July 18 – Nelson Mandela Day

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“I dream of an Africa which is in peace itself ” -Mandela  

Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, politician and revolutionary. His freedom was stripped off him, yet he continued to stand firm for the rights of the South Africans. He played a leading role in the drive for peace in different circles of conflict. Despite many difficulties on the way, he never compromised on his political principles and, therefore, was always a source of strength for the prisoners.

Nelson was born on 18th July, 1918, in Transkei, South Africa. When he was 9 years old, his father died of 11178350_847766301980637_4511413933022598101_ntuberculosis. His original name was Rolihlahla Mandela. The name Nelson was given to him by his teacher. He was the first from his family to attend school. He was the first South African President elected democratically. He was the oldest elected president – 75 at election — of South Africa.

He joined the African National Congress in 1944 as an activist. Later, he became the founding president of the ANC Youth League. He qualified as lawyer in 1952 and started practicing law with a partner. He remained in prison for 27 years. He was as a D-group prisoner, i.e. the lowest classification, where he was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months.

In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, a commendation for his exhaustive work for peace. He addressed the injustice of apartheid. Nelson Mandela spent his entire life fighting for equal grant of opportunities, education and political rights to the people. He believed that there was no peace without equality. It was the reason that even after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, he continued to uphold the political rights of the black South Africans. In 1994, the autobiography of Nelson Mandela was published, titled “Long walk to freedom”. Nelson Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2001. His struggle against AIDs became starkly personal in early 2005 because he lost his only surviving son due to the same disease, at the age of 54 years. After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, at the age of 95, Mandela died on December 5, 2013.

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Having had honorary degrees from more than 50 international universities, Nelson Mandela remains one of the most awarded persons in the history, receiving more than 250 awards. The peace activist, Nelson Mandela, has made the whole world realize that standing for peace is not so easy but firm determination and strong willpower always end up bearing sweet fruit for all the struggle and hard work.

Written by: Nabiha Malik

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The International Day of Peace

Peace day pic 1Look at the stocky bird with a small head and short legs struggling to mute all the squacks via its
euphonic and cooing voice. What does he actually want?
It wants to free the sky from all kind of disturbances and
quarrels and build a harmonious relation among the fellow birds. Why does he want it? He wants to make a garden
of love and friendship brimmed with the flowers
of patience, tolerance and goodwill. What will be the result of his efforts? All the birds will be happy and enjoy the beautiful
bounties of the nature together. What change will  occur by their happiness? There will be an  atmosphere of peace which is a freedom from disturbances, conflicts, violence and combats. That bird teaches us all the actual definition of peace so we call him Dove: an epitome of peace, love and promise.

 ‘Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” -Robert Fulghum

Background:

Peace has always been a desire of the people but after the Second World War, it became a need so to fulfill this need. UN, the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 proclaimed the opening day of the regular session as the International Day of Peace and in its resolution. The General Assembly invited all Member States, organs and organizations of the UN system, non-governmental organizations, peoples and individuals to observe the Day in an appropriate manner. The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982 with great fervor and enthusiasm. The assembly decided in 2001 that the International Day of Peace should be annually observed on September 21 starting from 2002 and from that year it is celebrated on this date.

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How do people celebrate?

People commemorate this day by organizing the events that aware others about the significance of this day, working on the peace enhancement plans and creating the ideas to enlighten the world with the hands of peace and these ideas include:peace day pic 3

  • Interfaith peace ceremonies.
  • A toast for peace.
  • A peace choir.
  • Lighting candles.
  • Peace prayers.
  • A peace convoy of vehicles.
  • Tree planting for peace.
  • Art exhibitions promoting peace.
  • Picnics for peace.
  • Peace walks.

Organizations such as Roots & Shoots, which facilitate the youth by an international environmental and humanitarian program also celebrate Peace Day by crafting giant peace dove puppets from re-used materials and flying the doves in their communities.

Some people also observe a minute of silence at noon with respect to their time zones to mark their presence in the celebrations of this day.

Significance of Peace Day for General Public:

People see it as a day in which the brutalities and hostilities are substituted by love and harmony and atleast for a day, people are saved from barbarism so for them, this world is a heaven on Peace Day.

 Peace is not absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

-Ronald Reagan

Efforts to create peace:

  • Formation of Peace One Day is a non-profit organization whose objective is “to institutionalize the International Day of Peace, 21 September, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.”  (Sources)
  • Formation of The Ribbon International, a UN’s non-governmental organization, aims to promote nuclear disarmament for the protection of the earth.

Influential people:

There are many people who have channelized many efforts to bring peace in the world.

 The Dalai Lama:

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Got Noble Prize in 1989 by channelizing valiant efforts to resolve Tibetan conflict.

 Aung San Suu kyi:

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 Got Noble Prize in 1991 for valiant efforts for the strong leadership of Burma opposition.

 

 In the nut shell:

We should first try to cease the fire of hatred and vengeance growing within us and after that make endeavours to bring peace around us too!

 

Written By:
Fizza Abbas

 

Peace Day | 9000 Soldiers Etched into the Sand

Every year, September 21st is observed as the ‘International Day of Peace’ as declared by the United Nations. The internal situation demands that we start observing this day at all levels in order to realize our need to end all the ills of our society that adversely affect the peace prevalence. In order to commemorate Peace Day on September 21, a team of British artists directed volunteers in etching 9,000 sandy silhouettes—the number of soldiers who fell on D-Day.

The first World Peace Day was observed on September 21, 1982. It’s an annual occasion for commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace. One of the ways to truly appreciate peace, however, is to remember the human cost of war, which is the idea behind The Fallen , an artistic undertaking held this year on Peace Day.

These are little efforts which can make huge difference if we inculcate them in our daily lives leading us to become more tolerant, humane and civilized citizens of a country that stands for the religion of peace.

Created by British artists Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss, whose medium is most often sand, The Fallen provides a visual representation of the lives that were lost during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6th, 1944. Using rakes and human-sized stencils, Wardley and Moss lead a team of nearly 500 volunteers in etching out 9,000 bodies in the sand.

How to Spend Eid !

Eid-ul-Fitar comes as the harbinger of peace, love and tranquility. It is a festive occasion which comes once a year and Muslims celebrate it with utmost zeal. They take care of those who are not able to enjoy their Eid due to financial restrictions or due to loss of their loved ones. It is our obligation to find these people and give them courage to face their hardships with patience.

We must open heatedly make them feel that they are not alone in their current situation and we will always be there to hold their hands, wipe their tears, share their sorrows, and cover their backs. In last I must say that when you are celebrating your Eid don’t forget those people who have made sacrifices for you either they are your parents or your family members. Love, Be Loved and Spread Love! Happy Eid-ul-Fitar to all of you.

Written By : Abdul Wahab

eid,greetings, eid mubarik

Peace Riot 2013

What comes to your mind when you hear “Peace Riot”, It’s confusing right? Well! the organizers seem to have a very different idea about it.

This oxymoron is an urban intervention of a unique level which plans to take over the City with words, puns, art and smilies. This campaign plans to disrupt Islamabad with messages of ‘love’ and ‘peace’ and the weapons they’ll be using are a bunch of smilie stickers, color-pencil packs, spray paints etc.

Peace Riot is an initiative of the Ministry Of Loltype Affairs in collaboration with multiple other organizations towards promoting peace, happiness and optimism among the masses.

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Following are some of the activities that have been planned out for next couple of days:

Activity:

Putting up smileys

on Jinnah Avenue + Minerva’s Khud Kuch Kar campaign.
Date: 20th July
Timings: 10 am
Venue: Askari Chowk (F-10 Roundabout, right in front of McDonalds)
Description: Team will gather with the volunteers at the venue and distribute the smileys among them. These smileys are to be taped to the street light poles all along Jinnah Avenue (from McDonalds till Shaheed-e-Millat building). Volunteers can choose to either disperse in small groups to different sections of the avenue or start right from McDonalds. You’re requested to kindly bring along double-sided tape or fishing line for the purpose.
We’ll also be putting up reflectors on various checkpost barriers around Islamabad to make them more visible at night as part of our collaboration with Minerva’s Khud Kuch Kar campaign. But you all need to gather at Askari Chowk so that there’s no confusion about the locations.

Activity:

Distributing coloring books

and color pencils among street children + Putting up posters in major city centers of Islamabad.
Date: 21st July
Timings: 10 am
Venue: Markaz in F-11, F-10, F-8, F-7, F-6, G-9, I-8
Description: Coloring books and color pencil packs will be distributed among the street children seen at the venues. Peace Riot posters will be put up outside shops, cafes etc. in the markaz. Permission from the shop owners will be asked on the spot to put up the posters outside their property on their entrance, pillars etc. Each area will have an area head with whom volunteers can coordinate exact location to meet and any other details. Volunteers can participate in whichever area is easily accessible to them.

Activity:

Painting a wall in the F-7 slum

Date: 22nd July
Timings: 11 am
Venue: Katchi abaadi in F-7 next to Zefra
Description: A wall will be painted with the message, ‘aman hai mazil-e-pakistan’ and images that depict peace, hope and tolerance.

Activity:

Vigil.

Date: 23rd July
Timings: 8:30 pm
Venue: TBA
Description: A candle light vigil will be held as the closing event to remember victims of terrorism and injustice, and a symbol of hope for a better future.

For all the updates regarding the event, please join the Peace Riot Islamabad Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/441942629227038/

Exclusive Radio Media Partners: Radio 1 FM 91
Proud Sponsors and Collaborators: Lolz Studios, AF Clicks, Minerva, Infinitron, Revolution Flame, Sub Apnae, Red Bull, Cheekh, Heal Pakistan, Shaoor Society, Mashal Model School and MOL.

World Peace Day

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Courtesy: www.deviantart.com

Peace isn’t about “No War”. Peace is something which makes you calm in every kind of situation you are in. It makes you feel and think positive no matter what is happening around. Peace is about loving people meaninglessly. Peace is about helping each other sincerely. Peace is about giving respect to other equally. Peace is about letting your child play with the child of your maid. Peace is about honoring people belong to other religion and sector just because they are also God’s creature. Peace is about encouraging others who do well. Peace is about appreciating your colleague.

Alas! I am failed to find such peace. In fact, I myself sometimes react too aggressively in some situations. I don’t know what people do on WORLD PEACE DAY and how it is supposed to be celebrated. All I know is to harm those who harms you, abuse those who abuses you, underestimate those who are lower to you and disrespect the other religions, sectors and beliefs. In such kind of situation how may I know about PEACE?

I AM CALLED A HUMAN WHO LOVES HUMANITY BUT NOT HUMAN BEING.

Written by: Qurat ul Ain