Every day in some part of the world we come across incidents of violence and conflicts. Every day we are fed with news and expressions of hatred and intolerance. Our leaders hardly make attempts to find answers to the root cause of violence and hatred. How long we will suffer the continuous spell of conflicts, how long will we continue to think ill-will of others and spread the venom of hatred? It is time for the youth of the world to come together in solidarity, join hands in hands and challenge the forces of hatred and violence through the power of nonviolence.
As a 16-year-old, I have been waiting for our seniors to lead us towards peace, respect and humanity. However, I think our seniors are now failing our generation. So, it is time not to sit back and wait for the next incident of violence or hatred to happen. It is time for we young people to wake up and take the lead around the world to defeat the forces of hatred and violence. Each one of us are capable of doing this, we have the indomitable spirt and courage to make this world a peaceful place to stay. It is with this conviction that I have decided to act upon and use the power of nonviolent action.
I can no longer sit back without reacting after hearing about innocent people dying because of hatred, kids around the world starving to death due to violence in their communities, young people freezing to death because they have been uprooted from their homes. With such inhuman crisis around how can we youth continue to live our lives normally.
I firmly believe that fasting is a powerful tool of nonviolent action. Through fasting, we can draw attention to our concerns. Fasting is a noble strategy in nonviolent change. By observing fasting, I firmly believe that we can not only embarrass the forces of hatred using the amazing principles of nonviolence but also coerce them to shun violence. Fasting, to me, is a powerful tool of communication and we are spreading the message of peace and harmony through it.
It is in this backdrop, I have decided to FAST FOR PEACE every Thursday, to remind myself and remind others that we should not allow the forces of hatred and violence to dominate over us. I will fast every Thursday in solidarity with innocent people who are suffering from war and conflict, I will fast in solidarity with kids struggling with poverty, I will fast because I care for this world.
You might ask whether fasting every week will bring any change. Here I want remind all that many of the world’s greatest conflicts have been solved using principles of nonviolent action and fasting is an important part of it. Also, I strongly believe that before any change happens, we first need to say ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ and fasting is my peaceful way of saying it.
I request people across the world to join me as we sincerely want a culture of peace in all our communities.
We have to express ourselves and raise our voice in a peaceful and nonviolent way. We cannot allow ourselves to use the same language warlords are using to get what they want. Using the strength of nonviolence, we want to show all victims of war that we haven’t forgotten them and their suffering. It is an appeal to all young people that let us do everything in our power to end their miseries.
So, come and join me every Thursday in FASTING FOR PEACE.
Sajeda Al Sherif, 16, Libya