On May 9, 2009, an enthusiastic gesture for peace was made in Nicosia, Cyprus, as hundreds of artists and children worldwide had their ambassadors for peace – handmade elephants – displayed on both sides of the dividing-line checkpoint.
The two mayors of the world’s last divided capital embraced in friendship, a gesture showing hope for a future of peace. History was also made by three ‘enemy’ passport holders – students helping with the exhibition – being allowed to cross the island’s severely guarded, temporary internal border! It may not have been the joyful civic tidal wave that eradicated the dreaded Berlin Wall in 1989, but every drop counts when it’s to help quench the thirst for freedom of the innocent generations to come.
Another highlight of the day came as a local shopkeeper near the checkpoint gave the artist organizers access to his wireless Internet service, allowing us, via web-cam, to broadcast live to the international Schengen Peace Foundation conference taking place simultaneously in Luxembourg – from one end of Europe to the other on Europe Day! All the delegates in attendance applauded after seeing and hearing about the efforts being made, by adults and children alike, for the important cause of lasting peace over in Cyprus.
The following day, Mother’s Day, the peace-exhibition was invited to Jerusalem by an Israeli university professor. The elephants-without-borders are on the march!
With a little mutual forgiveness, and respect for the innocent generations to come, this world can become a beautiful home for everyone.
Here’s my video-collage of the event (music courtesy of Matt Malley, former Counting Crows bass player)