Interview With Nassrine Azimi, Former Director Of UNITAR & Founder Of "Green Legacy Hiroshima"

Akira Tashiro, Executive Director of the Hiroshima Peace Media Center, interviewed Nassrine Azimi, the first director of the Hiroshima office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) about the peace training programs that are held at the UNITAR branch in Hiroshima.In the interview Nassrine Azimi explained that Hiroshima’s transformation from a military city to a city of peace, was based on lessons learned from the war and the atomic bombing:

“Hiroshima’s philosophy and evolution are embodied in a number of values that the international community must take to heart…”

She feels, however, that international participants in the peace training seminars still have a lot of work to do to inform citizens of their respective countries.

When asked why she has continued to remain in Hiroshima after stepping down her post as director of the Hiroshima office of UNITAR in 2010, she replied:

“I feel that I still have something to do in terms of sharing Hiroshima with the world.” 

One of the things that Nassrine has done is to set up Green Legacy Hiroshima a project supported by ANT-Hiroshima.

The mission of Green Legacy Hiroshima is to send seeds and seedlings of A-bombed trees to overseas cities, schools, churches, temples, botanical parks, international organizations, and NGOs, with the aim of disseminating Hiroshima’s hopes for a nuclear-free world in a peaceful and environmentally-friendly way.

The project is the opportunity to foster long-term relations with others through the down-to-earth work of planting and nurturing seeds and seedlings.

When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima it was thought that nothing would grow in the city for the next 75 years. However, several months later, weeds began to push through the ground and trees that still stood in the ashes produced new buds. This was a source of inspiration to the survivors.

When Peace Memorial Park was created, thousands of seeds and seedlings were donated by people from all over Japan and all around the world as well. Several of the trees that survived the a-bomb were also relocated to Peace Park.

Green Legacy Hiroshima seeks to reciprocate this “legacy” through a new type of peace effort. It seeks to offer the world the seeds and seedlings of second-generation A-bombed trees from Hiroshima.
(Originally published on December 19, 2011)

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