View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, September 3, 2009

UAE Pondering Peace on 21 September to Make Peace Every Day

Global Peace Day
The UAE has a range of activities leading up to the 21st September, the date which has been designated by the United Nations as ‘Peace Day’ around the world.

Peace Initiatives in the Emirates
Check out the UAE blog, the work of Peace Day UAE Co-Founder and Spokesperson, Nayla Al Khaja and the story of how she introduced Peace Day in the UAE to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

The blog outlines the UAE’s support, contains a film gallery and offers some practical ways that individuals and organizations might work for peace.

Living Salaam
In the UAE we say the word ‘peace’ (As-Salāmu `Alaykum السلام عليكم) several times a day when we greet people but there is great value in committing a day to ponder the implications of living out the true meaning of peace in all its many dimensions.

Imagining People Living Life in Peace
Travelling in New York some years ago, my wife and I spent some hours in Central Park. On our walk we came across three acres dedicated to the memory of John Lennon. They are called ‘Strawberry Fields’ and they contain plants and trees from more than 100 countries of the world. This was the place the former Beatle loved to frequent and it’s just over the road from his apartment on seventy-second street where Lennon was shot and killed on 8 December 1980.

On a path in the fields is a circle with lines radiating outwards. In the middle of the circle is the one word, ‘IMAGINE.’ Several people were sitting there in silence on park benches. Floral tributes were strewn across this memorial.

I love the tune of that song. I love the encouragement to imagine ‘all the people living life in peace’. I love the invitation to imagine together in the words:

‘You . . . you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one.
I hope some day you’ll join us.’

Call to Imagine Together
Peace Day on 21 September is like the call to ‘Imagine’ in New York's Central Park. Peace is worthy of our reflection, to dream about what salaam might look like, beginning in our own corner—in Al Ain, Sharjah, Dibba, Fujairah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Peace Day gives an opportunity for us to so some dreaming together in creative ways—to think of how salaam might become not just a greeting but a way of life.

UAE Peace Day, Blog (with links to the international web site)

On Related Sites
Fujairah Corniche Coming Alive in Ramadan, Fujairah in Focus, 1 September 2009.

America’s Cup Further Tarnished by New Legal Wrangle, America’s Cup in the UAE, 3 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

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Image: Peace Day UAE Co-Founder and Spokesperson, Nayla Al Khaja and the reception for intellectuals and artists on 1 September hosted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum in which he heard about the Peace Day initiatives in the Emirates.