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December 2004 - January 2005
Dispatches & Reports
Dispatches & Reports
Peace Mission to Israel: The Winds of Change
It was a heart-to-heart rally in Jerusalem. Five hundered women arrived from Korea, Japan, USA, UK and Europe, all delegates, to participate in the Peace Mission Meeting held at Knesset Tower Hotel and in the Independence Park in Jerusalem.
We arrived in Israel late in the evening and registered ourselves for the conference. The next day was booked for sight-seeing. The hotel manager provided us with picnic lunches, fruit and drinks and we left in the coaches to see the temples, monuments, Jericho, which is the lowest place in the world and the Sea of Gallili which was very calm on that day. I meditated and felt nearer to Akal Purakh. A rare and fantastic feeling enveloped me. Having a dip in the Dead Sea was a great experience.
Between our tours and the conference, we had two days of
Outreach for inviting Israeli and Palestinian people to the
event. We met Sachiko Inaba from Japan, a young sociologist. He
had been in the army (as all the young Israelis have to be –men
for three years and women for two) and had refused to go to the
occupied territories. He was keen to come to the rally. Those
two days were a great experience of tasting the two different
cultures and situations.
“We, the women of the world, representing 191 nations, bridging all religions, cultures, political, professional and civil society backgrounds, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, call for PEACE in the Middle East and the world.
We, the Women of the World, as the guardians of the family, must become an essential part of the leadership of the peace process with the skills of mothers, nurturers and educators;
We, the Women of the World are convinced that hardened political
views, untampered by a true mother’s nurturing and forgiving
heart, leave no room for the urgently needed but fragile
stirrings of peace, and determine to become exemplary women of
deep, forgiving love, allowing those lives we touch – in our
communites and in the world – to be exposed to heal by such love
We urge all leaders in the region and the world to draw upon the strength of forgiveness and the talks of reconciliation – and work courageously with women and youth to resolve conflicts and build peace.
Now, therefore, we declare together on this 27th day of August, 2004, that all women are sisters and invite them to work together to build peaceful families, communities and nations, in the Middle East and the World.
It is nearly twenty years ago, when we participated in an International Conference in Cairo. One afternoon I heard a very moving story from Shareeya who had come with her parents for a holiday in Egypt. We were staying in the same hotel, Oberoi International. Shareeya was in the swimming pool when we started talking. I was shocked that in this peaceful time atrocities were a common thing in Israel. I told my husband that it was so unfair and simply dreadful for Palestinians to share their day-to-day living with the Israeli regime. Now after two decades I was told almost the same heart-rending stories. Barta was in tears, saying, “Oh, they don’t know what they are doing to us. My grandfather bought a plot of land, built a house and raised four sons. Now they have three large families living there and wanted to extend the house. They tried for many years to get the permission to build and after being refused at every attempt they decided to build anyway. A few days after the completion of the house thirty soldiers and a tank came and reduced our house to the ground.” Berta was in tears and so were all of us. “There is no one to listen to our grievances”, said Barta, her voice choking. We were all stunned.
We had a ‘Bridge of Peace’ ceremony for all the delegates. Palestinians, Israelis, American and British mingling with each other in pairs. I was matched with Linda, an American delegate. We exchanged flowers, garlanded each other, hugged and promised to keep peace and remain in touch with our new ‘sisters of peace’. We all sang in unison: Peace in our home; Peace in our street; peace in our nation and peace in our country.
New BBC series helps match first-time buyers
Biggest Ever NRI Meet in Dubai
More than four hundred Indians, Non-Resident Indians and Persons
of Indian Origin world over attended the NRI Banquet on 27th
September in Dubai, organized by the NRI Institute.
Trinetra Bajpai, head honcho of The Manso Group, welcomed the guests of the evening and Jagmohan Singh stressed the endeavour of the NRI Institute to highlight the role of the Gulf NRIs and the problems faced by them. B.R. Shetty, in his Key Note Address, expressed his thanks to the UAE President, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Al Nahyan, stressed that it was the open and welcoming attitude of all the rulers of the Emirates that added to the upsurge of the Gulf Region as a viable, global economy player. Sardar Tarlochan Singh recommended the Gulf NRIs form a cohesive group to further investment in new sectors in India to provide opportunities for the jobless qualified technical and under 25s of India. Sheikh Mazen Khalifa Alahiq Al Nuaimi in his soft-spoken but hard-hitting speech traced the humble beginnings of early ties with India and how his quest for a technocrat ended with meeting Trinetra Bajpai. What was heartening was his comment that today his company takes away major chunks of business from the powerful western petroleum companies – a recognition of India’s technological grasp. He affirmed the Mideast was seeing the closing phase of the construction era and would soon offer openings for the white collar and IT-empowered workers a la USA and UK. Yusuff Ali M.A. also addressed.
Consul General Y.K. Sinha cautioned that for every high flying NRI, there were a dozen semi-skilled and unskilled laborers living abysmal lives to support families at home, where no openings exist for them. Surely, much needs to be done for this sector. He also spoke about the efforts of his office in increasing the non-oil trade quoting facts and figures, mentioning that many new areas for trade remained unexplored. H.E. Sudhir Vyas, India’s Ambassador stressed that the Gulf NRIs needed to come together as a tight knit group, focusing as one to benefit all, rather than pulling in different directions thereby presenting a disjointed image and front. Jasjit Jaaj very kindly summarized the proceedings and expressed appreciation for all the help and cooperation that the NRI Institute had received from the people of the Gulf. Star Achiever Awards were presented to Sheikh Mazen Khalifa Allahiq Al Nuaimi, NRI Members of Parliament: Madhu Goud Yskhi and Abdul Wahab P V; Yusuffali M A, B R Shetty, Trinetra Bajpai, Abdul Kader, J. R Gangramani, Dr & Prof. Dawood Al Azdi and Tony Jashanmal, Dr. Rami Ranger, President, NRI Institute UK Chapter presented a plaque to H.E. Sudhir Vyas.
The event was sponsered by Group 4 Falck, Bank of Baroda, Indian Airlines, Home Developers (India), Air India, ESC, Khaleej Times, Afro-Asian Insurance Service (UK & India), M & S House of Design (India), Sun Oil Ltd. (UK) and India Tourism.
Courtesy Niloufar Tekchand
NRI Institute News letter
Vidya Chhabria heading the Jumbo Group, is listed in Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business. Certainly a role model to be looked up to, as this list concerns itself with women who exercise their writ in terms of decision making, not for merely holding stock. Quietly but surely, women heading renowned organizations in Apna Bharat are increasing, in itself an advocacy for gender equality, female literacy and higher education.
A welcome amendment in the citizenship laws of Saudi Arabia, entitling expats living in the country for ten or more years to apply for citizenship of the Kingdom, speaks volumes about the vision and judicious discernment of its rulers.