Last night, September, 13 2013, I had the pleasure of attending Peace Talk Radio’s 10th anniversary Concert for Peace show in Santa Fe, NM. My 6 year old daughter Marisol and I were guests on the Peace Talk Radio recently (show to be broadcast in November), to discuss our multimedia eBook, Princess Marisol & the Moon Thieves. One of the performers last night was Rahim Alhaj, the master Oud player and composer originally from Iraq. Mr. Alhaj had been a political prisoner in Iraq, lost many friends and was subject to torture and similar indignities. Before playing each piece, Mr. Alhaj would provide an anecdote or a tidbit of information pertaining to the piece and it’s relationship to the many recent wars and occupations in Iraq (Iraq – Iran, US – Iraq I, US – Iraq II). For example, according to Mr. Alhaj, in parts of Iraq there is a birth-defect rate of between 50 to 75%. It is also known that millions of innocent Iraqi citizens, including women and children, were killed in these wars. The pain and heartbreak that Mr. Alhaj felt and feels is evident in his beautiful music. Despite his suffering, Mr. Alhaj is committed to spreading peace. The devastation, carnage, suffering and waste of resources of war are incalculable. In the U.S., at a time when we should be collaborating on solving issues involving affordable quality education, healthcare, multicultural understanding, and economic justice (to name a few), our leaders are contemplating violence against another nation yet again. Some of our best minds are wrapped up in research at our Universities creating weapons of mass destruction. Our creative minds in the media have been become bankrupt of integrity due to the corporate profit motive. The other guest entertainer at the concert was Mary Gauthier, acclaimed folk/americana musician who sang touching songs of personal suffering, redemption and self actualization.
This morning I, like many people in the Albuquerque area, was awakened by the rumbling, determined, violent sounds of thunder. It caused me to reflect and think about how I might feel if my dear, precious Marisol had to wake up in the midst of the chaotic sounds of war: sounds of pain, suffering, death and disaster. I pray that is never to be the case for her, and that no child will ever have to experience that calamity. Unfortunately as I write this, that is the experience for many people around our world, and our country is on the precipice of contributing to the tragic chorus of war. Perhaps we all need to go through a personal transformation, like Mary Gauthier has, and find redemption by demanding from our leaders that they seek alternative solutions to conflict, build bridges of understanding, foster mercy and engender peace.