Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A day's work

Yesterday was all about capturing the launch of CEJI's European Platform for Co-Operation, sponsored by Richard Howitt MEP and held in the European Parliament.

CEJI wrote, Driven by the desire to go beyond dialogue to confront prejudice and hatred within and towards their communities, European Jewish and Muslim grassroots organisations have joined to create a European Platform for Jewish Muslim Cooperation.

Later, after the event, a few of us headed out to dinner at a Tunisian restaurant called Le Vent du Sud, and sat talking of our lives and work. The 'nationalities' were perhaps a little more extraordinary than is usual here - the conversations superb, as was the food.

It was an good day.


Manictastic said...

Oh you wandering woman! How do you succeed in meeting all those interesting people?

Di Mackey said...

Lol, I'm intensely curious, passionate about photography and I like people ... maybe that's it?

Peter said...

You never cease to amaze me Di - you combine the qualities of an inquisitive journalist and a professional photographer, with the ability to turn your networking qualities in fascinating encounters.

I don't want to sound like a professional party pooper, but creating a European Platform for Jewish-Muslim Cooperation may well be able to confront prejudice and hatred within and towards these widely different communities in the security of the Brussels European Parliament, but the harsh reality of the ongoing daily hate and aggression between these communities still hasn't been solved after half a century.

That's often what bothers me about the European Parliament: too often they pretend to be able to change the world, on paper..

Di Mackey said...

Lol, bedankt Peter but the world is a deeply interesting place full of interesting people.

I think one of the interesting things about the Euro Platform was who it was bringing together last night.

That was what excited me.

Mmmm and what was that lovely quote about being the change we want to see in the world.

V-Grrrl said...

I think change comes in tiny increments. The stone walls that divide us come down a pebble at a time. The bold and public declarations and ambitious programs may not achieve their goals and appear to have failed, but they pave the way for the subtle shifts in people's perceptions and actions over time.

Just putting Muslim and Jew in the same sentence with "cultural understanding" is a beginning. History may make us want to scoff, but planting the idea that maybe it is possible for us to get along is a mustard seed of faith for the future.

Peter said...

I couldn't agree with you more V: change is always incremental and ever so slow.

Ever since the origin of Christianity there have been clashes between those adhering to the Muslim, Christian or Jewish faith. 15 centuries later, there are still ongoing, increasing power struggles worldwide between Christians and Muslims - we also created a Jewish state and a Palestinian state along the way, both claiming the same territory.

A local tv reporter recently went on a televised trip from Morocco to Mekka (Saudi Arabia), interviewing women, locals and officials. He's known for his very well balanced, moderate approach, but the images of corrupt regimes, inhuman an cruel treatment of women and minorities based upon some ancient line in a holy book, well, those images were gross.

At the same time, Israelis are killing Muslim infants in the occupied territories, while the immigrated population in Belgian towns is getting more and more radicalized.

I truly want to believe in change and understanding, but after 15 centuries of conflicts, let's just say my belief is severely shaken.