Mohamed Sidibay

On September 20, The MY HERO PROJECT honored a unique group of peace activists at its Annual Peace Day celebration in Santa Monica, carrying out its mission of inspiring audiences around the world with true stories of heroes.  International Day of Peace was dedicated by the United Nations as a day devoted to uniting people in pursuit of peace, and this MY HERO peace event promotes that transcendent purpose.

Mohammed Sidibay hosted The MY HERO Project's peace event, giving his audience a new dimension on peace activism.  After recounting the horrors of his childhood in which he was forced into  slavery as a child soldier at age 3,  suffering humiliation, cruelty, abuse and violence, he took his audience step by step through the stages of his own personal growth and enlightenment:  forgiveness, compassion, purification, serenity, surrender and finally escape.   He tells his story  with a depth of feeling and humor, honoring his own personal heroes who also spoke at the event.  "I'm going to introduce you to some of the people I've met through MY HERO who inspire me to be the voice of the voiceless, to be an activist, to keep the faith...  the people who remind us, in Anne Frank's words, that "nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world." 

Event Video Programs

International Day of Peace '14 (full)

Producer: The MY HERO Project

International Day of Peace '14. Mohamed Sidibay:My Journey From Child soldier to Peace Activist

International Day of Peace '14 (30min edit)

Producer: The MY HERO Project

International Day of Peace '14. Mohamed Sidibay:My Journey From Child soldier to Peace Activist

Honorees / Perfomers

Robert Shetterly speaks at MY HERO's International Day of Peace Celebration

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Kenji Williams speaks and performs at MY HERO's International Day of Peace Celebration

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Ron Kovic speaks at MY HERO's International Day of Peace Celebration

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Erin Gruwell speaks at MY HERO's International Day of Peace Celebration

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Dana Williams Performs at 2014 International Day Of Peace

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Dana Williams Performs Somewhere Over the Rainbow at MY HERO's 2014 International Day Of Peace Celebration

Supplementary Video

Beyond Borders

Producer: ListenUp.org

Chronicling Mohammed Sidibay's transition from child soldier to freedom

Mali Bickley Red Carpet Interview at International Day of Peace 2014

Producer: The MY HERO Project

About Ron Kovic

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Ron Kovic is veteran, author, artist, and speaker who has spent decades advocating for peace.

Robert Shetterly Discusses Americans Who Tell the Truth at MY HERO Salon Event

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Robert Shetterly Discusses Americans Who Tell the Truth at MY HERO Salon Event

Kenji Williams Discusses Bella Gaia at MY HERO Salon

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Kenji Williams discusses Bella Gaia at MY HERO Salon

Robert Shetterly

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Artist, Robert Shetterly discusses his series, americans who tell the truth

2014 Ron Kovic Peace Prize Reel

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Each year Ron Kovic selects the winner for The Ron Kovic Peace Prize at The MY HERO International Film Festival

MY HERO's Day of Peace Celebration

"To tell the Truth,"  is the resounding answer to many of the questions posed at  the MY HERO Peace Event,  including what each one of us can do to achieve peace.  At the Peace celebration, Robert Shutterly was introduced as a peace activist who,  through his brilliant artistry as a  portrait painter,  tells the history of American heroes who have embodied courage, honesty, tolerance, generosity, wisdom and compassion throughout our nation's history by virtue of their "truth telling."  These Americans, who "tell the truth"  carry the legacy of what Shetterly explained during the MY HERO Peace Event, as "the responsibility of all of us, all of us, to try to make a safer and more peaceful world." 

As part of the Peace Event, Mohamed Sidibay introduced his hero Erin  Gruwell, the author of The Freedom Writers Diary,  the first book Mohamed read after  arriving in the United States following his rescue.   Gruwell  was praised for her educational program which teaches tolerance,  compassion and peace in the classroom to students who, like Mohamed,  are all too familiar  with poverty and violence, but who, unlike Mohamed grew  up in United States.  Gruwell told Mohamed how proud she was of him and  his amazing journey to peace.

As Sidibay points out in the MY HERO Peace Event, one of the biggest challenges facing humanity is how to forge peace, transcend boundaries and unite people in order to educate the human race on how to save our planet.  He asks: how can we change our behavior so we learn to  protect and preserve our earth's limited natural resources?  Award winning filmmaker, musician, technology wizard  and visionary  Kenji Williams answers this question by offering up his multi media project "BELLA GAIA".  Translated as "Beautiful Earth", Bella Gaia must be experienced to be believed.  It constitutes a collaboration with institutions such as  NASA, the Smithsonian, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  It is being shown in venues around the world, changing lives one by one by the very experience it imparts to the viewer.  Williams's  concept is to combine in a synchronistic   sensory experience  photos, film, music, and scientific data including  views of our planet from distinct vantage points such as  astronauts in outer space, from the ocean itself, the rivers, the animals.  The effect, which is magical, is to impart and transmit the sense of oneness between the observer and what is being observed.  

The depth of this witness state gained by the observer, results in creating a direct relationship between the observer (earth inhabitant) and the living, breathing " Bella Gaia,"  which is being inhabited.  Neuroscientists have discovered that this reduction- i.e. the observer and the observed become one, creates the neurological transmission necessary to create a loving relationship between our planet and its inhabitants such that each of us experiencing the connection, will forevermore be changed.  We will gain respect, love, tenderness and empathy for our planet (as a parent has for its own child)  and in turn will we be transformed into stewards of the earth.  The end result is that each of us will become physically linked and will act toward our planet in a way to  protect, defend and save our resources.  Kenji Williams, through his brainchild "BELLA GAIA," promotes peace and has become one of The MY HERO PROJECT's celebrated Peace Heroes.  

Ron Kovic, the Vietnam war veteran who became a peace activist upon his return home from Vietnam and  whose life and  heroism are the subject of the award winning film "Born on the Fourth of July", appeared at the Peace Event to announce this year's winner of The MY HERO International Film Festival Peace Prize.  Kovic selected  the film "Blessed is the Peacemaker" which examines a Baltimore outreach program in which former gang members mentor local youth to give up their tendency to commit crimes.  The result of the program was to drastically reduce the incidence of violent crimes in that city.  Kovic gave a moving speech at the MY HERO Peace Event ,  reminded his audience  that the trademark of a peacemaker is courage, to stand up for one's beliefs, to take risks for what one believes in, to be willing to accept the consequences of one's truths. 


Links

Highlights of Mohamed

Mohamed Sidibay: The Power of His Story

Producer: Emily and Coco

Emily and Coco learn how a child soldier from a slum in Sierra Leone becomes a peacemaker and how we can all become peace makers.

Mohamed Sidibay: tell you my story

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sdibay: I Wanted to Rebuild My World

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: Ive seen mankind at its wors

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: Lost Generation

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: My Lucky Day

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: My Past will not Dictate My Present

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: People Got Tired

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: Childhood

Producer: Jesse Overman and Mohamed Sidibay

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

mohamed Sidibay: never again

Producer: Jesse Overman and Mohamed Sidibay

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: anger is a Platform

Producer: Jesse Overman and Mohamed Sidibay

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: a step to the left

Producer: Jesse Overman and Mohamed Sidibay

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.

Mohamed Sidibay: Rambo Story

Producer: Jesse Overman and Mohamed Sidibay

Mohamed Sidibay discusses his life growing up as a child soldier in Sierra Leon and the story of his transformation as he moves to the united states to pursue higher education.