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International School of Peace Celebrates Its Two-Year Anniversary
A little over two years ago, the International School of Peace on the island of Lesbos in Greece set out to provide an educational solution for the children of the Syrian refugees—our neighbors—who had to fled their homeland because of the war. Since then, we have met refugees from all over the Middle East and from Afghanistan, Iran, and Africa. Together with them, we learned about one other and how to bridge the gaps, to build together a different educational framework that provides a place for all cultures and religions. We created a rich, happy, and special place, fostering communion between cultures and religions. In the past two years, the school has developed to become the largest and most significant educational framework on Lesbos Island, providing a solution for children, parents, and teachers. Above all, ISOP offers the hope and faith in humankind and the belief of people in their worth as human beings. This month, we held an event celebrating the two-year anniversary of the school. It was a celebration of creativity and love. Each student received a certificate with a personal dedication from the teachers in the presence of all the parents. Parents and children played in the classrooms and there was a happy and colorful gathering. The event featured an impressive performance in which parents, students, and teachers greeted each class. It was exciting to see the rich diversity on the stage. Some chose to present a story from the life of the school. Others described the journeys they had gone through. Still others chose to bring to the stage the songs and dances from their culture. Some chose to dance western dances. Most importantly, all chose to go on stage and perform, girls and boys. From the audience, parents from all cultures applauded all the performances, and it was a unique multicultural celebration. The school proves that it is possible to join hands together, to cooperate, to believe in one another and not to let despair prevail. These were and still are two years of daily choices of teachers, children, families and staff—from Syria, Afghanistan, Israel, Congo, Iraq, and Somalia—to meet in a meaningful way and complex manner without ignoring the challenges and differences between us and contrarily to find similar and common ground together. We were especially moved by the power we have to sow hope in one another's hearts. We are full of appreciation and esteem for our teachers, who choose daily to educate a new generation, coming from a reality of destruction and war, to believe that there is a different way—the way of peace. Learn more about the International School of Peace and help us continue our mission.
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