Our Tribe celebrated the International Day of Peace last week. For kids whose lives were torn asunder by war, hate, and evil, Peace is an important component of their post - ISIS lives. I am not saying that we have a full understanding of this immense term, “Peace” but for them, it goes hand in hand with freedom and being released from the captivity of ISIS. It is directly connected with being healed from the trauma and ravages of war, being in a place of safety and security which releases them to embrace peace of mind and soul.
In thinking about Peace, I have thought about hate, hate of such proportion that can willingly cause the genocide of a people. Elie Wiesel in his reflections recalls that the first death in the Bible was murder. Concerning the Anatomy of Hate, he says “It does not take much for human beings collectively or individually, to suddenly one day pit themselves like wild beasts one against the other, their worst instincts laid bare. One decision, one word, and a family or community will drown in blood.”
Not all of our students have come to a place of peace. For some the past is still haunting, the blood they saw shed in the past is still beckoning them, tempting them to shed their own. It is like a hook in the mouth of a fish, trying to reel them in. They lack peace, they desperately want that freedom it brings, but they have not grounded themselves in peace.
“You establish peace for us”
One of SOHF Staff
“I grew up in Old Shariya not knowing peace. As a child our village was bombed three times by the Saddam Hussein regime. We lived in caves; we lived in sheer terror. Many members of my family were murdered, hung out in public squares for execution. I can tell you everything about war, about the fear it brings, the fear that then turns into physical sickness and devours you and kills you. It has taken me years to climb out of that black hole created by war, and to come to a place of peace, of mental and emotional health.
Sometimes peace is simply stillness, quietness, a place of tranquillity where I find my being is at peace, free to be the me that I was created to be, the place where the scars from the past can slowly be healed.
Celebrating Peace Day is empowering. Our kids who were rescued from ISIS are sending a strong message of freedom, of the liberation that now enables them to live in peace. Our kids make hope, joy, peace and love the core of their being as these are the things they have been deprived of, that have been stolen from them and for which they are desperate.”
Sahla, Director of The Hope Center
“It is vital to celebrate Peace Day. Every human being has the right to live in peace. Peace is a fundamental human right.
Our kids who were rescued from ISIS have all experienced, violence as they were thrust into the heart of a war zone where they spent most of their childhood.
They dreamed of peace, which for them could be a safe place, security, a place where they are not tortured, where they are fed. This is what peace means to them. They put the words, Peace, Freedom and Life together, they are inseparable.
It was amazing to see them all dressed in