The Peace Stories

All the nations of the world in one book about peace! In this section you will find stories that we have already collected (either through web submissions or interviews) for our book categorized by country.

Please note that the stories below are only a small part (the most recent) of the contributions. In order to see all of them you can check out our Stories by Country section on the right.

All the nations of the world in one book about peace! In this section you will find stories that we have already collected (either through web submissions or interviews) for our book categorized by country.

Please note that the stories below are only a small part (the most recent) of the contributions. In order to see all of them you can check out our Stories by Country section on the right.

Visions of peace from Syria

From Mani, Syria

Mani, our Syrian friend, could easily be one of the next generation’s leaders the world so desperately needs. She is determined, knows what she is talking about and the legitimacy of her words is given by the fact that she went through war.

Her vision on peace is short and powerful: ‘don’t make me be you because I am different’. These were her thoughts about what is going on in her country now:

‘Wars break the social bonding between people. If the trust between the citizens of the same country disappears, you have the perfect context for endless violence. People start killing each other based on the motto ‘I do not know you so I kill you just in case (because I do not trust you)’. They do not dare taking the risk to wait and see if the other person is good or bad.

Visions of peace from California, USA

From Laura, California (USA)

Peace is understanding between people. It happens when you are able to take the other person’s perspective and understand where they are coming from.  It can be on a personal level but also on a country level when you try to understand each other’s history.You have to find your own personal peace, that something which makes you happy and makes you feel alive. For me peace is accepting myself, being happy with who I am and what I stand for.

When you say ‘peace’ and ‘California’, the first things which come into people’s mind are the hippies and the civil rights movement.  From all the chaos going on in the ’60 and ‘70 a lot of peace, love and understanding originated. All the oppressed groups came together and tried to achieve some kind of country wide peace and they fought for equality. My mom was very vocal about her philosophy of peace and promoting togetherness rather than war or conflict. She never got upset about anything. She would always say- if you stop and think about what the other person is going through or their perspective then you will understand each other and you can come to some kind of peaceful agreement. It takes time and open minds to put yourself in other people’s shoes and to accept that nobody is entirely right or wrong. The most important thing she taught me is being open to new experiences.

Visions of peace from France

From Eloïse, France

PEACE, four letters and yet so many meanings and interpretations… Throughout history, how many people have tried to describe it and explained how to reach it? Is it a state of mind, is it a feeling, how does it work?

Peace has also often been in the midst of political issues and the word comes back in many organisations and symbols. Who has not heard of an organisation like GreenPeace? Peace&Love has been a famous message from Woodstock back in the days which still stands now. Since we are born we hear the word but we also know that it is something we need to look for actively.

In France, we call peace ‘‘la paix’’, it is really meaningful. Whenever a kid is fighting with another one, we tell them ‘make peace with your friend’. Soon in life already we are taught that it is important not to engage in something not peaceful. But as we grow up, do we really encounter that peace? External peace does not equally mean inner peace. We then realise that peace is something that is coming from inside, that we have to look in other realms, inside of us! Whenever I witness peace I feel a big sense of serenity and wisdom, I feel happy! It is an amazing feeling to receive and a beautiful gift! Many people in this world try to reach that state, countries in wars try to reach peace for their population. People in peaceful countries can try to reach peace within themselves and hoping for peace for others.

Visions of peace from Pakistan

From a friend, Pakistan

Our contributor was born in the the Kashmir region in Pakistan. After the partition of India in 1947 it was unclear if this former Hindu region belonged to India or Pakistan. After a short war in 1947-48 a ceasefire was agreed under UN supervision. But the situation has not been stable since then and people from both India and Pakistan have suffered a lot.

“I feel at peace when I fulfill all my responsibilities. That means taking care of my family, my friends and colleagues and performing well at my job. Responsibilities are often seen as a burden. For me it does not feel like that. Nobody tells me to live up to my responsibilities, it comes from within. I also feel that my religion (Islam) provides me with a lifestyle, a way of thinking and guidance in every part of life. It’s like a manual we have to follow. Whenever I feel restless or not in peace with myself I read the Quran or listen to typical Islamic songs. They have a positive and comforting message and they give me hope when things are not going well.

In general, peace in society is linked to justice. Justice in Pakistan is a very big problem. For the last years the government has been ruling the country in a terrible way. They act as if they did not care about future planning or the country’s best interest. We have electricity problems so our industry and businesses can be down for hours and even days. It stops society from developing. Hopefully a new government will be better than the previous one. I hope they will start investing in the country and take care of the infrastructure. As the time will pass, people have to understand each other and respect each other’s rights and responsibilities.

Visions of peace from the Central African Republic

From Nicolas, the Central African Republic

My country, the Central African Republic, was a French colony. Despite its significant mineral and other resources, such as uranium, crude oil, gold, diamonds as well as arable land, the Central African Republic is among the ten poorest countries in Africa.

This has many things to do with the fact that the country is not politically stable. There has just been a coup d’état – president Francois Bozize’s regime was overthrowm on 24 March 2013 following an open led rebellion against his government by armed forces known as the Séléka Coalition Rebels. The ex-president flew to Cameroon. He cared about his family and close relatives more than about his country and the people were angry because of that.

Bozizé’s rule was plagued with corruption, underdevelopment, nepotism and authoritarianism. Under his rule, public workers would not receive their salaries. My father used to work for the government and they never paid him. They only gave us little money so we would not starve. Everybody is used to living like that though. There is money, for the president and other rich people. There is a great difference between the poor and the rich. I traveled to the CAR often when my father was still alive and it was always painful to see people struggling and living in such a poor environment. If I could do something I would help in education and childcare. There are children not eating and without hope for the future. Since March 2013, the CAR has a new president called Michel Djotodia. Hopefully he will invest more in education and job opportunities.

Visions of peace from Iran

From Zahra, Iran

Zahra from Iran is a beautiful woman. Beauty is an easy and difficult thing at the same time. We all recognize it when we see it based on our internal values but we don’t really know what exactly triggers it. What makes us ‘beautiful’, ‘pleasant’, ‘kind’? The warmth in her eyes and her smile. That gave Zahra an aura of beauty, the kind of beauty that one can feel as compared to a beauty that one can only see.

For her peace is like being in love every day with everyone. When you love you are a better person, you give, you understand, you listen and you open your heart. This is the solution for all the wars out there. Nobody would shoot a bullet at someone they love.

Zahra comes from Iran, the 18th largest country in the world, famous for its natural resources. It is a littoral state at the Caspian Sea, bordered by Kazakhstan, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. As for many other countries in that region, geography and geopolitics make it a place of instability and conflicts. A war with Iraq, tumultuous political relationships with Israel and the US, a controversial nuclear programme – all that caught the eye of the foreign press for some years now.

Visions of peace from Egypt

From Khaled, Egypt

Peace has a lot of meanings and can trigger different emotions. In my language (Arabic) “salam” means peace. This is used in our daily greeting, for example as “salam maleikum” which translates as “may peace be with you”. The name of our religion, Islam, also originates from the word salam, the root of peace.

Based on what I lived so far, I can only see peace as the opposite of war and destruction. For us, for the many, attaining peace is a dream. We all want it, but we are uncertain about how we can make it come true.

The history of Egypt is an example of that.  Egypt is a transcontinental country located in Africa and Asia, and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Gaza Strip and Israel, the Red Sea, Sudan and Libya. It is also one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East despite the fact that most of its territory is covered by the Sahara Desert.

With such geography, I cannot really remember when the country was fully at peace. Even if we fought a lot, I guess we never actually talked about the troubles that were going on. We need more communication otherwise we will keep being in conflict all the time. I hope politicians will start being an example for everyone: communicate and find solutions instead of accusing each other without solving anything.