the net of people deeply affected by political violence
In support of the nomination of ’The Parents Circle’
Thursday 13 August 2009
The Prince of Asturias Foundation
Asturias Award for Concord 2009
General Yagüe, 2.
Principality of Asturias - Spain
I am pleased to write in support of the nomination of The Parents Circle - Families Forum, Bereaved Families Supporting Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance, for the Asturias Award for Concord.
The Parents Circle is a community of 500 Israelis and Palestinians families who have lost close family members during the conflict. Together, they promote a long term reconciliation process through dialog and mutual understanding. The Families Forum has played a crucial role since its inception in 1995, in spearheading a reconciliation process between Israelis and Palestinians.
I have known the work of the Parents Circle - Families Forum and have been nothing but impressed with their full commitment to mobilizing the consciences of people around the world in the cause of peace. Given the heightened tensions in the Middle East, their work is particularly valuable, courageous and poignant.
Their dialog meetings at Israeli and Palestinian schools, educational tours, materials and films about reconciliation are particularly effective and never fail to capture the full attention of listeners and result in deep debate and discussion. I have actively sought to promote their outstanding message of loss, reconciliation and tolerance for peace.
They work to imbue both sides with a sense of hope for reconciliation, sharing with others their personal and painful stories. Each day through their activities and outreach on the ground, the Forum reaffirms the sanctity of life and the need to safeguard human dignity and freedom.
I consider it a rare honour and privilege to know and work with them and cannot more fully endorse their nomination. They most definitely deserve the honour of the Concord Award, and the boost and credibility it will give to their continuing efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and the world.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
International Network for Peace, Co-Chair