From Someone Who Survived the Iran Iraq War…

Nov 06, 2007 Published under Iran, Middle East, OneVoice Movement, PeaceWorks Foundation

{I requested and got permission to share excerpts of this letter on my blog}

Dear Daniel,

It is my great pleasure to write to you and reach out to you on a cause that we both stand for and work for: Peace in the Middle East and in the World. A cause that is worthy of devoting ones life to. I was introduced to your team in a conference held by University of California Irvine, through the Center for Citizen Peace Building. I can not begin to tell you how touched and moved I was by the courage of the young students from both Palestinian and Israeli side. It was truly inspiring to see something so extraordinary and so pure.

I’d like to give you a brief overview of the journey that led me to that conference and why our paths have crossed. I’m an Iranian American who survived the Iran Iraq war and never really unveiled it until recently. I have been in the rubble, I have seen people killed and youth as young as 12 years old dragged to the army to fight in the name of religion and let me tell you I did not believe in Peace. As a matter of fact, it would really upset me to see people preach it, I felt like they have no idea what it’s like to have bombs come down on them, and they have no idea that it is the last thing on one’s mind when running for shelter.

So you may ask yourself "what happened, and why a person of my background started working towards causing peace?" Well, I realized that being tired, resigned or apathetic is the source of it. I realized that it is not just about me the Iranian American kid, it’s about that Palestinian kid, that Israeli kid, that American, African, Sudanese… kid it’s about all of us. I realized that our biggest pitfall is that we have forgotten that before we’re Iranian, American, Israeli, Palestinian, we are human beings. Simple really simple yet so powerful that we have missed it and had wars get the better of us.

Please know that I’m not reaching out to you as an Iranian American, Muslim, Jew, republican, democrat, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Shiite, Sonni, catholic, protestant, but I’m reaching out to you as all of the above a fellow human being.

You know Daniel, although I don’t know you or seen you, I know that it’s people like you and me and those who truly believe if there is a will, there is a way are the ones who take actions for the better good of human kind and inspire others to make it happen with them! People ask me, "you are not even Israeli or Palestinian so why do you care so much?", and I tell them I’m a human being and it is my human duty to care.

Although I run two businesses and run a humanitarian organization, I will drop everything for this cause and for a chance to make an impact, so please know that whenever you or anyone from your team calls they are welcome.

Your kindred Spirit,

Sunny Zia

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