2010 was the tenth anniversary of the Soul of Europe.
We continue to work in a still unstable region of the world that has disappeared off the radar: the Balkans, in particular Kosovo. We have been helping to create the conditions for establishing good community relations between the Serbian Orthodox Monasteries and their Albanian neighbours in Kosovo; the monasteries are of great significance to Serbia, since they enshrine the identity of Serbian religion and culture. Now these monasteries are in a newly independent Kosovo and surrounded by Muslim Albanians.
Next year there will be talks between Serbia and Kosovo; Serbia will never relinquish Kosovo unless it is assured of the security of these monasteries, and will demand their extra-territorial status, constantly protected by armed guards. Kosovo will resist these foreign enclaves. The situation is volatile and decisions from above have to be welcomed on the ground. The Soul of Europe offers its experience and skills in helping with this process.
In November Donald Reeves and Peter Pelz were invited to Werl in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany where Donald received the International Tchelebi Peace Award from the German Islamic Archive Institute – the oldest Islamic organisation in Germany. The laudate was given by Paul Oestreicher.
There is no prize money attached to the Award, but we hope it will open doors for us.
The Soul of Europe is planning an ‘event’ with other partners in 2012 for those who are resisting the barbarism of the growing Far Right movement in Europe. This is fuelling hatred of Muslims. We will cooperate and celebrate with those who are working to create a more human and civilised society.
Meanwhile Donald has been refurbishing his skills as an organist. He has created a gig where he speaks about the frustrations and possibilities of peace building interspersed with performing music by Bach. He is planning to offer this unique combination of music and talk as a gift for those who themselves are seeking funds for peace-building work. Get in touch with us if you want to invite him.
We will be writing to you more about these two initiatives early next year.
Meanwhile thank you for your interest, support, encouragement and prayers.
Donald Reeves & Peter Pelz