The Fund is the tool that will allow us to build a better future for the children of Palestine and Israel. This funding tool, under the Peoples' Peace Initiative management, will be used to bring nutrition, education, professional training, and access to jobs to these children and teens, and safety to their families.
Letter from Joseph Zarabi, founder of the P.P.I
As Martin Luther King, Jr said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
I have been fortunate this far in my life to have had a large group of important influencers and teachers. The lessons they have taught me are vast. In particular, I always kept in mind the essential lesson given by my grandfather that when you find yourself in a place in life from which you can make a positive impact on the lives of your fellow humans, but you do not do so, you betray all mankind.
Another mentor, Mr. Ataollah Mavadatt, alongside my parents, specifically asked me to find a way to love others even if they themselves do not do so. And Mr. Isaac Nassimi, one of the biggest inspirations in my life, indirectly encouraged me to create the People’s Peace Initiative, which I hope to soon make a worldwide organization. Mr. Nassimi’s contribution helped me to create and perfect the idea in my mind of Positive Politics. He surely would have told some of our politicians in the world today that the time has come for all of us to put aside personal interests and make room for the interests and ambitions of the people whom they lead.
And of course, finally, who else would I mention but Mr. Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi’s teaching of tolerance, resilience, perseverance and justice as tools to achieve victory have always resonated with me.
All these influences and teaching are sustaining my long-time goal to help peace as well as to provide food and education to children of the Middle East. The awareness of the pain of so many children in this world shocks me on a constant basis. prompting me to act and do what I can in the areas of my influence.
As a new era of barbarism and invasion has started in Eastern Europe, it is time to discuss a particular Persian poem written by Saadi, which is currently inscribed at the entrance to United Nations building. The general theme of the poem is that the world is like a large body, so if part of it is in pain, the whole body feels it. The actual poem is as follows:
بنىآدم اعضای یک پیکرند
که در آفرینش ز یک گوهرند
چو عضوى به درد آورَد روزگ
دگر عضوها را نمانَد قرار
تو کز محنت دیگران بیغمی
نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی
A rhyming translation of the poem by M. Aryanpoor is as follows:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you've no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain!
Today I’m announcing the creation of a special fund designed to assist Palestinian children. It will have the primary objective of both feeding those who are hungry and empowering them. This will help promote peace in the region as well as bring out the best in them for the future of the Middle East. Being able to facilitate or be of any help at all will bring my amazing team and me great pride.
I have singled out helping the Palestinian children because I see it as the first critical step towards the changes required to bring peace. Throughout the years, I have had no affiliation to one specific religion or group and never intend to. To be successful in this mission, we must remain neutral and embrace all.
On helping the poor: As the Persian saying goes - between a tree with branches full of fruit and another tree which has none, if we are unable to climb the tree, we must hit the richer tree to obtain any fruit. To bring more justice to this world, I believe in what I wrote so many years ago in my “Dear Friend Letter”:
“God has been very kind to us, giving us the fortune of good health and relative comfort in life. There are however those less fortunate. I have set out, with your help, to establish a foundation to address the issues that will ultimately enhance the lives of those less fortunate, demanding nothing, expecting nothing in return.
Our goal in this endeavor is to increase health, happiness, prosperity, and justice, through greater education for all.” Our starting point and mission for 2022 are to focus only on Palestinian children. Simultaneously we will proactively work hard to find people to assist us to do the same for all children of the Middle East. All will be invited to participate in this cause, regardless of their religion or social status. The idea of uniting Palestinians, Christians and Jews is not new, but it requires an intense and coordinated collective effort to achieve success. A multi-ethnic, multi-faith, focused team must be formed, coming together, in humility, with a pure desire to be of service.
A Chinese proverb says: “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, others build windmills”. I hope that you are, like us at the PPI, windmill builders, making change a reality and embracing it. Let us be partners in creating peace. Let’s create the Fund together and bring education, professional training, and a brighter life to the children of Palestine and Israel. They are the future.
With hope and determination,