care.
— Give recognition and attention to people, institutions and projects that eliminate violence, terror, poverty and foster peace culture and understanding.
The creation of the IPCTV can change our present dangerous world into a new beginning of a better, safer and more joyful world – beyond war, terror and violence.
WORLD IFLAC – 30 JANUARY 2017
Prof Ada Aharoni, the Founding President of IFLAC: INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR THE LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF PEACE, is a Peace Researcher, Writer, Poet and Sociologist. She believes that intercultural communication, peace literature and a peace media can substantially help in healing the urgent ailments of our global village. She has been awarded several International prizes, and was elected one of the best “Hundred Global Writer Heroines” (Rochester, New York, 1998).
Prof. Ada Aharoni was awarded several prizes, including the President Shimon Peres Award for PEACE in 2012, for her peace research, her books, and her peace work with IFLAC. She has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2014. The creation, development and functioning of the IPCTV would be the fulfillment of her major dream come true, and that of all peace yearning people around the world.
Prof. Ada Aharoni
1A Gdalyahou Street, Haifa 3258701
Tel +972-77-3202818, +972-54-4404750
MOTHER THERESA OF THE MIDDLE EAST – THEA WOLF
NOT IN VAIN by ADA AHARONI
By Dan Luiton
NOT IN VAIN by Ada Aharoni tells the story about a German Nurse called Thea Wolf living in Alexandria, Egypt during World War Two. This book contains tales about how a brave nurse succeeded to help Jews escaping from the horrors of Europe during World War Two, for the only reason of helping a human being. As a Mexican man I rarely show any emotions but this was the first book which made me cry, because she saved so many people who were destined to die.
At the beginning, it seemed not so interesting to read, because it was like a common story about a Jewish girl who wanted to become a nurse in a conservative society, who then went to Egypt. Then, when she started talking about all the stories of her patients, I as a reader could not stop reading. The stories were so interesting and some even made me cry of happiness that those refugees who were destined to die were saved by her.
One of the stories that moved me so much was the NIGHT OF THE STAIRCASE, a story about a mother that just gave birth to a beautiful girl and was in deep sadness. She was sad because her husband forced to stop working because now she was already a mother. She did not want to stop working, because when she was young her mother left her dad, and she couldn’t do anything because her husband told her to stop working and she didn’t want to end like her mother. However, she did work after all because that was her joy and her husband had to understand that.
This story moves me in particular because my mom was forced by my dad to stop working when she had my first brother. Yet, she started working twenty years later. I can relate to Emily because my mom like her, was so deeply sad because she couldn’t work. However, it’s something common in our culture, women have to submit to their husbands. Even though, my mom had a degree and my dad did not have one, she needed to stop working. The author, Ada Aharoni, was right when she shows that women should work too. Why is this backward cultural idea that women should not work still exist. Women of course, should work if they want to, just like the men! I think this story in addition of the story of my mother, has made me a strong supporter of feminism.
The most moving story of all in the book was THE ASTOUNDING PANCHO EPISODE, about four Czechoslovakian Jews who tried to save their friends that were shipwrecked on an abandoned island. Hundreds of Czechoslovakian Jews were trying to escape the horrors of Nazi Europe, in an old ship, but the ship sank and they landed on the nearest desert island, somewhere in the Mediterranean. The four young Jews left the island on a raft to look for help for their friends and relatives. They were sailing for two days without water or food until they were picked up by a British war ship who thought they were German spies.
When they got to Alexandria, the heroic head nurse, Thea Wolf, tried to help them. She went to the British forces in Alexandria and told them the sad story of the Pancho. They sent two planes to look for them, but did not find any island with shipwrecked people. An Italian warship fortunately spotted and saved them. The captain name Carlo, took them aboard and fed them, to Sicily that there they would be safe if they did not say that they were Jews. They found work in Sicily and stayed there all through the war years.
Half century later, when Ada Aharoni published the book NOT IN VAIN with the story, someone by the name of Abraham called her and told her that he was one of those Jews in the island and told he reported the story how they were saved. The story does not end there; the survivors of the Pancho met in Jerusalem in the congress which Thea and the mayor of Jerusalem organized. They were delighted to meet with each other because many people thought they were dead. It was so moving that they were able to find each other after so long. The reason I love the story is because there could be good and kind people even if they are enemies. In this case it was a good hearted Italian captain by the name of Carlo.
It is a unique story which tells another side of World War Two that needs to be written down in the book of history. Moreover, as a Mexican that usually hides my feelings and almost never cries, yet this book made me cry. For these reasons, and because it very well written and told, I think this biography of Thea Wolf – The Mother Theresa of the Middle East, should be read and enriched by all .
My Experience as An Intern at IFLAC
By Dan Luiton
I think coming to Israel was one the best decisions I have ever made, because I have learned so many things I didn’t know, and IFLAC has played an important role in it. My experience at “IFLAC: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace,” has been a truly eye – opener about the Israeli – Arab conflict. The reason it is an eye – opener is because I learned the other side of the story – the Israeli side, by reading the Iflac Peace Anthology, and many Iflac peace books, discussions with Prof. Ada Aharoni, who was always ready to answer my questions, and the research for the writing of my assignments. Moreover, IFLAC has taught me that Peace should and can be achieved with the help of Literature and Culture.
Before I came to Israel, I had a really bad impression of Israel and Israelis in general. I thought they were horrible people because they violate human rights in relation to the Palestinians. I always said that if I ever become President my first foreign policy action would be to write a statement like “The US does not recognize the State of Israel, and we are cutting all funding to it.” In other words, I just didn’t want the State to exist; really strong words, I hated Israel without even knowing the country (because of the influence of the Palestinian propaganda). Yet, for some reason I ended up in Israel. Furthermore, my first weeks here in Israel were not really pleasant, due to the new culture I was encountering, I thought people were rude, they didn’t smile, and customer service in the shops was lacking.
IFLAC played an important role in changing my way of thinking about Israel. One of the novels that really made me change this perspective was FROM THE NILE TO THE JORDAN, by Prof. Ada Aharoni. I learned that the Palestinians were not the only victims in the creation of Israel. I learned that more Jews were expelled from most of the Arab countries, due to the creation of the State of Israel, than Palestinians who ran away from Israel. I felt that I had been brainwashed by the media, to think that only Arabs were the victims and Israel was the villain. This book was a real eye – opener for me.
Moreover, I learnt a great deal from a real story about World War Two, in the book NOT IN VAIN, also by Prof. Ada Aharoni. In this book Thea Wolf, a Jewish German nurse, living in Alexandria, Egypt, tells a surprising story of how she convinced Arab institutions in Egypt, to help her save Jews to escape from the Nazi Holocaust in Europe. It is still quite unknown that Arabs helped Jews in Egypt, through the Jewish Hospital in Alexandria, to save Jews from Nazi Europe. However, it is a historical fact, and I think this can be a good example to believe that there can be peace between the two brothers. I was so impressed by this book and by the heroine Thea Wolf that I title my review on the book THE MOTHER THERESA OF THE MIDDLE EAST.
Apart from learning the other side of the story in the Arab – Israeli Conflict, I learned that literature and poetry can be one of the weapons to promote peace. Reading poems of poets and kids about the various aspects of Peace Culture, and the promotion of peace, made me understand that peace is not something abstract; it is a goal that can and should be achieved. I learned that words can be used as “bullets to kill war” and bring peace, and this is the best way, because it does not
Kill humans. Moreover, spending time with Professor Ada Aharoni, has been a learning experience, we had several deep conversations on the Arab Israeli Conflict, and I was really amazed when she told me her story as a Jew who was uprooted for Egypt with all her 2500 year old Jewish Egyptian Community. This story was name by her: “The Second Exodus of the Jews from Egypt,” that occurred in the mid- twentieth century.
I was also amazed by the richness of the Peace Culture research and articles and stories which I read on the IFLAC websites. It has enriched my knowledge as a student of history and of Conflict resolution. It greatly helped me with the various articles I wrote under the tutelage of Prof. Ada Aharoni, and I am very glad some of them got published on amazon, in English and in Spanish (my mother tongue) as well as on the Iflac website, and on its IFLAC Digest, and in the PEACE Magazine in Spanish “UNILETRAS.”
IFLAC has made me open my eyes to the other historical side of the story of the Conflict between Israel and the Arab world. It has also given me tools and convinced me to work toward achieving peace with the help of literature and culture. For me, IFLAC has been a really rewarding experience, and I am very glad that I chose to Intern at this remarkable and so helpful organization. As its Logo states: THE PEN IS INDEED MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD.
I am glad to inform you that my film: THE POMEGRANATE OF RECONCILIATION AND HONOR, PRESENTED YESTERDAY AT THE CINEMATHEQUE IN TEL AVIV, WAS A GREAT SUCCESS. The film was chosen to be shown on November 30, the “National Day in memory of the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries,” in mid twentieth century. I attach one of my peace poems that was sung in this documentary film, and that was highly praised.
The following poem is a Jewish – Egyptian blessing praising the relation between human beings and nature. The green week also represents all the good qualities and values in the world: especially peace, love and respect of the family , of life and of all humanity.
A Green Week
A week like fresh mint,
a green week spreading
its peaceful fragrance to the roots
of my being
“Have a green week!”
My father used to bless us
on Saturday nights in Cairo,
when he came back from the “Gates of Heaven”
the grand synagogue in Adli street
“Have a green year”
brandishing a fresh, fragrant mint branch
over our keen curly heads –
but don’t keep it just to yourselves,
that flourishing green week –
give it back
to the world
Who will give me
a green week
now that he’s gone?
Now that the Gates of Heaven
Only a fragrant mint peace.
I WARMLY THANK ALL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO CAME TO SHARE THIS MOVING EVENT WITH ME ON THIS NATIONAL DAY.
My name is Dan Luiton, I’m from the border region of USA-Mexico
called the Rio Grande Valley which has a combination of the Mexican and
American culture clash. I was born in the USA but raised in Mexico in the
border city Matamoros-Brownsville metro area. Therefore, I am a
Mexican-American. I am a third year student currently attending the
University of Texas at Austin, majoring in History. Moreover, this semester
I decided to do an exchange program in Israel at Haifa University. As a
passionate future historian I have travelled to Israel to learn a new
language and culture.
Why I chose IFLAC?
The reason I choose to intern at IFLAC is because I want to promote peace
and love through literature, not only because I’m a Christian, but also to
learn how to make peace in my home town – Matamoros in Mexico. The mission
of IFLAC is to bring peace by using our pens and this is something I’m
passionate about. My love for writing has the opportunity to have small
impact which can promote peace. Also, creating a culture of peace through
literature is a great means to bring peace, instead of using violence.
Furthermore, it will be a great honor to be interning with Professor Ada
Seven years ago violence erupted bringing bombings, blood, and bodies to my
home city and everything changed drastically. The state I lived in was
ranked the most dangerous state in Mexico. Living through this horror in
first hand make me want to do something to end this internal war, and IFLAC
is an opportunity to promote peace by not using violence but literature. For
this reason, I decided to intern with IFLAC. Moreover, as a Christian I want
to promote peace and love through literature, which is a perfect means to
change the perception of the world.
Reading the novel From the Nile to Jordan, by Prof. Ada Aharoni, has opened
my eyes to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and it has made me look at the
conflict from both sides. This historical love story has inspired me to
bring peace, by telling the whole history of any conflict. For these reasons
I chose to intern with IFLAC.
By Dan Luiton
The Anti-Terror and Peace: IFLAC Anthology 2016 is a powerful and unique instrument to fight terror with powerful words of peace. In this book the main focus is to denounce terrorism, war, and violence and try to bring peace to our world. It contains, moving poetry, short stories, essays and interesting articles from different authors around the world. They surely succeed to express their feelings against violence and thus promote peace.
As a reader, I could not stop reading, each poem made me want to do something to bring peace. When I was reading the story of Father Francisco Jose de Raoux Humans or Wolves, about the wolf it made me reflect that even though he killed and ate those people from the community he was still forgiven and they cried when he died. This is a metaphor even though some humans can do terrible acts against other humans (like the Terrorist in Columbia, who were recently forgiven and they became a peaceful citizens), they can still forgive them and educate them so they won’t commit acts of terror again. The most interesting part of the story is that the community cried when he died, meaning they had a great emotional attachment to the wolf. This is interesting because the metaphor of this is that it doesn’t end in forgiving the person but also love them.
In the story of “What Peace, My Teacher?” by Adiela Londono de Copete, there was a student who was not writing a short answer about peace but rather played with his fingers. This student did not write anything because he did not see any peace anywhere due to his life’s experiences and the only joy to his life was coming to school. It was hard to understand at first but then I realize it’s difficult for him to define peace if it did not existed in his home.
One of the stories that I really liked is that one of Maria Cristina Azcona “Humanity and its Auto-Destruction,” where she states that even if humans are auto destroying themselves “the love and poetry are not dead.” “ Even if the starting point to rebuild [ours lives] is like the phoenix, rise from our ashes, as it has occurred since the world began.” In other words,the message of this wonderful story is: it says not giving up even if everything looks destructive.
I think that this unique IFLAC ANTHOLOGY has an important message that is to show and teach IFLAC motto that: the pen is mightier than the sword. Moreover, I think Ernestina Ramirez Escobar’s quote resumes all the Anthology’s message “War brings war. Let us join our voices in peace instead.” Amazing Anthology, that should be read by all, all over the world, and I highly recommend.