Dr. Ada Aharoni, the founder of IFLAC considers that through poetry, people from both sides of conflicts, might come to understand each other better, and that this understanding can lead to the promotion of peace, as she explains below:
“The real profound difference between human beings is their Culture: mainly, their Cultural Heritage, Literature, Poetry, Language, Values, Norms, Traditions and their History. In the case of people in long conflicts – like the Israelis and Palestinians – feelings of fear, mistrust and lack of understanding have been piling up in their hearts and minds over the years, on both sides.
Only a suitable vehicle that can reach and profoundly penetrate through those layers of mistrust, suspicion and fear, can overcome those separating boundaries and build bridges of trust and respect for each other’s humanity. The best vehicle for this delicate operation is the magic and healing of the Poem, with its words of comprehension, feelings, care and tenderness. The poem has the marvellous ability to create bridges of trust and love.
Peace Poetry can also impart the important and crucial message that we all belong to one family, the family of humanity, and that violence and terror only lead to chaos, destruction, sorrow and deep pain and misery on all sides.
In every conflict there are two stories. The Poem of Peace, because of its wonderful ability to present both sides in all its reality, pain, hope and yearning for peace – can lead to mutual recognition and reconciliation, and to the building of confidence, trust, respect and love.”