What is to be done?
A question we face today from our friends across the globe, in response to the wars raged against Lebanon and Palestine. The question emerges when letters of condemnation and protest have been exhausted, and when these friends are not satisfied with appeals, petitions or demands, but rather long to do something more effective. What could we advise them? How can we effectively maintain the bridges connecting us for the objective of relieving the pain and suffering of our women and children?
When “Peacewomen Across the Globe” called for stopping the blood shed and for reverting to the international legal system, condemning the Israeli occupation and its ruthless aggression, the women all over the world expressed their solidarity with this appeal. They went even further asking for more effective ways to show support to women and children in Palestine and Lebanon:
“Thank you for the open letter from Peacewomen across the globe. I wonder just how much impact it shall have at this time when the situation is so serious and the leaders on the ground do not appear to be yet interested in peace.
I wonder how we can reach across to the women victims and their children and give them some degree of comfort in conveying our concern and care?
Loloma, Suliana – Pacific Women.”
“I write to send you solidarity in your struggles for peace. I know that what we hear and see in the media in Australia is only the tip of the situation.I admire your strength and am sorry that the international community has not been able to put aside its political and social agendas to assist in bringing about a lasting peace. Today in Canberra women are singing laments in solidarity with women in the Middle East. I can’t join them physically but I have a lament in my heart each day.
Di Lucas – Australia”
“We women in Solomon Islands are poor but yet we can have peace. We share your hardships right now! Somehow we women of the world need to rise up together, but how can we do that.
Love from Solomon Islands Women.
President of Solomon Islands National Council of Women”
“It was good. We were 1000 persons who demonstrated (according TV news now). The slogans were:
Israel out of Palestine and Lebanon!
Stop commercial agreement with Israel now!
Break off all military co-operation with Israel now!
There were different parties and organizations.
Let us hope that peace come back to our region.
Azar Mahlogian– Stockholm, Sweden”
“Dear Sisters, I received your “Peacewomen Across the Globe” initiative. I would like you to know that even though we are miles apart we receive news and information about the ongoing conflict which only adds to the pain and suffering caused to innocent women and children in your region.
I am also aware that the mainstream media coverage may not be bringing to the fore the peace initiatives of women like yourselves so please do not hesitate to share your information with our organisation (femLINKPACIFIC is a women’s media NGO) as well as other women’s media networks so that we can also inform other political leaders about your suggestions for the political as well as social and economic reconstruction to being about holistic peace in your region.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Coordinator – femLINKPACIFIC: Media Initiatives for Women”
Our Friends across the world,
We received your love letters, your prayers and sincere support, but what we need is something beyond all of this. We need to have innovative and versatile activities that express condemnation to aggression against life. We need popular pressure and mobilization to stop all the killings, ends the Israeli aggression and sends war criminals to justice. You posed the question of what to do in support of the women and children of Palestine and Lebanon. We find no better support that stopping the daily slaughter of civilians including women and children. We trust that there will be more than one way to express this voice. We need to have the world listen to our voices and stories and to help in translating them into different languages.
The women broadcasting station FIRE in Costa Rica expressed their solidarity with the women suffering from the Israeli aggression in Palestine and Lebanon. This international women broadcasting station called for a marathon live broadcast via internet on Friday 4th August 2006, titled “Voices of Resistance” The Station called their listeners to listen to the women voices and opinion, encouraging them to write or contact the program for the support of Middle East women. The Station sent, to the peace working organization Women to Women, $5 for every electronic mail received; and sent $10 for every phone call discussion made. The broadcasting lased for 24 hours.
For all those defending cultural events across the world: Theatre under fire shelling is looking for support.
While the Israeli army continues to shell the cities, villages and refugee camps; certain cultural establishments in Beirut continue to operate in support of the children displaced from their cities and villages. The City Theatre is one of these establishments where Sharif Abdunnur organizes together with an active group of volunteer’s workshops for children theatre and plays for ages between 4-13 years. The number of participating children ranges from 26-36 receive a 3 hours daily training, preparing for a play named “The Bag” where displaced children along with professional actors share the play acting.
Another activity worthwhile mentioning is a workshop for elderly people from displaced families and volunteers that aims for people participation. The play “Laughter under Shelling” will be displayed first then a child theatre. The City Theatre addresses their need for publicity to their works as a priority.
“our main need is publicity – if you have contacts with local press in your own
countries or here… or even better international press of any type – we just want the whole world to see that the people refuse to give up – and that theatre has an active and effective role in healing and survival under these circumstances. So please we need to publicize information regarding the workshops –and of the play itself – so interviews, press reviews… I can provide high quality photos and can arrange for interviews and all that is needed”
Any practical suggestions that you may think of to respond to the solidarity question?
Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi