Written and performed by a class of 12 Middle School Girls with the direction of Peace Corps worker Jenni Morello
“My name is Jenni Morello and I am finishing up my Peace Corps service in Morocco. I have been here since March 2006. When I first heard of the Global Art Project, I became very excited. I recently just opened 2 women’s centers in my village. Women are taking literacy classes and producing carpets. It’s wonderful because now they have a generation of income. I asked them to weave something that would describe peace. Well this is a difficult concept to explain in a foreign language to women that have never attended school before. However, they surprised me! They crocheted seven differently shaped and colored objects. They told me they represented people across the world, different colors and countries. They included red & green which are the Moroccan flag colors. Also some of the objects are crocheted with the Berber symbol for infinity. They were excited to share their Muslim heritage one that includes Peace in a huge way.
I also did this project with a class at middle school in my village. A group of 12 girls wrote a song in Arabic and we recorded it. I asked some boys to draw what they thought Peace means. One boy drew an incredibly moving drawing. He drew an Imam (leader of a Mosque), a Rabbi and a Priest standing together. He told me Peace is all religions getting along and accepting each other. As a Peace Corps volunteer I was blown away by his statement. In a country that is 99.9% Muslim I was impressed he accepted all faiths.
I never thought this project would produce such a heartfelt response from a 13 year old boy and a group of illiterate women but it shows me that when people are challenged they produce things that are unexpected.
Our village is named Toundoute and it is located in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.