It is very nearly a year since we have been in touch with you about the Soul of Europe so we hope you will be interested in this update about our work.
It has been productive. Two books have been written.
The first by Peter Pelz: The white house – From Fear to a Handshake. This has been published and details of the book are attached or included with this Newsletter. The other book is Donald Reeves’ autobiography A Very Dangerous Man. This was commissioned by Continuum and will be published in April 2009. Donald was relieved to receive an email from the publisher which said ‘ I am really delighted. It reads so very well. It is so deliciously unponderous and the wit and humour are most appealing. But it is serious too’.
We are enclosing a paper: Interventions and Peace building, about the Monasteries Project in Kosovo. Learning from our experience it describes a new approach to kick start our work there.
We have discovered a Foundation which will be sympathetic to supporting the Ferhadija Mosque, which began in June 2007. This information is now with the Bosnian Islamic community. We are also in touch with the Foundation to enlist its interest in supporting the establishment of a European network of Ferhadija Associations.
The Arvon Foundation encourages writers at every stage of their writing lives through residential creative writing courses in the UK. Part of their remit is to create opportunities for people from post-conflict regions to write up their experiences. The Soul of Europe and Arvon would like to offer this opportunity to our many colleagues, associated and friends in Bosnia. The search for funding is under way.
APRIL 24th -26th 2009 HAZELWOOD HOUSE
Together with other partners, including Through Heart to Peace and Marjon College, we are planning a conference to be held at Hazelwood House near Plymouth. The conference will be about ‘Peace Building and the Imagination’. The name is yet to be decided. The dates are from Friday April 24th to Sunday April 26th 2009.
Along with our own books we will be discussing the witness and writing of Paul Lederach among others.
Hazelwood House is the centre from which Hearts for Peace operate, a group of women organizing projects in Bosnia, Palestine, Byelorus, the Ukraine and many other places. The house is situated in a beautiful part of Devon and, incidentally, serves the best food in the South West.
Please let us know if you want more information. My lecture at Lambeth Palace in May 2007, The Moral Imagination, provides useful background. You can find it on our website, but we can post it to you if you cannot access the internet.
A gift for our supporters
We would like to give you a copy of the white house – From Fear to a Handshake in appreciation of the support you have given our activities over the last ten years. Please let us know by January 31st if you would like a copy of the book.
The book costs £11.99 in the shops. Thank you for supporting us, and we hope that you will continue to do so. We operate on the most modest of shoestrings and every donation helps us continue our work.
MORE ABOUT the white house – From Fear to a Handshake
We see the book as a continuation of the project at Omarska we were not allowed to finish. We are already in touch with organizations who will invite us to make a presentation about the Omarska Memorial, in London, Brighton, Cambridge, Leeds and Edinburgh. We have already spoken at Plymouth University and Exeter. If you know of churches, mosques, rotary clubs, professional associations or networks interested in peace building, mediation and conflict transformation, please put them in touch with us or let us know and we will send them information.
In Good Heart
Donald now goes to the gym three times a week. He is more mobile now than when he was at 60. In the Diplomatic and Overseas New Years Honours List he was awarded an MBE for ‘interfaith work, conflict resolution and peace building in Bosnia.’
Our projects continue… all of them.
Peter keeps the machinery of the Soul of Europe going, is painting and drawing intensively again and working on his major book, The Ferhadija Mosque, which tells the full story of our work together over the last ten years, mainly in Bosnia but also in North Africa and the Middle East as well as all over Europe, with significant historical, cultural (Islamic and Western) and autobiographical dimensions.
THANK YOU for your encouragement and support over the last ten years.
A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND ALL THE BEST FOR 2009.
Donald Reeves & Peter Pelz