For Peace Day: Letters from bereaved parents

Today, in honor of International Peace Day, and in honor of all those who have lost loved ones to the conflict — we call for no more empty rooms.

Seven bereaved parents have written letters of hope to their loved ones who have been killed. They are left with seven empty rooms. An empty room where he once read from an open school book to prepare for his exams, another empty room where he played the French Horn, another empty room where she put up a poster of her dream horse. It goes on and on.

These empty rooms are all that remains of lives so easily taken away.

This year also marks 20 years since the beginning of the Second Intifada. Some of these empty rooms belonged to children from both sides who were killed during the Intifada.   

Our Palestinian and Israeli messages are not just about a shared pain. We are a source of hope, and hope is an essential part of political change. By understanding the humanity of the other, we can instill hope among Israelis and Palestinians. We do this day in and out in order to prevent further violence and bereavement. Peace is attainable. We must continue to work for peace and expect it.

In peace,

Shiri Ourian
Executive Director
American Friends of the Parents Circle – Families Forum