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Speech to rally for peace
20 September 2001
Even birds in their nest need it.
The sad event that happened in America brings me back to the trauma of my own life in war-torn Africa. I came here looking for a secure life which I have earned. It's threatened now by terrorism.
We can't benefit from war and conflict. It has never solved any kind of problem in history. It will never solve problems in the future. In the sky people need to see beautiful stars, flying birds, not warplanes and rockets.
People - men, women, children and the elderly need their fertile fields to grow crops, grow trees and for their children to play in. They are not for mines, tanks and ammunition. War is threatening peace. Nobody can stop war through war. Using peace I believe we can defeat war.
As a refugee of war I have experienced violence and abuse. I would like to use this opportunity to pass my message to the people of New Zealand about how I am deeply affected by what happened in the USA. We also expect from this wise community not to be judged by our colour and beliefs.
We do not want to be generalised and categorised with the terrorists. Finally, I would like to say that even birds in their nests need peace. Maybe this is the time to evaluate and examine the global attitude towards this issue. Maybe it is time for thinking about designing and implementing new global systems based on Peace. We can't keep travelling on the old train.
Let's come together for Peace! It's the only tool for the global dilemma!
God bless New Zealand. God bless the world.
Yilma Tafere Tasew, Ethiopian poet, now living in Aotearoa.