While fear and uncertainty looming over large part of Iraq, two Art of Living Faculty members Christoph Glaser and Mawahib Shaibani embarked on a mission. They began imparting leadership training and peace building initiatives to 35 Members of Parliament in Arbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.
The program was part of a long-term peace-mission of the Art of Living Foundation and it`s sister Organisation, the International Association for Human Values.
The parliamentarians experienced the Art of Living program and felt it is very useful at this time of highest tension, anger, hatred and confusion. "We are here from four different political parties in Kurdistan, but if we can talk and work together the way we are doing in this workshop, then we can solve all our problems", the impressed participants shared.
The 3-day program concluded with a skype call with The Art of Living Founder Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Gurudev said "Kurds being the 3rd party caught up in the conflict in Iraq, they can play a major role in turning around the situation". The parliamentarians invited Gurudev to Iraq to build bridges.
Back ground of work by Art of Living in Iraq
Since September 2003, The Art of Living has contributed to rebuilding war-torn Iraq. The aftermath of two wars led to civil violence, economic breakdown and infrastructural shortage. Understanding the needs of this humanitarian crisis, Gurudev’s Iraq peace initiative has a two-pronged mission: providing stress relief and disaster management techniques to overcome personal stress and helping people pick up their lives through service initiatives.
On the invitation of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, prison programs were conducted in the country’s correctional homes. Thousands of hardcore criminals were given a vision of a pacific society. The Art of Living has proven that individual inner peace can be a powerful tool in resolving conflicts, and is spreading the message of peace and non-violence to Iraqis, through its specially tailored programs.