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News Archive 2008-2010

IFLAC Congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi

(2010.11.15) IFLAC congratulates Burma's pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for her freedom.

The IFLAC Committee

Congratulations, Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo!

(2010.10.08) IFLAC salutes and congratulates Mr. Liu Xiaobo for the Nobel PEACE PRIZE 2010, for his constant peace activities, and for claiming further democratization for his country, China, and for the whole world.

Nearing Hearts

Book: Nearing Hearts

(2010.05.20) Ada has published a new historical novel entitled Kiruv Levavot, which means Nearing Hearts. The book is in Hebrew.

In the novel, Prof. Audrey Yadid researches the uprooting of the Jews from Arab countries in the mid 20th century and presents her findings at the University of Pennsylvania. More than half her class are Arab and Palestinian students. Like Audrey, Ada herself is born in Egypt and was forced to leave the country during the "Second Exodus," which started in 1948. Out of the then 100,000 Jews in Egypt, there are only 20 very old people left today, in 2010.

- My research for this novel clearly showed me that one of the ways to deeply reconcile the Palestinians and Israelis is by pointing out their mutual history and their mutual uprooting in the Middle East, as well as their shared values and humanism, Ada says.

The cover picture shows Ada on the camel, with her late husband, Haim, taking care that she does not fall off.

Ruby Grains for the Women's Day

(2010.03.08) For the International Women's Day, the Vietnam Women Newspaper asked Ada seven questions.

- I enjoyed answering their intelligent questions, Ada says.

Question: What do you wish for women all over the world on the International Women's Day 2010?

Ada: I wish a "Pomegranate Life" for women all over the world - ruby grains of wisdom and freedom, creative lives, equal status as that of men, equal opportunities to choose whatever they desire...

Read all the questions and answers


Life is a Pomegranate
Full of juicy ruby grains
Taste them fully
One by one
It is suddenly

Living Together

(2009.11.19) At the Festival of Poets in Paris (French) in October 2009, Ada gave a lecture on Living Together - Vivre Ensemble. Her lecture was nominated as a Resolution of the Festival, and on its basis, a letter (French version, English version) signed by the attending Poets and by IFLAC Members, was sent to the Director General of UNESCO. The letter highly recommends that UNESCO should create the IFLAC IPCTV: The International Peace Culture Television, to spread the culture of peace over the Middle East and the whole world.

"If all the Middle East would have such good relations as we had on this Panel and in the whole of the Festival, the world would be a much better place...," Ada says about the picture below, featuring the Panel of "Poets from the Middle East." Ada (second from the right) is on the chair after the presentation of her Peace Poems. On her left is the poetess from Iran, and on her right is the poet from Algeria, who read a moving poem he dedicated to Ada. The Iraqui poet is acting his piece about his yearning and hope for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Poets from the Middle East at the Festival of Poets in Paris

Ada is an Iron Butterfly

(2009.09.26) Iron Butterflies are revolutionary women. They have a will of iron and the touch of a butterfly, Birute Regine writes about her upcoming book, Iron Butterflies: Women Leading in a New Era, which will be released in spring 2010.

Ada is proud to be one of the Iron Butterflies interviewed in the book. Birute Regine wanted to know when Ada became a feminist. The answer involves two grandmothers with opposing views as to a girl's value, and a game of chess when Ada was seven. Her two year older brother had taught her to play chess, but when she checkmated him, he slapped her across the face. She slapped him right back. Her paternal grandmother, Esther, was shocked to watch the future man of the house being slapped, and she reprimanded her granddaughter: a boy is worth sixty girls, don't you dare raise your hand to your brother or any man. Little Ada strongly disagreed: "I am worth one boy!" Regina, her maternal grandmother, backed her, as did Ada's mother. "So, I became a feminist at the age of seven!" Ada concludes.

Birute Regine has kindly given us the permission to post the chapter about Ada and her two grandmothers. It is called Ada Aharoni's Story: Close the Gender Gap.

Birute Regine is a developmental psychologist from Harvard University, a psychotherapist for 25 years, a visiting scholar at Wellesley College's Research Center on Women, a workshop facilitator, business consultant, and public speaker.

IFLAC is 10 years!

June 28, 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of IFLAC.

Here are some highlights from our 10 years of spreading the Culture of Peace throughout our global village:

May this 10th year of our mutual efforts be the best of all, and every year after it still more successful and rewarding than the one before!

Tale of Mideast Jews Can Ease Campus Tension

(2009.03.26) During a recent conference titled Emerging Trends in Anti-Semitism and Campus Discourse at the University of Toronto, Ada delivered a lecture on the uprooting of Jews from Arab countries in 1948. That year, about 650,000 Palestinians fled Israel, while about 900,000 Jews from neighbouring Arab countries either fled or were thrown out of their homes and forced to leave all their possessions behind. Ada and her family were among them. Out of the 100,000 Jews in 1948, only 40 Jews are left in all of Egypt.

- Informing people about the uprooting of Jews from Arab countries decades ago can be used as a tool to help ease tensions on campuses between Jewish and pro-Palestinian students, Ada said.

- I presented it as a tool for students to be able to empower them, so when they hear that Palestinians were thrown out [of Israel], they'll know there were two migrations, not only one, in the mid-20th century.

Tale of Mideast Jews Can Ease Campus Tension - report from the conference, written by Sheri Shefa, Staff Reporter, CJN, Toronto.

IFLAC Peace Stories Festival 2009

Place: Haifa Cinematheque - Time: April 12th and 13th

Click for larger picture (Hebrew only):

IFLAC Peace Stories Festival 2009

Ada and Her Books

(2009.02.13) The picture below shows Ada laying out a selection from her 27 published books, preparing for an interview with Al Jazeera International. The interview will be aired on March 25, 2009, to commemorate "Thirty Years to the Signing of the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel." The books on the table are mainly those that have Peace and Egypt in their hearts.

See also: Letter to Kadreya. Kadreya was Ada's childhood school friend in Cairo, where Ada was born. Ada's father, Jewish and French national, had his business permit withdrawn, and the family went to live in France in 1949. The following year, Ada came to Israel, at the age of 16.

Ada and some of her books

Peace, Literature and Art

Book: UNESCO-EOLSS: Peace, Literature and Art

(2009.01.03) Ebook edited by Ada for the UNESCO-EOLSS (Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems). It contains 30 articles chosen from all over the world, included 3 of Ada's own articles.

Among the topics: Peace Culture Required for Sustainable Global Development - Women in the Pursuit of Peace - Universal Obstacles to Peace Education - The Construction of a New Culture of Peace Through Literature and Art - IFLAC Paves the Way to Peace - Dignity: Cornerstone of the Culture of Peace - Using Peaceful Language: From Principles to Practices - Towards a Definition of Intercultural Dialogue.

The story of Sister Thea Wolf translated into Hebrew

Book: Story of Sister Thea Wolf in Hebrew

(2008.08.12) Ada's bestselling book Not in Vain: An Extraordinary Life has been translated into Hebrew, titled The Woman in White: Memories from Alexandria. It tells the remarkable story of Sister Thea Wolf, a German Jewish Nurse who came to work in the Jewish hospital in Alexandria, Egypt before the outbreak of World War 2. This not only saved her life but also thrust her a leading role of helping Jewish refugees who came to or through Egypt in their attempt to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

For more information, please email Ada Aharoni.

Ada receives the Emissary of Peace Award

(2008.05.19) The award is presented by WICO - Women's International Coalition for Culture of Peace, Non-Violence and Empowered Women:

"Recognizing your dedication and accomplishment service to the cause of World Peace, particularly through efforts that promote reconciliation among all people, going beyond barriers of Race, Religion, Nationality, Ideology and building Culture of Peace, Non-Violence and Empowered Women."

Emissary of Peace Award

New Book: The Voice of Peace in the Process of Education

Book: The Voice of Peace in the Process of Education

(2008.04.25) This innovative book on Peace Education is edited by Sara Zamir and Ada Aharoni.

In its recommendation, IFLAC Literary and Educational Recommendation Committee says:

This book has been highly praised as an innovative voice in Peace Education. It establishes comprehensive and critical examination of the Peace Eduaction issues, dilemmas and visions concerning the process of peace education in Israel, as they appear today. It also demonstrates new implementations of the theoretical as well as the practical views of peace education. It is a book that should be used in all schools, colleges and universities, as well as by other institutions and forums around the world.

The book can be ordered from the publisher: Achva Academic College of Education, M.P.O. Shikmim, 79800 Israel, tel. 972-8-8588172.

IFLAC's Call on Passover and Easter:
Create Ministries of Peace in Israel and Palestine

(2008.04.20) On this Passover and Easter, there are more Israelis and Palestinians pushing to transform the atmosphere from violence to harmony and peace.

IFLAC: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace, is eveloping guidelines for this purpose, and it proposes that we should pass on to concrete peace thinking and peace actions, by the creation of Ministries of Peace, both in Israel and Palestine. These crucially needed MINISTRIES OF PEACE would be charged with implementing the spreading of a PEACE CULTURE in all our region, and take in charge all the various aspects of negotiations of a viable and lasting PEACE agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

IFLAC works toward an atmosphere and a mechanism to put a stop to incitement and hatred. It is absolutely imperative to reject the poisonous messages drilled into Palestinian children, and their education of a CULTURE OF DEATH. In Gaza, in particular, even the youngest children are taught that killing Jews is a duty of Muslims and that Israel's existence can never be tolerated.

Israeli textbooks are slowly reflecting more of the Palestinian sad and tragic experience, and Palestinian books too should reflect the sad and tragic reality of Israel, under constant Palestinian Kassams. This would create Bridges of understanding, tolerance and harmony.

Creating a culture of peace may seem like wishful thinking in the face of daily deadly rocket attacks on Sderot and the South of Israel by the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad, as well as in the face of the threat of military escalation as retaliation efforts by Israel.

However, convincing people that real peace, though difficult, is a tangible possibility, could go a long way toward facilitating compromise and making peace a reality. IFLAC works to attain a real PASS OVER experience from a culture of violence to a culture of peace.

IFLAC is so much more than a fantasy for peace poets, music composers, filmmakers and dreamers - IFLAC PAVES THE ROAD TO PEACE, with our daily IFLAC NEWSLETTER DIGEST, all our peace projects, and all your efforts dear media colleagues, and IFLAC members and friends.

New CD: To Haim - To Life: Love Poems

CD: To Haim - To Life

(2008.04.13) This CD is dedicated to Ada's husband, Haim Aharoni, who passed away in 2006.

Ada's four Love Poems in memory of Haim are put to music by Robert Nissenson and are here sung in Hebrew by Michal Tal, including What is Happiness?.

Ada then reads the poems both in Hebrew and English, among them Our Beautiful New Home.

The CD also contains other of her poems put to music by Yigal Alfassi and sung in Hebrew and English. One of them is the beautiful Why?, sung by Revital Levanon. Another is the classical A Green Week, sung by Anat Yagen.

To order the CD, please send an email to Ada Aharoni.

IFLAC on YouTube

(2008.02.23) Two IFLAC videos have been posted on YouTube. One is an introduction to IFLAC, where Ada interviews Barbara Lanz, young Austrian peace activist and student newcomer to IFLAC, and then Barbara interviews Ada.

The other, IFLAC España, is posted by the IFLAC Branch in Spain. It presents the main goals of IFLAC in Spanish, and photos of poets and writers who promote peace, equality and human rights. The video is accompanied by the song "We Are The World" (USA for Africa).

History and Culture of the Jews of Egypt in Modern Times

Book: WCJE Congress 2006

(2008.01.30) New book published by the WCJE - The World Congress of the Jews from Egypt - and edited by Prof. Ada Aharoni, Prof. Aimee Pelletier, and Ms. Levana Zamir.

It is the Proceedings of the WCJE World Congress at Haifa University, in June 2006, and it contains 30 articles, by 30 world famous researchers, including the works of the three editors.

The book is in English, French, and Hebrew and includes beautiful historical pictures of a model multicultural society that is no more.

Order information

Ada Aharoni: An Israeli scholar of literature and peace

(2008.01.10) Doug Holder at Ibbetson Street Press recently conducted an online interview with Ada. They talked about IFLAC, Peace Culture TV, Ada's poetry and Saul Bellow. When asked about IFLAC and cultural exchange as a means to bridge gaps, Ada answered: "We believe that all conflicts can be alleviated if the sides know and understand each other better, through bridges of culture and literature. Our culture is at the basis of our identity, and in a long and tragic conflict like the Arab-Israeli one, the wounds are very deep, on both sides, and to heal them we need a vehicle that can go that deep, and the most appropriate ones are Poetry, Literature and Culture."

Read the whole interview: Ada Aharoni: An Israeli scholar of literature and peace

Copyright (c) Ada Aharoni