ANT-Hiroshima friend, Mr Hector Nihal, Director of the Aids Awareness Society in Lahore, Pakistan approached us with a proposal to hold two events on 6th August 2014 to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hector also proposed to hold a peace-poster competition at several schools. The winning posters will be used to create a peace calendar for 2015.
In his proposal, Hector explained that,
Pakistan is one of those countries that has nuclear weapons along with its neighbour, India… Pakistan is also one of those countries where peace has become a dream for every citizen, but religious conflicts, political conflicts, war and terror, drone attacks, suicide bombs, target killing, increased inflation, conflicts with neighboring countries and within the country have affected the peace of mind of every Pakistani.
Hector would like to contribute to the promotion of peace education in Pakistan so the 6th August Commemoration programs in Lahore and Karachi are intended to appeal to Civil Society Organizations, journalists and intellectuals using educational materials donated by ANT Hiroshima.
At the same time, Hector believes that,
6th August is a day of concern for all peace loving people around the globe and to raise their voice to call for peace and say no to mass destruction Nuclear weapons, and if we really want to change the world it is important to involve young people the youth, to become ambassadors of peace.
The poster project involved 1000 students at 10 high schools in Lahore and Karachi, who were taught about the effects of nuclear weapons and about the destructive power of Nuclear Weapons in Pakistan.
Here are some pictures of the posters that were created and displayed at one of the schools:
It was here that the Fifth Youth Congress Peace Summit was held by The Royal Sultanate of Madaya Youth Organization with the support of ANT-Hiroshima and some local organizations, under the auspices of our friend, the Sultan of Marawi, Abdul Hamidullah Atar, who we know as Pogie-san.
Pogie-san was enthroned as Sultan of Marawi in December 2013. Here is a video compilation of some photos taken at his enthronement…
Here is the official banner of the Peace Summit, acknowledging ANT-Hiroshima’s contribution:
And here are some photos of some of the activities that took place at the summit…
We would like to take this opportunity publicly to thank the Sultan of Marawi, Pogie-san, for his sincere efforts in building peace on Mindano Island and for his tireless co-operation with ANT-Hiroshima.
Thank you Pogie-san!
To celebrate National Book Day in Pakistan, National Book Foundation organised activities at the Pak-China Friendship Center. That gave Fauzia Minallah another opportunity to introduce Amai-The Bird of Light to a young audience. (It is Amai who takes the children on a journey to Hiroshima in Fauzia’s children’s book, Sadako’s Prayer.)
Fauzia showed three of her animations and asked children to come up on stage for a Q&A session. Just as at the event she held at the Children’s Literature Festival in Islamabad, the children began to dance when she showed her animation, Amai Loves Pakistani Music.
Brialle Readings by Visually Impaired Children
Four students of Almaktoom Centre for the Visually Impaired read from read from Sadako’s Prayer and other Amai books as well as those written by the blind teacher Miss Nazmeena in Braille.
Twenty children received copies of Sadako’s Prayer and the four Almaktoon students recieved Braille Books from the National Book Foundation.
Since 2011 in Pakistan, Children’s Literature Festivals have been held as a response to low levels of literacy and an educational culture that inhibits the development of creativity and literacy.
There are two key aims, which are firstly to give children an opportunity to explore the written word, and secondly to give children an opportunity to explore and develop their own creativity. This is done by bringing together children’s authors, artists, TV celebrities, journalists who engage directly with children to encourage, inspire and motivate them.
Wherever a Children’s Literature Festival has been held the response has always been very enthusiastic, even in those areas of Pakistan where security and law and order remain under threat.
At the most recent Children’s Literature Festival, held in Islamabad in the middle of May, ANT-Hiroshima’s friend and collaborator, Fauzia Minallah - founder of the Funkor Child Art Center - showed her animation Amai Loves the Music of Pakistan.
Fauzia reports that the video was well received by the children, who began to dance to the music. The video featured songs in Pashto, Punjabi , Sindhi, Balochi and Urdu, sung by the students of Almaktoom Center for the visually Impaired.
The children were presented with copies of Sadako’s Prayer, written and illustrated by Fauzia Minallah and published by ANT-Hiroshima.
On April 29th 2014, ANT-Hiroshima, together with the Japan NGO Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition and the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition hosted an event in Hiroshima Peace Park titled, Ban Nuclear Weapons Now, Voices From Hiroshima.
The event was held on the occasion of the eighth meeting of twelve foreign ministers at the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative led by the governments of Japan and Australia.
At the Ban Nuclear Weapons, Voices From Hiroshima event, speeches were made by Hiroshima residents appealing for a nuclear weapons ban. The event was opened and speakers were introduced by two IACJ school girls. Tomoko Watanabe of ANT-Hiroshima gave the opening address. Volunteer readers read the testimonies of A-bomb surviviors, students gave testimonies of their activities, their thoughts about nuclear abolition and their experiences of meeting A-bomb survivors and second generation survivors also addressed the meeting.
Here is a video of the speeches and testimonies. The speeches are given in Japanese with simultaneous translation into English.