Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11's twin

Question:  What do Jude Law, the United Nations and a little known film maker called Jeremy Gilley have in common?

Answer:   Peace Day.

Peace Day?
 In September 2001, the United Nations created an international day of Peace: a day where people made an effort to bring peace into their immediate environments.  The hope was that that these peaceful actions would emanate outwards, and be a step towards creating a peaceful planet.

Unfortunately the day this event was supposed to be announced was the day two planes were flown into the twin towers.  The moment Peace Day became more relevant than ever, was also the moment that real efforts towards peace fell by the wayside.

Today, Peace Day is a largely unknown entity.

The genesis behind the day came from a film maker called Jeremy Gilley.  In 1999 he began writing letters to the world leaders, calling for one day of Peace.

Aside from the obvious reasons behind undertaking such an initiative, it was also a way of estimating whether peace was even relevant anymore.  How open would the world be towards creating an international day of Peace?  Had it just become another word that we throw around?  This question was at the heart of his campaign.  Gilley documented his efforts, and with the support of Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama (and a few celebrities) he succeeded in his mission.  His journey became a film called "Peace One Day".

In his recent TED Talk, Gilley stressed the importance of every individual doing their bit for peace.  Personally I think Peace Day is an amazing idea, and I think people should get together and have Peace Parties.  Even if this just takes the form of a bunch of friends sharing time, at least it's motivated by a desire for something greater than ourselves.  Coming together with that in our minds can't be a bad thing?

Peace Day is on the 21st of September.  How will you spend yours?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Natanel Araeha

Last year, in India, I was on the roof of my guesthouse when two musicians arrived.  One was carrying a tabla, the other, what appeared to be a guitar.  What they played touched me deeply, and that night will be etched in my mind forever.

The string-player's "guitar" was not a guitar, but a larger instrument which he designed, and then built from a tree he had felled.

His website has just gone up, and features his first album, and a collection of his art work, which has an 'other-world' theme.

His music is a blend of Arabic meets Asian.  It conjurs images of hot, dusty deserts, glittering cities, but speaks to something deep and dark in your soul.

Needless to say, you should check him out ;)

Natanel Araeha

Friday, September 2, 2011

Anti-Terrorist Colouring Book (this isn't a joke!)

As the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Americans everywhere are commemorating the event that rocked the Western world.
Determined not to exclude anyone (except the Muslims of course), Really Big Coloring Books have released a $6.99 book about "9 terrorist hijackers that came over here under the leadership of a devil worshipper, Osama bin Laden, to murder our people." 
Its first publication has sold out.
Children have a choice of scenes to colour in: take your pick from 9/11, or the subsequent hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Apparently it's not rascist or anti-Muslim
First Sarah Palin, now this. I'm beginning to think that America is actually a made-up country in a bad soap opera.
See Guardian article on 9/11 Children's Colouring Book here
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