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Day of Peace Observed in Madrid

Madrid, Spain - On a lovely Sunday afternoon, September 16, a celebration of the International Day of Peace took place at the Peace Embassy in Madrid.

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People have been searching for peace since the beginning of history. They hope to find it first in their hearts, then in their families and certainly in their nations nations and the world. It is necessary for everyone to invest their grain of efforts so that this much-desired peace will be an eternal reality.

Mrs. Sophia Kirkley, a graduate from Bridgeport University in the US and currently a school teacher in Madrid, read UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message on the International Day of Peace.

Mr. Kuni Tomita González a student of interpretation and dance and a fashion designer, gave a PowerPoint presentation about the history and background of this day.

The first speaker, Mrs. Ana María Reynés, a professional educator and lecturer from the International Foundation of PRH, spoke about the family as the school of peace. The family is the first group of life. It is the first place where we gain not only knowledge but learn about ourselves and our relationship with others. It can be a place for a good emotional life and growth, if it has adequate elements for a solid personality, emotional security, and the proper atmosphere for love. If it is a peaceful place, people grow in joy, truth, respect, and creativity to the benefit of everyone. Also, trust and communication are fundamental factors for a joyful life. But when the family is a place of conflict it affects us for our whole life. Where there is no peace then war will start. That is why is essential to cultivate and nurture peace in our homes and family relationships. She concluded by challenging everyone to be generators of peace.

The second speaker was Professor Mr. Emilio Asti from the University of Milan, Italy. He is an expert in Oriental studies and has worked with several NGOs as a lecturer and volunteer. He spoke of the blending of cultures in the Mediterranean region that has generated a particular form of civilization along with conflict between people of different cultures and ethnic groups. Various conflicts in the region pose serious challenges. He called the Mediterranean a compendium of the great questions facing the world with remarkable migratory and cultural flows. Islam, Europe, Northern Africa, and Middle East are in close contact and interact in various ways. Although its northern and southern shores followed separate paths of development characterized by a growing demographic imbalance, there are many cultural elements that are common to both sides of the Mediterranean.

He envisions people from the northern and southern shores integrating into a new system in order to build a common Mediterranean region where the free circulation of people and ideas can take place. The Mediterranean can offer a model of how to overcome differences and transform existing conflicts into occasions to work to overcome barriers. It should be a place where people of different religions and backgrounds can live in peace and prosperity, centered on shared spiritual values.

Mr. González gave a presentation about the life of the founder of UPF Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, who had passed away on September 3. The theme was: “All the religions are the same in their essence.” Following that, the Pure Love Education Academy's annual Helping Others awards were given to:

  • Mrs. Ana María Reynés, an Ambassador for Peace and loyal supporter of the principles of peace
  • Mrs. María del Camino de la Puente, a composer and director of the Chorus “Mil Caminos”

The program closed with a presentation about the proposal to establish an interreligious council at the UN. Candlelit prayers were offered by two Christian women and two young Muslim men.

All 22 participants were drawn together in the spirit of this International Day of Peace.

For more reports about International Day of Peace 2012 programs click here.

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