GM Partner Jean Zaru wins prestigious 2010 Anna Lindh Memorial Fund award
The 2010 Anna Lindh Memorial Fund award was given this year to distinguished Quaker peace activist Jean Zaru. Jean is presiding clerk of the Friends Meeting in Ramallah and has dedicated her life to work for peace, justice and a nonviolent solution in Palestine.
Described by the award committee as a ‘beacon of hope’, Jean Zaru reflected on aspects of her life and work in her acceptance speech in Stockholm.
Power, peace and Palestine
For power is not a cake, which is cut up and diminished the more it is shared. Power, when shared, is a relationship that enriches everyone.
Sisters and brothers, I have travelled here to share with you my personal witness to peacemaking in my land of Palestine, where to be actively engaged in the building of a culture of peace and nonviolence is to do so in a context of severe oppression, military occupation, continual displacement, and denial of basic human and community rights. Deep reflection on my life experience has served as my main source of inspiration.
Throughout my journey, I have been aware that my experience was always rooted in and filtered through my identity as a Palestinian Christian Quaker woman. My outward identity was coupled with my inward knowledge that I am a child of God. What a fundamental realisation it is – a major re-alignment of sorts – finally to honour (that of) God within me, while simultaneously honouring the light that shines in every person in the world. I have been sustained by a deeply embedded sense of equality and empowered by that equality in spite of the oppression and structures of domination I face daily, and that scream at me otherwise.
When entering this new landscape, this new way of being in the world, one is immediately washed with a sense of both humble privilege and precious responsibility. Recognising the divine in myself has led me to recognise it in all other people and creation. And, my friends, this recognition is nothing short of radical.