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The Earth Caravan brings a message of hope

Wednesday 12 August 2015

On the 9th of August, just 3 days after the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, Wahat al Salam-Neve Shalom Peace Museum hosted the "Earth Caravan. Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom was a station in the 25-member delegation’s multi-nation tour.

The organizers, a Japanese Buddhist group, wished to commemorate the event in a non-conventional way. They carried with them from Hiroshima a message of hope: "We share the planet – so why not share the happiness?".

Saying also that "Our goal is to light a flame of peace in everyone’s heart", they carried with them a lantern that had been lit in Hiroshima, in order to kindle new lights of hope wherever they go.

The visit began with a tour of WAS-NS that included presentations of its educational work. Afterwards the group, together with some members of the village and invited guests, gathered at the Peace Museum. The museum had been decked out with garlands of a thousand origami cranes, sent by the organizers in advance. In the tradition of a Japanese legend and the famous story of radiation victim Sadako Sasaki, the origami bird has come to symbolize peace, love and compassion.

The Earth Caravan also came the gift of a Kozo (paper mulberry) tree, from which origami paper is made. The sapling was lovingly planted during the visit.

An important part of the event was the singing and chanting of Buddhist chants for universal well-being, which had been specially translated into Arabic, Hebrew and English. In addition, the group also sang their theme song “Share”, composed by the group’s founder, Ryokyo Endo, which has been translated into 16 languages.

The Earth Caravan’s intention was expressed in the lighting of candles from a lantern that had accompanied the group from Hiroshima. The ceremony created a magical atmosphere that well conveyed the Earth Caravan’s message of hope.

As (peace museum director) Dyana Shaloufi Rizek said in her speech “The Caravan shares the mission of the Peace Museum: presenting ways of life, thinking and ideas that promote our common humanity and presenting a more hopeful path, lighting the way to the future for all of us.”

Thanks to everyone who played a part in the event’s success, including Reuven Moscovitch, Rita Boulos, Rayek Rizek, Dafna Karta Schwartz, Nava Sonnenschein, Eitan Kremer, Raida Ayashe-Khatib, and many others.

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