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News, Updates & Thought of the Day

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This program is funded by the European Union Youth in Action Programme.

December 10, 2013

Systemic peacebuilding work is done with the aim to transcend the unnatural/man-made borders, identities, nation states. It looks at identifying a common thread of humanity, commonness and a universal dialectic.
 
"Société Réaliste, in cooperation with computer engineer Frédéric Mauclère, has developed a software calculating average musical notations from MIDI files. The artists used this new software to calculate the average national anthem of the 193 member states of the United Nations. It is known that although the UN is an organization born from the union of nations according to its name, does not have an anthem, a song which is going beyond the nation states self-image and self-definition. But if we think about it, the pursuit of universality can’t really be sung as long as the individual states formulate their separation, dissimilarity from the other states and nations in their anthems."

 

December 6, 2013

Thank you for your tremendous contributions to the world, and your encouragement for life and leadership to be lived more fully and courageously. May you rest in power.

"There is no passion to be found playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."~ Nelson MandelaThank you for your tremendous contributions to the world, and your encouragement for life and leadership to be lived more fully and courageously. May you rest in power."There is no passion to be found playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."~ Nelson Mandela

December 2, 2013

"We have created a society in which the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, and in which we are so caught up in our own immediate problems that we cannot afford to be aware of what is going on with the rest of the human family or our planet Earth. In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed."~Thich Nhat Hahn
 
Thanks, Thay, for calling it like you see it and asking us to consider what we can actively do for our home and our survival.

Love is the Teacher

November 27, 2013

Do not hate people for one negative quality they possess, love them for all other good qualities of them that appeal to you.

November 26, 2013

Revolution. This word gets thrown around a lot in our modern discourse. The word is equivocal and often times it changes its meaning depending on the grammatical and cultural context of its deployment. One thing that is certain is the fact that we all desire some sort of “dramatic and wide-reaching change” to a different extent. Sometimes it seems that events characterized by the word “revolution” are not that transformative, awe-inspiring and systemic as we envision them to be.

The revolution I want to see happen is a synchronized series of responses and movements by the overwhelming majority of our world’s population that would directly respond to the current neoliberal world socio-economic order. Here are some general ideas. I would like to see a mothership of all the (ongoing and upcoming) for transnational revolutionary movements. On this online social infrastructure people from all over the world could propose and/or take up or join others in a task/responsibility depending on their geographical location, area of expertise and availability.

Thus the mothership would tentatively be structured as follows:

1. Theory / Vision of tomorrow - Economists, political scientists, sociologists and other radical scholars are collaboratively working on a shared common vision of the world to come.

2. Activism / Organizing crowd - people working together to agree on and organize various nonviolent actions in support of the same goals

3. Art incubator - Artists of all kinds are creating works that promote, educate and activate the wider public with regards to the transnational revolutionary movement. Graffiti, music and various forms of performance would inspire and create a global sense of awareness.

4. Environmental  - physicists, biologists, chemists, engineers, indigenous people, farmers would redefine the way we treat the planet and explore its natural resources.

5. Peace and resilience crowd - people would discuss  detecting, avoiding, mitigating and helping others recover from various conflicts, whether direct/violent, structural or cultural. The potential crises should be dealt with preemptively, by building the necessary capacities and infrastructures for prevention, early-warning mechanisms, ‘hard’ resilience tactics and peacebuilding strategies.

6. Spiritual enlightenment - theologians, philosophers, thinkers would come together to formulate a common message/narrative towards global human awareness, empathic co-existence and love in action.

November 25, 2013

Last Friday, we spent the day at The Albert Einstein Institution, engaging with the work of Gene Sharp around nonviolent struggle and learning about the tools for responding to violent situations with nonviolent alternatives. We talked about the need to strategize and know the context we're working in. We also explored the need to have a vision for tomorrow in order to have sustainable nonviolent movement. It's a tough question. What's your vision of tomorrow?

November 20, 2013

I hate wars! Because they take away our first and foremost human rights –our right to Life and our right to Pursuit of Happiness

 

Just for a moment think of the little babies! How much happiness they bring to our life with their birth. How many wishes and dreams we as parents have for them when they get older?! And how many wishes these little innocents have for their future.

 

Now think of the killed children and washed away dreams because of the irresponsible and greedy wars that happened and happening even at this particular moment around the world… It is time for us to take a moment to think, to think deeply… about people, about children, about humanity and ask ourselves, why we are fighting? Does it worth it?

 

Just remembered a very common saying that we use in Azerbaijan. "When we leave this world, we take nothing with ourselves, but two meters of white sheet." So does it really worth to kill people for material things???

Redefining Success

November 19, 2013

It is about time that we as a society redefine and rethink the way we look at success. It seems like we have an money-oriented, self-centered, narrow understanding of success. The tragedy of our times is that being successful has become an end goal in itself. Instead of seeing the wellbeing of the whole community/society/planet as a success, some people become complacent in seeing as far as their own welbeing. Judging from this perspective it seems like the ones involved in dehumanizing, impoverishing or stripping other human of their dignity have been much more successful in their work than those engaged in preventing it. Successfully working for or cooperating with governments of a states that sell billions of dollars worth of ammunition and invest more in security and military that on healthcare, education and environment is nothing to be proud about. Working for a prestigious organization or institution that shows a lack of awareness or a complete disregard about the current situation and the effect its work has on the wider level would not be considered as a sign of success. We are accomplices to the system when we chose to cooperate with it. Some of us chose to get in for seemingly noble reasons, of trying of hoping that once infiltrated in it they might change it, but history shows us that no genuine radical change has ever happened inside the system that has originally created the very problems we want to tackle. Supporting states that still promote post-colonialist policies and giving out development aid, working for TNCs and supporting Corporate-Social Responsibility projects are describing the hypocrisy of the world we live in.

The real challenge, however, is to try and accomplish the things we want to achieve outside of the system and thus join forces with others and build and alternative one. Step 1 - generalized mass civil disobedience campaigns. 

November 18, 2013

"Is it possible we human beings can extend our empathy to the entire human race as an extended family, and to our fellow creatures as part of our evolutionary family, and to the biosphere as our common community? If it's possible to imagine that, then we may be able to save our species and save our planet. If it's impossible to even imagine that, I don't see how we're going to make it. Empathy is the invisible hand. Empathy's what allows us to stretch our sensibility with another so we can cohere in larger social units."

My Change

November 13, 2013

My change leads to change , without my change nothing will change , things will be the same and my whole time of living will be wasted. It is my duty to change ,it is my duty to do what i am supposed to be doing so that my children don't go through the same thing I had to go through .

There are so many memorials dedicated to wars, soldiers, war victims, but there are very few ones dedicated to peace coexistence, nonviolence. The former Soviet Union is filled with monuments of “brave” Russian soldiers who “liberated” these territories from fascism. We should have a balance of the two. Perhaps redecorating the old war monuments and memorials so that they could convey a more friendly, peaceful atmosphere. By seeing guns, tanks, dead and wounded people (especially youth) take for granted and see it as something normal/natural, and often times develop an infatuation for war and fighting.

Azerbaijani Saying

November 11, 2013

“Calling people your soul

Won’t take away your soul

It will only bring you closer

to the people around you!"

 

Was the expression I used to hear growing up. Now realizing the deep meanings of these words and sayings that we often heard from our elders, yet took for granted, I once again come to the conclusion that there is a lot for us to learn from our past to contribute to a better and more peaceful future.

November 8, 2013

Peace and Non-Violence…what is this movement about? Who is this movement for? A few weeks into this training, and already, the Occupy Movement has come up many times, as a movement with many values that align and deeply resonate with FOR-USA and IFOR. What are we working for? How can we create values and alternatives to our current way of being, the way of being controlled by institutions promoted by a money economy. Check out this video, where Charles Eisenstein talks about recuperating the loss of community, connection, intimacy and meaning by understanding our interconnectedness, living according to what we want to give, and engaging in creative processes together. Because the revolution is LOVE. Love in practice and as a way of living.

 

“The lover knows that more for you is more for me too. If you love somebody, then their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. That’s love. That’s the expansion of the self to include the other. And that’s a different kind of revolution. There’s no one to fight. There’s no evil to fight. There’s no other in this revolution. Everyone has a unique calling, and it’s really time to listen to that. That’s what the future is going to be. It’s time to get ready for it and to help contribute to it and make it happen."

Daily Military Expenditure

November 7, 2013

It was surprising to hear form United Nations that it has theory of lessening the idea of war, production and distribution of the arms, but I was a shock to hear UN is aware of a country that has nuclear bomb that can destroy the world three times. Rather than that daily military expenditure is ridiculous according to this picture I took just before I exited after my visit to the UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS. I am stuck with this question, if UN is reporting that who is responsible?

Novemeber 27, 2013

We spent our most recent training session in Boston, where we were graciously hosted by pastors of First Baptist Church- Jamaica Plain, Reverend Ashlee Wiest-Laird and her family and Reverend Osagyefo Sekou.

November 19, 2013

“If nonviolence is not working for you, you’re not working it.”

Nonviolence feels unnatural at first, because we’re not used to it. It is not an add-on to life, it is a way of life. We need to unlearn the aggressive, violent attitudes and behaviors and relearn the lifestyles of human form the early stages of life.

November 18, 2013

It was a great idea to include a New York City visit in our trainings. We had a beautiful time and we met inspiring people. It was so great to talk with Williamson and go through his life journey, which included being active in the civil rights movement.

Novemner 13, 2013

On Friday, November 01, 2013 we had training on Non Violence and Media for Nonviolence. We started the day by learning about non-violence and resilience in the example of American Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1968.

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