A shout for Peace – Middle East

6 October 2013
In response to the Pope’s call for peace and after a fruitful meeting with Emmaus, Giancarlo and several countries of the Middle East, an idea came across our minds, to dedicate an evening for Peace. Each country started to prepare their own program in their own country yet in unity with each other thanks to the social media which has helped us to connect together.
 
Jordan:
After the Pope’s call for peace, we launch a week, through our Facebook page, dedicating it for peace, starting 7th September and concluding it with an evening inviting our friends! We shared the idea with the Youth of the Middle East, some of whom happened to be here in Jordan to attend a meeting with Emmaus and Giancarlo. We decided that all of us, each in their own country to do something for Peace on the same day and then to meet over a conference call and pray all together for PEACE.
We were around 35 Youth for a United World both Muslims and Christians; we started with a linkup with Brazil-Fortaleza, who wanted to assure us that they too are praying for peace as they we were meeting with youth from other Catholic movements. Afterwards, we called up Iraq; it was a great opportunity to assure each other that we are always united and we all work for the same goal. During our evening, we saw a power point of quotes and meditations from the Bible, Prophet Mohammad, Chiara Lubich, Igino Giordani, Mother Teresa and others. We concluded our evening with a prayer for Syria and the Middle East through a linkup with Lebanon, Holy Land and Algeria. Such a great moment: a living proof that the unity between us is growing despite the echoes of conflicts in our areas.
 
Holy Land:
The fruits of our meeting in Amman are great and the unity built with the Youth from the other Middle East zones is great as well. After less than two weeks from our meeting, a new idea is launched… to have an evening prayer vigil for peace with the Y4UW. During the evening we decided to have a conference call, to assure unity between us and to show the youth that they are not alone in the world living this way.
In our area, Aboud where Father Yousef is present, we had a linkup. On the first day, just like we planned, we had our prayer vigil and were connected with Lebanon, Jordan and three different areas in Algeria. On the next morning, we had a lecture entitled “To put God in the first place”. After the lecture we spent some quality time together, walking in the Lemon Valley, BBQ, socializing and experiencing mutual love.
 
Egypt:
Unfortunately, there was a curfew in Egypt and the Youth were not able to meet and to connect with us through the linkup, yet we all felt their lively presence just as Sally (from Egypt) shared:
“After the amazing gathering for the whole Middle East in Jordan, and the great unity we built together there. I took it back with me to Egypt, and I feel that we are still having this strong unity despite that long distance between us; this unity that really helped a lot in being better gen. Even if we couldn’t manage to be on Skype with the whole Middle East for the prayer, we felt the unity and really Jesus in the middle was there for us 🙂
All these helped me, personally, to have peace in my daily events and not just having peace but to spread it everywhere.
Finally, I want to thank every single one of you gen for helping each other to be a better gen and thank you for Jesus in the middle that we feel very strong, and I want to assure my unity in every thing you do in your lives.”
 
Iraq:
Several youth, a family, adults and a friend were present to pray together for peace.
We started with praying the Rosary then meditate a thought of Chiara Lubich when she explains that everybody is created as a gift for me and me too, I was created a gift for the others.
We were all excited and looking forward to calling Jordan….. Everybody was happy of the idea and touched with the power of LOVE we may all give to the world…..
After few days, Anmar (from Syria) came told us: “I was really touched by the effectiveness of the power of prayer… during these past weeks we are receiving lots of bad news about my country and an attack was very possible…. but then, through the power of our prayers I noticed that the people (and especially the politicians) in my country started to negotiate…. it is really a miracle….. Let’s continue to praying.”
In another meeting with around 35 youth we talked about “shout of peace” and launched again the idea of the mid-day Time-out.
Yesterday with the explosions in Erbil we renewed our commitment to pray and live for peace…..
 
Algeria:
We have already started our programme in Algeria. We have visited our communities in Algiers (capital), Oran and Tlemcen. We have sang, and read a meditation from Chiara Lubich. It was the first time for us to do this together connected through the internet, for us it was a very intense and happy moment. After this, we were connected with the other Arab countries. We felt a big joy hearing the programme from each country. We have really felt the atmosphere of God’s presence between us, especially during the Time-out and prayers that we have recited. From our part, we have read Surat Al Fatiha and also Surat 49 verse 13. We have really felt that bridges have been built between us, especially with Syria
 
Lebanon:
With big enthusiasm for this evening dedicated for peace, we were around 40 Youth for a United World from Lebanon and Syria, some of the Syrian youth are living in Lebanon, gathered in a small church in the north of Beirut. We passed one hour in meditating, praying and singing for peace. Peace is our goal but sometimes we feel it’s so hard for us to achieve it especially with everything that surrounds us, war in Syria and bombs killing civilians in Lebanon. This evening gave us hope that peace is not a utopia, seeing all these Youth from all over the Middle East gathered all together praying for peace gave us the certitude and the strength to keep on living and building peace around us. We are now certain that Love will always win!

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