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Picasso’s "Dove of Peace" seeks inspiration from children of the Mediterranean

By Jamel Arfaoui for Magharebia in Tunis – 09/08/2007

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The Peres Centre for Peace's Leo Savir Foundation for a Mediterranean Vision 2020 has invited children from ten Mediterranean nations to participate in a contest titled "Illuminating Picasso’s Dove of Peace". Children ages 15-18 are eligible to take part.

This is the first contest of its type in the Mediterranean region, inviting the region's children to express their views on peace based on artist Pablo Picasso's famous 1949 painting, Dove of Peace.

In addition to the Peres Centre for Peace, the contest will see participation from the Picasso Institution. Children from Tunis, Morocco, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus and other Mediterranean nations will take part. The judging committee will be made up of representatives of the Peres Centre for Peace, the Picasso Institution and Palestine's Al Quds newspaper.

Joelle Naim, who has led a campaign for years among Arab and Jewish intellectuals to write commentary on the "Dove of Peace", said she was very happy with this idea, which is similar to hers "and which I hope will see light next year". Naim, a Tunisian Jew living in Paris, said, "Whatever person or entity is behind this idea, I am happy a dream is coming true."

The Peres Centre for Peace, founded by current Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres, endeavours to bring the peoples of the Mediterranean together and to generate continuous dialogue among their intellectuals.

The idea of the "Mediterranean Vision 2020" was born during a global economics conference in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh in May 2006. It received direct support from the First Lady of Egypt, Suzanne Mubarak, and Moroccan royal advisor André Azoulay, as well as current Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Since Sharm El-Sheikh, a number of meetings have been organised between youth of the Mediterranean to discuss issues such as technology, violence, gender and immigration. The most recent was hosted by Morocco in July, where 15- to 18-year-olds from seven nations discussed "Communication Technology and Development".

According to the contest's official website, the two winning entries from the ten participating nations will be published in a compilation and distributed to the leaders of the region and the world. Further, the winners will be invited to participate in a peace building seminar in the Spanish city of Malaga on November 22nd, to provide an occasion for friendship and dialogue. After this seminar, organisers plan to set down an agenda for co-operation among media outlets in the Mediterranean region to support peace.

In a statement to Magharebia, Ziad El Heni, a member of the Association of Tunisian Journalists (AJT), said, "The Illuminating [Picasso’s Doves of Peace] contest targeting young people in Mediterranean nations is a distinctive project serving the culture of tolerance, peace and communication among Mediterranean youth".

He added, "The entities that adopt this project deserve full praise, as do the newspapers that are joining in. There is much hope that initiatives such as this will expand so that the Mediterranean basin, a cradle of civilisation, is a safe, stable and flourishing region."

El Heni hopes the age for participants will be lowered to thirteen, because "at this stage in a child’s life, the process of formulating thoughts and convictions begins and from them his personality is formed."

Entries must be submitted by September 30th.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    giraud françois 2010-4-8

    The Arabs are the greatest conquerors of the earth. The Qur’an incites them to take possession of all souls and all lands. They spread around the planet, having advanced for 14 centuries as “the standards of God”. They advance through arms, delirious demographic increase, conversion through intense proselytism and endless immigration. They cultivate hatred in order to maintain the fight against secularism. So, be more humble and do not get frosted over a few square kilometres when you have already won millions of square kilometres and you do anything to multiply your conquests. Peace deserves dialogue and reasonable arrangements.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    yo mom 2008-10-21

    hi i think this website is stinkish..... bye


  3. Anonymous thumb

    mimia / tunisie. 2007-8-31

    What “dove”? And, what “peace”? First of all, to me this “dove” is in fact nothing but a bomb aimed to implicate the youth targeted in the Arab world in an illusory proceeding that offers no way out! Moreover, the young participants are going to find themselves, at the planning of the enemy and its collaborators, implicated in a lie falsely referred to as "peace", and leave the competition with a false dove that has already erased a story of existential struggle and consequently with an amnesiac mindset, stripped of its spirit of resistance. Also, must the defenders of this program be reminded that by normalising with the Zionist enemy who rapes and pillages our land and has spilled Arab blood for sixty years now, they are giving a bonus to Peres! The assassination of Rabin, the war in 2006, the practices of apartheid manifested in that shameful Wall, and the like prove that the Zionists are never going to want peace. As for Peres, everyone knows that this man has qualified Arabs as “ignorant and under-developed” and is a participant in the murder of children from Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia and so on. In the end, I would like to welcome any honest signature in petition against this program, condemning it as an act of consorting with the enemy… an enemy who is pretending to be a friend and who is destroying our spirits! Don’t you think that we should only be able to speak of peace if justice is being done and Arabs have acquired all their rights and land? NO to normalisation!!!!


  4. Anonymous thumb

    وئام من مصر 2007-8-21

    I don’t understand how your site authorized publishing accusations against people and their families just because they have expressed a different idea to their extremist and chauvinist trend. I doubt whether the anonymous commentator is a lawyer and wrongly accuses people. I want to ask all these people who give you the right to speak in their name, do you have no internal issues to defend so that you become mature to defend bigger issues. Palestine and Iraq have turned into a hook on which everyone hangs his chronic diseases which have become now infected and we sniff their repugnant smells from the feedbacks of new volunteers. I ask the staff responsible of this site to examine the publication of comments and feedbacks namely those that touch the honours of people.

    Magharebia encourages open and frank dialogue on issues, provided the interaction complies with the stated comments policy. Following an editorial review, this comment thread has been modified to remove the offensive comments. Thank you for your understanding.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2007-8-18

    Direct normalization with zionists is unacceptable by all the States of the Arab Maghreb, as it has permitted the infiltration of Zionist ideas to us. As to the first comment, there are more ways to teach tolerance and peace than just surrender. As Mohamed Hassanine Haykal said in the prologue of his book ‘Secret negotiations between Arabs and “Israel”: ‘Interest in politics in action or in ideas requires reading history first, because those who ignore what happened before they were born are condemned to remain children all their lives”.

    URL removed by the editor.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    hajer 2007-8-17

    What’s this Mahmoud? You’ve brought us back to the courts of investigations and intention courts. What is the role of his father in an idea he presented? I think that it’s a good idea, dangerous to the enemies of peace as it’s an opportunity to meet people and defend an idea- it's an invaluable opportunity. As to choosing an empty-seat policy, it reflects a weakness and inability to convince. Mahmoud, you suffer like some Arabs from conspiracy phobia which has stricken our affairs. You should confront your opponents and not be like an ostrich. You need, like those who fill our Arab arena, especially here in the Maghreb, a treatment that will heal you from accusing others.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2007-8-17

    Personal attacks are not permitted under Magharebia's comments policy. This comment has been removed.


  8. Anonymous thumb

    محمود 2007-8-15

    Personal attacks are not permitted under Magharebia's comments policy. This comment has been removed.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    acharif moulay abdellah bouskraoui 2007-8-9

    We need to teach peace and tolerance between people, especially children, who will always represent humanity’s future. The path is difficult because those who want nothing but for conflicts to continue are going to fight in different ways. It is sad, but it is our reality for those who are asking for the co-operation of every nation and all possibilities and who believe in peace. Like the bible says “Those who have the law reign and peace shine like a star, will continue on into heaven.” Long live Peace!