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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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Come peace train and pick me up
an article by Ayman Qwaider

Give me my freedom and childhood back: a statement stressed on through an action day taking place on March 18th in Al Maghzi Refugee camp stationed in the Gaza Strip. Remarkably some 10,000 refugee camp kids gathered and participated in the action day entitled We Need Freedom. We Need Childhood.


A scene from the action day
click on photo to enlarge

Despite the fact that the Gaza Strip residents have been enduring profound and extraordinary living conditions as a result of the on-going unlawful Israeli government blockade, regular military activities and internal Palestinian political conflict, children still dream of happiness and going back their normal lives.

"I am still dreaming of a better world dominated by peace and tranquility. It is more than enough what we the children of Gaza have to cope with in the 21st century. We believe that war is incredibly costly and devastating in the meanwhile, peace is much cheaper and adorable" says Asmhan Shaaban a fifteen year-old child from Al Maghzi refugee camp who participated in the event.

For several decades, exposure to tension and violence in the local community has resulted in tremendous negative repercussions for the children. This lingering situation has had negative consequences on all aspects of life, including education, health, economic situation and financial status, and social interactions and interpersonal relationships

"When I take part in this event, I feel cheerful and relaxed. I like playing and getting my face painted. I love peace, I love the world. I dream of a better tomorrow for us, the children in Gaza where we can have a peaceful and secured environment. I need to walk around my neighborhood peacefully and pick pretty flowers. I do not like to hear Israeli fighter jets or bombardments," Ali, another participant told the organizers.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


How do we keep up our spirits in an age of global terror?,

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

I just found this wonderful blog on optimism in dark times, and feel like sharing it as widely as possible.  It is by Mazin Qumsiyeh, a scientist whom I met at Yale several years ago, but who has returned to be deeply involved in the struggle for justice in his homeland of Palestine.  It is posted on his blog at http://popular-resistance.blogspot.fr/2012/06/optimism.html.

Optimism

Overall life is good and people are good.  Some people do foolish things once in a while: oppress, kill, steal land, destroy trees etc.  But life continues and people survive, adapt, and struggle to get to a better place.  Here in Palestine, the apricots (Mishmish) are in season and they are as sweet as can be.  Our village is known for Faqous (of the cucumber family) which is now also in season.  While Israeli colonizers took most of the agricultural land around the area, we still have some Sahouri Faqous and we still struggle to reclaim our rights. . ...more.


This report was posted on March 21, 2011.