Picasso’s "Dove of Peace" seeks inspiration from children of the Mediterranean
By Jamel Arfaoui for Magharebia in Tunis – 09/08/2007
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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