Unlike the facebook ‘friend’ who wanted to kill me last week, this week another friend, Amr Salem, who also happens to be an AWR member, sent me a video (called "Hell on Earth"), produced by Queen Rania in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
(The video is below).
UNRWA is a relief and human development agency that provides education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to over 4.6 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic.
According to the UNRWA website, it’s the largest UN operation in the Middle East, with over 29,000 staff, almost all of them refugees themselves, working directly to benefit their communities – as teachers, doctors, nurses or social workers.
The day after Amr sent me the video, through an amazingly synchronistic circle of coincidence, I was led to an organization (and its fantastic website), the goals of which are almost identical in spirit to those I aspire to achieve with AWR.
Peace X Peace
The non-profit organization is called Peace X Peace. Like AWR, it seeks to connect women around the world through shared experience, stories, actions and/or support.
It aims to do so one small but powerful step at a time, one individual but powerful woman at a time. I immediately joined the Peace x Peace community, which was founded by US poet, playwright and photographer Patricia Smith Melton in 2002.
The mission of Peace X Peace is to:
"…create a world where women play a significant role in building sustainable peace. Through balanced partnerships – both local and global – women and men together will transform fear and hostility into actions that build harmonious cultures."
That’s a vision I can definitely buy into.
Collaboration Not Condemnation
But even more relevant to my recent discussion with my killer ‘friend’ on facebook is a REAL book called Sixty Years, Sixty Voices: Israeli and Palestinian Women. The recently released book by Patricia Smith Melton spotlights the lives of 30 Palestinian and 30 Israeli women from every walk of life.
According to a news release:
"…it offers a rare perspective on the possibility of Middle East peace including solutions created by women that have already gained traction on and across both sides of the Wall. The book is the first to include Israeli and Palestinian women’s voices equally and is printed in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.”
Replacing condemnation with collaboration is something else I can surely support.
I wonder if my killer ‘friend’ will read any of this…? I hope so. If and when he does, I pray that he will consider the possibility that killing only begets more killing, and that working together might be a better way to avoid the living hell Queen Rania describes in her video.
I also believe that, just as they were in Liberia, women can be powerful instruments in the creation of peace in the Middle East and around the world.
Because no one, regardless of their race, religion or nationality wants to live in hell on earth. There’s plenty of time for hell that after death…
Donate to UNRWA here and to the