The following story was first published in The Maryknoll Classroom Program, a service for teachers. Programs for K-12 are available free to teachers who request them from Maryknoll Magazine. www.Maryknoll.org
What Peace Looks Like
Aron and his family had left their home in Syria about a year ago, when he was 7. A war had started there, and his parents and grandparents decided it was not safe to stay. They could bring only the most important things. It was a long trip before they could stop. And they stopped here at a refugee camp. Now they lived in a tent, among hundreds of other tents and people. They had all left their homes because of the war. They were waiting to find out when they could leave the camp and where they could go.
"Here comes the art lady!" shouted Aron's sister Estes. She was pointing to Sister Rosemarie.
Sister Rosemarie took the children to another part of the camp.
Soon they reached the art group. The children were all from Syria. The adults were from different countries, Canada, Poland and the United States.
"We are a peace team," Sister Rosemarie explained. "All around the world, people are looking for peace. What does peace look like to you?"
"Peace looks like me sitting with my family, all together," said Este.
"Peace is being safe with no tanks and no rockets!" said Muhammad.
Reza said, "Peace is playing outside by my home."
Pile added, "And going to school!"
"Peace means flowers and birds," Miriam said. "And trees, I miss trees."
Aron looked around. There were so many tents, but he could see no trees.
"Aron?" asked Sister Rosemarie. "Do you have a picture of peace?"
"Riding my green bike, and going fast and laughing--and not feeling afraid at all!" he said.
Sister Rosemarie smiled. "These are wonderful ideas,: she said. "Now let's all draw these pictures of peace."
Muhammad painted circles and lines in yellows, oranges, and blues, colors that made him happy.
Miriam drew trees, flowers and birds.
Pile and Reza drew a school with children playing outside
Este painted lots of people holding hands.
Aron couldn't draw a bike, so he took the green paint, the color of his bike, and made big swoops of green.
Every one shared ideas and became friends 'they wee happy because they were thinking about making peace.