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Travel for Peace with Focus on June 2005-2006
By Alexander Mercieca

Since World War II ended in 1945 and the United Nations became established shortly afterwards, we began to notice more and more religious, political and educational leaders on the move. The urge for unity and peace came into focus as a vital matter. The world began to realize that the greatest lesson we might have learned from a recorded history of 6,000 years of civilization is this. In a war everyone ends up being a loser and no one could be termed as a winner.

Religious, Political and Scholarly Leadership

In the religious sphere, we have noticed religious leaders of the caliber of Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, and the Rev. Billy Graham, in addition to numerous others, traveling extensively. Their purpose was to bring peace in the hearts of people everywhere. This was generally promoted through love and respect for others.

In the political arena, we have also observed governmental leaders, especially of leading nations, traveling more often but with a seemingly different purpose. Whereas religious leaders concentrated on reaching people from very walk of life and profession, political leaders focused more on visiting each other for purpose of retaining or improving their mutual relations.

In scholarly circles, academic leaders have taken the initiative to organize periodical conferences where teachers and students could come together to explore newer approaches to world peace. While political leaders have tended to reveal nationalistic interests, teachers at the various levels of education tended to reveal interest in the universal welfare of people without exception.

This explains why a substantial number of teachers felt it as a vocation to travel extensively and to participate in activities that are especially related to peace education, environmental protection, human rights and disarmament. From early childhood, the IAEWP President, Dr. Charles Mercieca, has been prepared for a life of extensive travel to help people replace the culture of war with the culture of peace. Nowadays, many institutions of learning organize conferences on such vital topics as cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, heart ailment, diabetes, AIDS, and Alzheimer's disease, in addition to others.

This peace-educator was born and raised in the Island of Malta that was the most bombarded nation in World War II. He learned quickly from experience about the savagery of war. From age 6 to age 9 he had to sleep in caves underground to escape from the Nazis' brutal annihilation of his little nation. He had several friends and relatives killed as a result. He realized that the way to peace was through healthy dialogues and not through devastating wars.

In Search of Peaceful Solutions

So, he decided to pursue a career of scholarly activities through extensive travel where he could discuss alternative approaches to war. As a result, the International Association of Educators for World Peace was conceived in 1967. Two years later, in 1969, it was incorporated in the USA and this year of official and legal existence became known as the founding year of the organization.

Dr. Charles Mercieca has been a university professor at Alabama A&M University for 34 years. He lectured in universities of virtually all the major nations of the world. Besides, he has been Visiting Professor in Russia at Tver State University, in USA at Chicago State University, California State University at Fresno and also at Harvard University, in El Salvador at the University of Santa Ana, and in South Korea at Kyung Hee University.

We may now focus briefly on his latest travels. In June 2005, he was in Verbania in Italy to participate in the 15th IAEWP World Peace Congress, which was organized by His Holiness Lama Gangchen, the IAEWP National Chancellor of Italy. He then visited his home country of Malta where he met with several friends. In September 2005, he went to Switzerland to give the graduating address at the SBS - Swiss Business School in Zurich. Prior to this, he went back to Malta for the celebrations of the 300th centenary of Malta's victory over the Turks.

In November 2005, he visited Russia where he lectured at Tver State University. In December 2005, he visited South Korea to help with the new IAEWP publication of Diplomacy Journal. In March 2006, he visited Japan to choose a place for a future peace conference there. In May 2006, he visited the University of Bangalore in India to examine the theses of 60 students affiliated with the SBS - Swiss Business School in Zurich where he is the Honorary President.

Toward the end of June 2006, he returned to South Korea to participate in the IAEWP World Peace Painting Exhibition. Later, he visited India to participate in an IAEWP Peace Conference in Bombay. In view of what has been stated, it is quite obvious that all the world-wide trips of the IAEWP President have always been motivated to promote international understanding and world peace.

Writer is U.S.-based Social Science Scholar-Ed






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