Cairo's Day of Peace
an article by Ahram Online, (abridged)
Eleven years after a United Nations resolution
established theInternational Day of Peace,
artists, civil society members and a huge audience
came together to promote a culture of peace on 21
September in Cairo. The day started as a regular
Friday, Cairo streets emptier than usual,
encouraging more than 1000 Cairenes to head over
to Darb 1718 to engage with Peace Day.
Peace Day, Cairo
click on photo to enlarge
Organised jointly by several non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) along with Darb 1718 staff,
the event presented a successful collaboration
between the worlds of art and civil society: two
worlds which ultimately have similar goals. The
main organiser was CISV Egypt, a local NGO that is
part of an international organisation promoting
peace through intercultural and local education
programmes and developmental initiatives.
Masterpeace, an NGO that works on promoting Peace
Day across the world, along with establishing
Cairo as the World Peace Capital by 2014, was also
involved in organising the day. The event was
entirely run by volunteers, all dressed in green
t-shirts emblazoned with the Peace One Day logo.
"It is very important in the current difficult
circumstances to put all this aside and embrace our
humanity, even if just for one day," Ramy Tadros,
one of the event's organisers told Ahram Online.
The event started around 2pm in Darb's main
garden. During the afternoon, NGOs laid out their
booths attracting potential volunteers from the
crowd, as well as meeting fellow civil society
members to establish partnerships. Alwan w Awtar
and CISV Egypt, which both deal with the informal
education of children, had activities next to
their booths attracting children to paint what
peace meant to them along with other more active
games centred around peace. There were other NGOs
such as Wataneya Society, which works to improve
orphanages in Egypt, along with NGOs dealing with
freedom of speech, the rights of people with
disabilities, connecting civil society actors and
"We wanted to give other NGOs a chance to support
Peace Day and promote themselves," Tadros said.
"Even if their work is not directly about Peace
Day, but somehow their work contributes to peace
and understanding, such as Nabta who work on
creating online and offline spaces for
collaboration between different people in civil
society" . .
As the sun came down, musicians started taking to
Darb's elevated stage, playing alongside silent
footage from a documentary on how Peace Day was
established. Most of the musicians made a tribute
to the day that brought everyone together before
their performances. . .
The party continued well into past midnight.
However, Peace Day celebrations in Cairo are not
stopping there. Masterpeace continue with a series
of workshops, film screenings and small events all
leading up to a second edition of a Street Arts
Festival taking place on Friday 28 September in
Dokki, behind the Ministry of Agriculture. . .
Question(s) related to this article:
How are you celebrating Peace Day?,
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Latest reader comment:
It is difficult to find extensive listings of the many events celebrating the International Day of Peace around the world. An exception is the United Religions Initiative which lists events for the IDP 2014 by their affiliates in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, United States and the Philippines.