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14/11/2018

Middle East erects first sculpture of non-violence

Beirut, Lebanon

On the occasion of October 2 The International Day of Non-Violence and the Lebanese National Day of Non-Violence, the universal "sculpture of non-violence", by the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reutersward has been unveiled, in the first Arab capital, Beirut.

The Knotted Gun sculpture is established on the seafront, just around the corner from the old Holiday Inn building, a concrete tower block deeply scarred by shell and bullet holes from the 1975-90 civil war.

The symbol of Non-Violence is a universal symbol for peace and non-violence without any religious, political or cultural boundaries. It is the symbol of the Swiss based foundation The Non-Violence Project (NVPF) who has since 1993 educated over 8 million young people, teachers and sport coaches globally in how to solve conflicts peacefully through their education programs Schools for Peace and Sports for Peace.

The 2nd of October is also the start off point for a fruitful collaboration with the Academic University for Non-Violence and Human Rights (AUNOHR). Through their pioneering work, the founders of the AUNOHR, Ms. Ogarit Younan and Mr. Walid Slaiby, succeeded in establishing a national day of non-violence in Lebanon, thus institutionalising the culture of non-violence and human rights through the creation of this unique university in the world.

"This inauguration means a lot to us and we are proud to have succeeded in putting this sculpture in place here, which symbolizes so many things for us. We have been struggling for so long to reduce violence in the region and this new collaboration with the NVPF is very important to us" explains Ogarit Younan, founder of the AUNOHR.

"Beirut is the first Arab city to inaugurate this statement for peace and non-violence. It is indeed impossible to imagine a more emblematic place, Beirut, that has been the scene of so much violence in recent decades. We look forward to sharing our experiences and everything we have with the AUNOHR, in order to continue our struggle together towards the only possible way, that of peace and non-violence. "says Blaise Oberson, CEO, NVPF.

The celebration was a cultural commemoration, under the patronage of the Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri who was represented by the Minister of Culture Mr. Ghattas Khoury, with the participation of Arund Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi's grandson) and official peace figures, ambassadors, artists, intellectuals, media, academics, civil society, international organizations, youth and students from all the country.


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