International Peace Day celebrations at Youth Hostel

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‘Peace is here to stay’

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Peace is interlinked with sustainable development and can be achieved by eradicating poverty, social and racial discrimination, intolerance, ignorance and other social evils from society. Farzana Khan, Director General of the Senate Secretariat, said this while addressing a ceremony in connection with International Peace Day here on Wednesday. Pakistan Youth Hostels Association (PYHA) had organized the event at its Islamabad headquarters. Besides Farzana Khan, a professor of Urdu at IIU, Dr Ravish Nadim, a young scholar doing her Ph.D in HR, Ms Fatima Gulshan, students Musa Ahmed, Ayesha Imdad and Rabia Shakoor also shared their thoughts on peace and its importance in our lives.
A large number of intellectuals particularly youth had turned up to participate in the celebrations. It may be mentioned here that every year on September 21, UN celebrates International Peace Day and the ceremony at PYHA was held in connection with UN day.
Farzana Khan was of the view that one can better one’s life only when peace prevails in society. In absence of peace, it is hard to live a smooth, comfortable life, she said. She commended the PYHA initiative to celebrate the day and while commenting on the slogans ‘Sleep for Peace’ said it is a global initiative by Hostelling International which reinforces the message that “youth hostelling contributes to building peace on a day-to-day basis.” Celebration of the Peace Day at the youth hostel is quite appropriate, she said, as our youths are the real agent of change and can bring peace in our lives by living with youths of other regions under one roof. PYHA being part of an international organization promotes in its members intercultural understanding, non-violence and sustainable tourism through a series of activities and events in the youth hostels, she said.
The World Peace Day celebrations are not restricted to one day i.e. September 21 rather the PYHA will celebrate them throughout the week, she further said. The organizer of the event, Mazharul Islam an acclaimed story writer of our country, had wistfully chosen various colours, metaphors to draw the audience’s attention towards significance of peace in their lives. For example, the backdrop was in blue colour showing a white dove. All the three of them—white and blue colours and the dove itself—signify peace and a creative mind like Mazharul Islam could think of such a unique idea.
Farzana Khan also read out UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the occasion which says: Let’s all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind.
Fatima Gulshan said peace is not only related with sustainable development it is also in sync with travelling, exploration and adventure. A healthy mind always work for peace and prefers it to continue his adventures, she said. Prof Ravish Nadim said socio-political contract between state and society is important for the cause of peace. In the end, children read out poems. A couple of lines of a poem go as: “Enough of eagles and birds of prey/Peace is here to stay.”