Ada Aharoni

by MY HERO Staff

"Art and literature can convey what no political speech can convey."

Dr. Ada Aharoni is the founder and editor of the electronic magazine Pave Peace Through Literature and Culture. This magazine was conceived during a discussion of the Peace Through Literature commission, within a larger conference in Queensland, Australia, called Building Nonviolent Futures. The magazine features the work of poets Wilfred Owen, Rosalie Bertell, Cheshmak Farouhmand and Shin Shalom, as well as those of unnamed Egyptian and Israeli soldiers killed in the Yom Kippur war of 1973.

Dr. Ada Aharoni was born in Cairo, Egypt. She now resides in Israel, where she writes poems and biographies. She also lectures about the fighting between Israel and Palestine, and was recently co-president of The Bridge, a women's symposium for peace. She was awarded the 100 Global Heroines Award.

Dr. Aharoni's view is that through poetry, people from both sides might come to understand each other better, and that this understanding can lead to lasting peace. Here are some poems from Pave Peace:


by Edwin Markham

He drew a circle and shut me out
a renegade, a heretic, a thing to flout
But love and I had wit to win
we drew a circle that took him in.


by Shin Shalom

I was sent to raise
to raise the world,
the whole earth to raise

I could not find where
the base and the basis were
the base of the world to raise

It broke and fell
and floated in space,
in space where no raising can be
And I after it
aflame and burning
burning to raise the world.


From an Israeli Soldier's Yom Kippur War Diary

The night creeps long
funeral throng,
darkens. Memories rush
and flood
Blossoming lists of dead
thumps red.
Every name pins mind
With writhing missiles.
Cursed, cursed war
In a jeep, on Golan Heights
loneliest I have ever been,
I watch skeletons of tanks
Crowned with names of friends.
Sinister row, black graves
fresh bodies - old smell.
Cursed, cursed war
It doesn't look at all like wars in films, this war.
Here we do not get a chance to shoot
Or wave a flag
Shrieking shells, hyena lightning
Pour on us and we run backwards
or forwards
Or to the side
And some are saved
and some are not,
Not all, not always
But always cursing
This cursed, cursed war.
In an English centurion
Holding Belgian guns,
We watch two American-made airplanes
Shot down by Russian-made missiles.
I cannot hate the Syrian on the other side
Who holds a French gun and shoots Soviet SAMs.
AH! Now I have it, now I know -
We are both toy soldiers of shopkeepers
Who want to sell -
Selling us, in this
Cursed, cursed war!
God, let it stop, let it end,
Let the nightmare end!
Cursing is the only womb shelter
We can creep into,
Not to crumble
Before thoughts in the dark.
Cursed are those who force me to be here
In this cursed, cursed war!


by An Unidentified Egyptian Soldier

Dear Leila, I am afraid I am about
To die, for Egypt and Allah,
But this is not what I want -
What I want to do is live for you
My Leila, my love -
Remember me every time the sun shines
Over the Pyramids
And the moon over the Sphinx
And ask Allah WHY?

Page created on 7/13/2007 1:57:26 PM

Last edited 1/6/2017 7:32:52 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Ada Aharoni's Homepage - on the Culture and Literature of Peace.
Palestine-Israel Journal - -- To promote understanding between the people of Israel and Palestine.
Seeds of Peace - brings the youth of Israel and Palestine together in friendly cooperation and discussion.

Extra Info

Dr. Ada Aharoni's hero is Thea Wolf, about whom she wrote the book Not in Vain: An Extraordinary Life, published by Ladybug books. She is also the author of Peace Flower: A Space Adventure.

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