Archive for the ‘Soul of WoMen’ Category

Flag Ceremonies,Talks of Peace and WPPS, Palestine-Israel

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

In the week of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement (forgiveness and repentance), eight women representing the WPPS, from Japan, France and the UK, visited Palestine-Israel to offer encouragement to those working for peace.

This land, essential to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has suffered millennia of conflict

“It was a good learning environment, the kids looked happy, and, for me, it was a chance to be with beautiful Arab women, powerful women.”

Despite underlying tensions, people continue with their lives. They may be manipulated to fear the ‘other’, but, as we discovered, community-by-community, ordinary people are doing their bit to promote peaceful relations.

At the Tur’an Elementary School, the teachers are integrating education with the local community. Not only are they celebrating their Arab cultural roots, but, through an art project, are collaborating with the nearby Jewish and Christian schools. Striving for coexistence, multicultural discourse and universal values.

“All the children ran to be in the photograph with the Palestinian and Israeli flags – peace in their land is really important to them.”

The children joined in our Flag Ceremony. Each took a flag and, continent-by-continent, they came to the centre of the circle and we appealed for peace in each country of the world, ending with the Middle East

The Ein Shemer Kibbutz, two hours north of Tel Avi

At The Ein Shemer Kibbutz, two hours north of Tel Aviv, we met “Seeds of Peace”, motivated and influential Israelis working for conflict resolution, not just in Israel-Palestine, but also around the world.

“We had a one-hour Soul of WoMen (SoWM) workshop. We talked about the Fuji Declaration and the need for balance in our societies, that we don’t know what the outcomes should be, but SoWM offers a ‘think tank’, and we’re developing ‘tools’ for people to use everyday.”

How were these Israelis inspired by Soul of WoMen? Some of their thoughts were: Mother Earth. Giving hands. Soul. Harmony. Accept each other. Love. Hope. Communities. Smile. Acknowledge the other. Empathy. Peace.

“We had a one-hour Soul of WoMen (SoWM) workshop. We talked about the Fuji Declaration and the need for balance in our societies, that we don’t know what the outcomes should be, but SoWM offers a ‘think tank’, and we’re developing ‘tools’ for people to use everyday.”

How were these Israelis inspired by Soul of WoMen? Some of their thoughts were: Mother Earth. Giving hands. Soul. Harmony. Accept each other. Love. Hope. Communities. Smile. Acknowledge the other. Empathy. Peace.

“Together we planted a Peace Pole, and, in support of the peace march: “Women Wage Peace”, happening in Israel whilst we were there, we sang “We Shall Overcome” at the end.”

Peace Pole planting at Ein Shemer Kibbutz with Seeds of Peace

Our last visit was to Kafr Qasem, a village that suffered a huge massacre of women and children, in 1056. We held a Symphony of Peace Prayers with Sheikh Raed Badir, representing the Islamic community and Eran Dubovi representing Jewish communities sharing prayers from each religious community.

Flag Ceremony at Kafr Qasim

At the following Flag Ceremony, Eran Dubovi held the Palestinian flag and Sheikh Raed badir held the Israeli flag.

The Kafr Qasim Massacre occurred on October 29, 1956. The tensions between Israel and Palestine are still apparent, the significance of this Flag Ceremony with shown flags held together gives hope for the future.

“Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary progress towards permanent peace.”

 

News, Events and Photos Credited to Liz Maclay

Allanton Peace Sanctuary

Dumfries, Scotland.

WPPS Scotland Sanctuary dedicates Peace Pole Henge at the 18th annual Allanton Festival, Dumfries – SCOTLAND

Monday, October 31st, 2016

18th International World Peace Festival Allanton Peace Sanctuary

The 18th World Peace Festival was held at Allanton World Peace Sanctuary, Scotland on Sunday 11th September 2pm – 6pm. We were well prepared for all weather as we had a very large marquee which had been used for the ‘Soul of WoMen’ conference the previous day. The weather was cloudy but warm, and some of our visitors spent time walking in the grounds and looked around the lovely walled garden.

img_9026

Around 300 people enjoyed an afternoon of beautiful live music from local musicians: Darcy DaSilva who writes and sings her own songs, Greg Lawson (2nd violin of the Scottish Orchestra) and Pete Garnett (piano accordion), Wendy Stewart who is an internationally known harpist, Pete and Anna Tagg who played the Taiko drums.  There was Aikido demonstrations and also exhibitions from many local groups. The Fair Trade Groups café provided home baked goods and drinks during the afternoon and delicious ice cream was available from Glen Urr, a small local company.

The theme of the Festival this year was ‘Diversity in our Community’ and exhibitors included:  ‘Freedom from Torture’, which is a group that supports people who have survived torture; MOOLS (Massive Outpouring Of Love), which is a group who help refugees in any way that they can, and DG Voice, a group who help disabled people to have a ‘voice’ in society.

img_9186-1

The World Peace Prayer Society also had an exhibition showing the work of the Society, the Fuji Declaration, the Soul of WoMen  conference and displays of the ‘Peace Prevails’ school programme and photos showing a calendar of events taking place at Allanton Sanctuary since June 2015 which was our last Festival.

The highlight of the afternoon was the exquisite Japanese dance performed by Michiko Abe, which was followed by the World Peace Flag Ceremony. The Flag Ceremony was accompanied by the Allanton Peace Choir led by Kate Howard. The choir sang at the beginning of each continent the following songs:

Pokarekare – a Maori love song
In Dangerous Times – Alison Burns
World Wide Peace – Will M Ramsey
A Million Nightingales – music – Linda Hirschhorn based on a poem by Mahmud Darwish
Ljubav (cup song)  Bosnian version transcribed by Mary Cay Brass

img_9187-1

After the Flag Ceremony, everyone was invited to pick up a flag, and  (accompanied by the Taiko drums) carry it outside to the Peace Pole Henge. A parade of all the flags made its way to the henge and everyone walked inside and around the henge. It was very powerful and moving. This is the first event that has been held in our newly completed Peace Pole Henge.

When the flags had been returned to the marquee, it was time to enjoy Uma’s special curry and listen to music from local musicians which completed a wonderful afternoon!