I have to start by saying that this is the third convening on peace-making and conflict resolution in the MENA Region. For me, this is one of the biggest achievements ever. Women come together and reflect on ways to end conflicts in our volatile nation. We owe it to ourselves to be doers and enact changes in UN Resolution 1325 and in making peace in countries where people live in fear of tomorrow.
A special moment for me was seeing the music that the group made in the third convening, and I mean by music the interactive discussions that were held throughout this very short convening. Yes, music was made on different instruments and most of it was played out in harmony and some of it was discordant, which is OK. Here, I believe we are helping each other tune in and tune out the harsh and husky sounds that need to be eliminated. But you know what. What matters is that most of the women had a glimmer of hope in their eyes. Most of them believed that we can be agents of change and we can go home and start spreading the awareness and the weeding out of the differences amongst us.
Women sat back and others sat forward, but I could sense at more than one moment in time that there is a deep understanding of doing the right thing for us and for the new coming generations. Women listened attentively, squinting their eyes at times and at other times jotting down notes on their notepads just to make sure that they are documenting facts and unfolding feelings, making memories which they will pass on to their families and friends later.
I loved the space that we created for all of the women, regardless of their nationalities and of their backgrounds, to speak their minds and sometimes to speak back with thunder to what is being said. People tend to hate hiccups in a conversation. I tend to love them for they make us stop in our tracks for a while and to reflect on our mission only to discover that we what we are doing is worthwhile. Indeed, it is worthwhile. Isn’t after all worthwhile to build lives and futures which are based on peace and justice for all?
What will stay with me forever is the faith people have in what we are doing. We might disagree over some points here and there, but that will never deter us from doing what we are bent on doing. We are full-fledged human beings who have our own diverse opinions and kaleidoscopic perspectives. We are different and that is our point of strength. In our differences, we become a bulwark of strength.
What will stay with me forever is our re-humanization as women who come from conflict zones. We have engaged in mind negotiations and in heart ruminations; we simply run a conversation which is infused with understanding, empathy, and love. Our solidarity is not based on our victimhood; rather, it is based on our victorhood.
This convening reminded me of Faulkner’s Nobel Speech Prize when he said that “human beings will not only endure they will also prevail.” FGW will endure and it will prevail.