International Day of Peace in Washington, D.C.
Community Honors Peacemakers
by FFWPU USA, Dr. Achille Acolatse, Co-Pastor, Washington, D.C. Family Church
On Friday, October 7, the Washington, D.C. Family Church organized an observance of the International Day of Peace. The emcee for the event was Rev. Henry Mungai, who opened the program by inviting Ndassi Babatunde to offer a prayer and welcoming all the guests to enjoy a celebratory dinner. Dr. Achille Acolatse then offered welcoming remarks, which were followed by a performance of “Where Peace Begins” by the middle school students of the church, and a Peace Candle Ceremony, in which middle and high school students read peace quotes from various spiritual leaders such as Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, our True Parents and others.
Mrs. Tomiko Duggan explained the significance of the International Day of Peace, and introduced the keynote speaker, Mrs. Mimi Hassanein, a Senior Fellow and Community Liaison of the Middle Eastern Advisory Group of Montgomery County, Maryland. The elementary school children then performed “We are the World,” which received a standing ovation and set the stage for two new Ambassador for Peace appointments. Nanae Goto performed a song, “World in Peace,” to conclude the appointment ceremony.
Mr. Shukri Taha is originally from Palestine and serves as the president of the Deir Debwan Charity Organization established in 1979. This organization seeks to meet the essential needs of the village of Deir Debwan, Palestine by providing student scholarships, school and road construction, medical services and the construction of a local medical center.
Mr. Muhammad Saber of Pakistan is the executive officer of The Commongrounds, an interfaith-based non-profit organization founded in 2009. He is a social activist from the conflict zone called FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Areas) in Pakistan. Having a Pashtun background, Mr. Saber and his organization help underprivileged people across different parts of conflict-ridden and war-torn areas. He has also helped flood victims in Pakistan by creating fundraising programs.
The program ended with a toast for peace and a call to action by Rev. Jean-Pierre Sonna, co-pastor of the Washington, D.C. Family Church, and a closing prayer by Elie Likeng.