An iconic peace message from young Palestinians

26 November 2011

25 November 2011
West Bank 

Hundreds of students from United Nations schools near Jericho have created a massive aerial image of the dove of peace in conjunction with the world-renowned artist, John Quigley. Directed by Quigley, who has created mass aerial images from large groups of people for over a quarter of a century, they gathered in the dove formation at the foot of the Mount of Temptation in Jericho, reputed to be the oldest and lowest city on earth.

"This is a mirror image of Picasso‘s famous ‘Peace Dove‘. Palestinian youth are sending the message to ‘love one another‘ and ‘love all‘ so we can find a path to peace,” said Quigley. “These kids are planting seeds of hope into the heart of the Middle East conflict. They deserve the kind of positive future we wish for all children."

The students are from schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, which educates half a million children across the Middle East.

“The world needs to sit up and listen to the youth of this region,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi. “Their message of peace is essential. It is the voice of the next generation.”

Palestinian children form shape of dove of peace at Mount of Temptation, Jericho
Photo credit: Photo by John Quigley / Spectral Q

The image is being created as part of “Project Peace on Earth”, founded by Steve Robertson, which will stage a globally broadcast Musical Prayer for Peace concert from Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Christmas Day. "Our soul is defined by the music of our heart,” said Robertson. "When we listen towards that divinity and choose to express that joyful wisdom, the result is always peace."

UNRWA is grateful to the sponsors and donors of this event:, the Ambassador Hotel, the Jericho Resort Village, the Jericho Cable Car, Kamar Productions

Watch a video of the event

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

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