Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Anyone who knows me has a definite idea that I am not a peaceful lady by nature…if anything, I’m assertive and rather straightforward (peremptory would say my BEST friends) and thus technically not programmed to be a representative of any kind at Peace talks…Except if my contribution to the two associations chaired by with former UN SG Kofi Annan have left a lasting imprint and a bitter after-taste I need to overcome….
Indeed…one thing I could never stand was injustice and biases and one thing I could never do is keeping my thoughts to myself. It all comes from an education alas no longer in use, even in my native France. It was called, back then, the “free non-confessional and compulsary education’ aka l‘Ecole gratuite, laïque et obligatoire“. We are all different, but equal….
This is probably what prompted me to create the Académie Sans Frontières and Sociolinguists on Facebook…and it may thus not be THAT surprising to have been invited to contribute to the International Seminar on Teacher Education for Peace and Harmony next week in Delhi, nor that I should attend the JStreet Meeting in DC at the end of March as a representative of JCall Switzerland.
How are these two related? Well, they first gather people who, like myself as a promoter of cosmopolitanism, value “universal human values, peace, harmony and coexistence” (Kanak Mal Dugar, Chairman of the Peace Seminar Organising Committee). In the same spirit of Peace search, the silent minority (majority?) of diaspora Jews who promote the universal concept of shared human values will gather and elaborate a strategy for a two-States solution in the Israeli-Palestinian region.
I don’t really know how, after years of action for NGOs and a decision to withdraw from all of them, I happen to be at the right places where peace and harmony can actually find a real meaning and could lead to actual results…but here it is. Had I had my say, I would also have been in Tunisia to be among the women who, no doubt, will rebel against the present apathy and disillusion in the face of so much mediocrity in their Jasmine flavoured cup of tea…
On my way to my next year’s sabbatical, I am obviously caught back by my conscience and the impossibility to remain passive in the terrible course of events during this year of the Dragon!
In the meantime, as I will do my best to share with you my notes, thoughts and impressions, let me start with today’s freezing views of Geneva. May violence freeze, in Syria, in Iraq, in Egypt, in the Middle East, in Iran and throughout the world…until men and women of peace have found a way to be heard and to act jointly!
Let me conclude, however, by a reminder made by Flora Tristan, a remarkable lady who actually saw 10 years before Karl Marx, the need for oppressed people to unite and rebel…and she also told us something we should always keep in mind:
L’homme le plus opprimé peut opprimer un être, qui est sa femme. Elle est le prolétaire du prolétaire même.
The most oppressed man can yet oppress another being, his own wife. She is the proletarian of the proletarian himself.