Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Christmas and Easter of Peace

I received the following good news from The Archdiocese of Turin, Italy:

The Archdiocese of Turin, Italy aiming at strengthening the relation of support and cooperation between our church and the Chaldean Catholic Church of Iraq that began in 2004 with the plan "I have a new friend, an Iraqi Chaldean priest" which is still going on for the second year, announces another plan of mutual knowledge between the two communities:

Christmas and Easter of Peace.

By the end of the last year some primary school students of Turin and its province (aged 6-13) realized some drawings of Christmas and Peace subject to be sent to children of their same age of three parish churches in Baghdad. The drawings, showing the peaceful and friendly feelings of the children towards their new Iraqi friends were given to the Iraqi children on Christmas days as a little present by their three parish priests.

After Christmas the Iraqi children showed that notwithstanding the difficult situation they are unfortunately living the desire of peace, normality and friendship always wins: they drew for their Italian friends drawings having for subject the Easter and the Peace.

The Italian children were very happy and excited when they knew that the drawings from Iraq had reached Turin via Jordan and so were their teachers who admitted the values of the plan. From the educational point of view it permitted to their students to go deep into the knowledge of the historical and geographical reality of Iraq according to the classes attended by them and to their age. From the human point of view it permitted to the Italian children to think of the Iraqi children not more only as far television figures but as real new friends, with names, faces, dreams and hopes like every child in the world. Finally, the plan permitted to the Italian children to "live" Iraq and its situation not more only as passive TV consumers but as active actors of a little piece of that reality, and this stimulated discussions and debates about whatÂ’s going on in that country in the classes but also in the families of the children.

The number of drawings sent to Baghdad and arrived to Turin reporting the peace flag, the Iraqi and Italian flags together, and the words Peace, Pace, Salam and Shlama leave non doubts about the thoughts of the children of both nations: they, like every other child in the world want and deserve peace and all the world should take care of this request.

The drawings will be showed for the first time on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 of April in Turin in San Giulio d'Orta Church, Corso Cadore 17/3. The Italian drawings will be shown by computer as the original copies are in Baghdad, while the Iraqi drawings will be in the original form. The exhibition will see also two particular moments: on Saturday and Sunday afternoon some Iraqi tales will be read to all the children attending the exhibition to let them know another little piece of the great Iraqi culture and history.

The participants to the plan Christmas and Easter of Peace in Italy were schools and associations in Torino and its province and in Palermo and its province. In Turin they were coordinated by the Pastoral Migrants Office lead by Don Fredo Olivero, in charge also of the plan "I have a new friend: an Iraqi Chaldean priest" in Palermo they were coordinated by the local secretary of the MIR.

Thank you to Archdiocese of Turin, Italy for helping the Iraqi Children. I really appreciate it.


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