Women Wage Peace

Piece for Peace \ Aliza Erez

am happy to report again on how we are proceeding to develop the Quilt for Peace project.

Six months have gone since we launched the Facebook page for the project and since then, the pieces have not stopped arriving….

I would like to share with you few contacts and stories from across Israel and the world. Up to now, we have received more than 1,500 pieces from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, India, South Africa, Australia, New-Zealand, and even few pieces from Kuwait! Morocco! and Ghana. Every day many more people approach us by e-mail and Facebook.

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Here are some examples:

“I live in Valencia, Spain … Maybe we can coordinate “peace pieces” creation among lots of women Circles that we know here, in Spain”

” I am a member of the Social Action Committee at Temple Beth El in Ithaca, New York. I see on the peace quilt website that squares are still being accepted, and I am trying to get some kind of square-making activity organized through our temple Sisterhood…”

” I live in Los Angeles.  Is there anyone here who is involved with WWP in general?  Also, how much longer will you be accepting pieces for your Piece for Peace. I would like to spread the word and encourage participation in both of these things. ..”

“Our NCJW chapter in Columbus, Ohio, would like to participate…”

“I only just heard about the Piece for Peace and really want to join in – I live in Redruth in Cornwall, UK…”

“Hi, I’m a woman from Italy and belong to a female chorus who read about your wonderful initiative… In additional we would ask about the PIECE for PEACE because we are interested in creating our Peace Quit to send you..”

While spreading the project news throughout the world, I would like to tell you about some of the special contacts we have made:

Morocco –

At the beginning of December we (Yael Traidel and myself) met a woman reporter from Morocco who covers conflict centres around the world. She was enthusiastic about the Quilt for Peace and made a piece on a traditional Moroccan cloth which is used for covering women’s head in Morocco. She has also decided to launch a ‘Women Wage Peace in the Middle East’ movement in support of our actions.

 Ghana –

I have a friend from Ghana who lives now in the USA. She became enthusiastic about WWP and the Quilt for Peace project and, in order to show her support, she donated money to the movement and has sent a piece on traditional cloth, called Kente with the message ‘Love and Peace’. She has also promised to come and march with us next time….

Cyprus –

We made contact with a group of women in Cyprus who have started a similar project called Peace2Peace. The women of Greek origin joined a group of women of Turkish origin and together they are crocheting pieces to cover monuments around the town. For example, they covered an anchor in the port, benches and rails of an ancient inn and many more. In solidarity, we have sent them some crocheted squares and they have sent us pieces for the Peace Quilt. Through this project the women in Cyprus have learned about WWP and followed us on Facebook during the March, clicking on the ‘like’ button and sharing our films. Pnina Dobo, the South co-ordinator, met with the women while she visited Cyprus invited them to visit Israel.

Japan –

We made contact with Hagit Raanan, the representative of a Japanese organisation called The World Peace Prayer Society which message is – May Peace Prevail on Earth.

The Chair of the organisation, Massami Saionji, was very enthusiastic about the Quilt for Peace project and sent the following message to all their members: A call has gone out for people around the world to make quilt squares for a large project called PIECE for PEACE. The dream is one million squares to embody the desire for peace and harmony in the region of Israel and Palestine.  Love is expressed through the making of these quilt squares, which helps bring peace to the region.

In addition, she supports WWP actions and expressed her wish to come and visit us in Israel.

Jewish and Arab women preparing peace squares last week

Of course, we are expanding our actions in Israel too –

Many groups gather in the evenings to create the pieces for peace and the reaction to these evenings is very positive. In addition to them being a social and creative occasion, they also give opportunity to discussions about peace and hope and is often and introduction to WWP and its activities.

  • For example, a group practicing Chi Cong in Nahsholim created a piece for peace. As did a group in Naharya, belonging to a Soroptimist organisation (a gender world organisation for women)
  • Kibutzim and Moshavim have also joined the effort. From south to north: Eilat, Ktura, Paran, Tzofar, Hatzerim, Be’eri, Negba, Jerusalem, Modi’in, Tel-Aviv, Givatayim, Shoam, Rehovot, Yavne, Evn-Yehuda, Hod Hasharon,Matan, Tzofit, Caesarea, Nahsholim, Pardes Hannah, Metzer, Haifa, Misgav region, Tu’ran, Kfar Hanassi, Tuba-Zangariyye, Bar’am, Sasa, Ayelet, HaShahar, Ma’a lot Tarshiha. From the Druze vilages – Hurfeish, Kfar Vradim, Eilon, Saar and many many more…. warming the heart.
  • Public activities:

During the ‘Festival of Festivals’ events in Haifa, the pieces for peace were part of the scenery in an evening of religious songs. Every Friday, creativity tables operate in the centre of Tivon as part of the WWP stalls.

 What next?

  • 1. Each one of you, woman or man, can help expanding the project and introduce it to more and more people. Here are some suggestions:
  1. 2. Distributing and promoting

3. Sharing digitally (Facebook, e-mails, whats’up, blogs and other websites, promoting it through local media)

4. Sharing it with family, friends and colleagues. For example, someone sent me an e-mail that her cousin living in Brazil “a good warm Jewish man who heard about our activities and is organising a similar event on March 18th, calling it Panos para a Paz.”

5. Organising group events in Israel and abroad

6. Organising creativity evenings – I’ll be happy to help with details of what is needed

7. Donating sheets and materials: we need old cotton sheets, preferably cut.

8. Help with sewing

9. Organising exhibitions in Israel and abroad

Any other idea is welcomed

  • We encourage everyone to join our Facebook group which has already about 1,300 members.
  • Continue creating, participating and spreading the news.

Translated from Hebrew by Sarit Bloom

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