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On March 12, SGI's anti-nuclear weapons exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Toward a World Free From Nuclear Weapons" opened for the first time in the Middle East at the Bahrain National Museum in Manama.
This exhibition, shown for the first time in Arabic, was jointly presented by SGI and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). "We hope this showing in Manama will contribute to the discussion of establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction," said ICAN Campaign Director Arielle Denis.
Under the patronage of H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Foreign Minister of Bahrain, the exhibition's launch was co-organized with the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for the Gulf Countries and Inter Press Service (IPS).
The opening ceremony was attended by some 100 people, including Foreign Minister H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Advisor to His Majesty the King for Diplomatic Affairs H.E. Dr. Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar, Japan's ambassador to Bahrain, Shigeki Sumi, Director of UNIC for Gulf Countries Mr. Nejib Friji, SGI Executive Director of Peace Affairs Hirotsugu Terasaki, and members of the diplomatic community.
In his opening remarks, Foreign Minister H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa indicated Bahrain's full support of UN initiatives for disarmament and nuclear weapons abolition.
Ambassador Shigeki Sumi stated that the exhibition is relevant because it stresses the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and calls for a move from arms-based security to human security.
Mr. Terasaki introduced a message from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, emphasizing that the exhibition aims to help build a global network of solidarity through dialogue, the surest path to ending the nuclear age.
Following the opening ceremony, the exhibition was displayed in Seef Mall from March 13-23. Films created by SGI and ICAN showing testimonies of atomic bomb survivors and promoting nuclear weapons abolition were also screened.
[Adapted from reports from the SGI Office of Public Information (SGI-OPI), Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]
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