Poetry for Peace in Dubai
On February 16, celebrating the 50th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first visit to the Middle East region, SGI-Gulf (Emirate of Dubai) held a "Poets Conference" at the Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV)--a special free economic zone dedicated to human resource development and learning excellence. Supporters of the event included Dr. Ayoub Kazim, DKV Managing Director, and Dr. Shihab Ghanem, a renowned poet from the United Arab Emirates who supervised the translation of Mr. Ikeda's book The World Is Yours to Change into Arabic.
The event focused on the power of poetry to unite humanity. Some 230 people attended, including poets, scholars and students.
Mr. Ikeda's poems were introduced at this event including portions of long poems titled "Hope Is Life's Treasure" and "August 15--The Dawn of a New Day." The former poem was written by Mr. Ikeda as encouragement to the people of Tohoku following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. The latter was written in commemoration of August 15, the day World War II ended officially. Having lived through the war himself, Mr. Ikeda expresses in his poem his strong determination to contribute to lasting peace. He writes:
All the people of the world
Are equal as human beings.
If we focus on that reality,
It becomes clear that there is
No distinction between us
And no reason for conflict.
Dr. Shihab Ghanem and five other poets also shared their poems in Arabic, English, Hindi and French. Renowned guitarist Jason Carter also performed at the event.
To date, Mr. Ikeda has written over 600 poems with the spirit of promoting peace and a harmonious society.
SGI-Gulf is registered in Dubai as an educational organization that hosts peace education and cultural events in partnership with Dubai Knowledge Village.
[Adapted from an article in the February 29, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]