A Call to Women and Men
 
 
Beyond Words
Good News
The Beyond
Words Newsletter
October, 2004
 
Beyond Words is a non-profit organization that run unique and innovative
programs developed in Israel over the past ten years. The programs are
designed to train Arab and Jewish early childhood educators and parents to
become champions and leaders for Coexistence and Peace in their homes, work
places and communities. To date, we have trained nearly 110 teachers, who
combined work with over 3,000 students every year.
 
A Call to Women and Men
 
On one occasion when asked by a follower to whom one should show the most
respect and kindness, the Prophet Mohammad replied: "Your mother." "And
then who?" insisted the questioner. "Your mother" Mohammad replied again.
"And then who?" "Your mother" responded the prophet for the third time. The
questionnaire persisted: "And after that who?" "Your father," Mohammad
replied.
 
--- From the Price of Honor by Jan Goodwin
 
More than fourteen hundred years ago the Prophet Mohammad reminded us that mothers who are also someone's daughters, sisters, and wives should be
respected and treated kindly above anyone else. In his last public address
to Muslims from Mount Arafat near Mecca the prophet exhorted them: "Treat
your women well and be kind to them."
 
And yet for hundreds of years here in the Middle East, far too often, this
has not been the case as reflected in a poem written by Atiya Daewood, a
Sindhi poet from Pakistan.
 
The Journey
 
The journey of my life
begins from home,
ends at the graveyard.
 
My life is spent like a corpse,
carried on the shoulders
of my father and brother,
husband and son.
 
Bathed in religion,
attired in customs,
and buried in a grave of ignorance.
 
 
In the last decades the contradiction between what is and what should be,
the experience of being pushed down, crushed and oppressed for far too long
has driven women across the spectrum in terms of belief systems and
life-styles to come out of their various degrees of bondage and unite in
their call for a change.
 
In Israel, in the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in women's
groups and circles where women seek support and assistance to become
empowered to change their lives.
 
For the past eight years, at Beyond Words, we have supported this
process. We believe it holds the key for Peace in the Middle East and in
the world, or in the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: "When there is
justice there will be Peace."
 
Nitsan