Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Kind of Woman Wins a Nobel Peace Prize – Part III


Tawakkul Karman

Tawakkul Karman, a 32-year-old mother of three children, has been called by some the “mother of the revolution” in Yemen, demanding the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s dictatorial regime. She has been actively participating in sit-ins, protesting the President’s dictatorship over Yemen. At one point, she was seized and held in prison, only to have thousands of people demand her release. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/07/tawakkul-karman-profile

In an interview with free-lance journalist Eva Sohlman Karman, the people of Yemen put down their weapons when they heard the announcement that Karman had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. They took to the streets with flowers in their hands. Karman believes that this award represents an understanding that Muslims are not terrorists, and that the people of Yemen want freedom and peace. (You can listen to this interview at: http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1670)

In this same interview, she shares her belief that the first thing that must be done to ensure women in Yemen and in Arabic countries assume their responsibilities in building the world is to put an end to dictatorship regimes. Then they can begin the process of education that will allow women to become leaders.

She describes how women are accepted as fighters for revolutions, until dictators are put into power. Once they are in control, they speak against women and further their subjugation.

For those of us that live in relatively free nations, can we even begin to imagine what it must be like to grow up in a reality where you are seen as a terrorist because of your religion? Can we imagine what it is like to grow up in a place where political dictators use women as fighters when it serves them, and then speak against women once they attain power? Can we imagine how much conviction women in countries controlled by dictators must be holding in their hearts to become a voice for peace?

When I look at what I am here to do on this earth and I look at the obstacles and challenges I face, they pale in comparison to what Tawakkul Karman has had to overcome to become the “mother of the revolution.” She is absolutely committed to bringing dictators to justice and establishing peace in her country.

So let me ask, what can we do, to support Tawakkul Karman’s efforts for peace and freedom? Do we just sit back and watch? Or is there something we can actually do?

I believe there is something we can do. We can hold her intentions for peace and freedom in our hearts and bless those intentions with the same fervor and dedication with which she carries these hopes in her heart.

Every parent or caring person can know what it feels like to want peace and freedom for our children. I wonder how much Kaman is motivated by her own children, because every child deserves to grow up in peace, don’t you think?

Let us consider holding peace and freedom in our hearts, and then going as deeply into those feelings as we can—allowing our hearts to expand in their capacity to hold this hope for all who long for it.

If you are not familiar with the practice of holding, you might appreciate becoming familiar with the first step of the Creation Meditation we teach here at New Dream. http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php?topic=75.0 Holding is the essential gift of the Sacred Feminine. I can think of no better time or reason to hold for peace and freedom than right now, when so many people in so many countries are standing for their right to live without the oppression of dictators.