Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP) will be holding its Gandhi Peace Award Ceremony Saturday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. (EST).
The award is being given jointly to a Syrian-American and a Syrian to honor the incredible and brave work by Syrian medical and rescue workers. The honorees are Dr. Zaher Sahloul of Chicago and Mayson Almisri of the Syria Civil Defense (better known as the White Helmets) who is now exiled in Canada. The public worldwide may view the ceremony on Zoom without charge. The link to register is at the website PEPeace.org.
“Many progressive people have ignored the agency of Syrians and their efforts for a democratic uprising against the Assad tyranny. Their efforts have been met by incredible violence and influenced badly by foreign powers, but they remain active whether hidden in Deraa and Idlib or alive among refugees around the world. We especially want to salute those Syrians doing direct humanitarian work.” – Stanley Heller, PEP Administrator
Honoree Dr. Zaher Sahloul is a past president of the Syrian-American Medical Society, which has built and rebuilt hospitals in Syria under attack by Russian and Assad forces; some are operating underground or in caves. He’s now president of Medglobal, which gives crucial help to victims in fourteen countries. He is a pulmonary specialist based in Chicago and has treated patients there suffering from the Covid-19 virus.
The other honoree is Mayson Almisri. She is from Deraa where the mass demonstrations began in Syria in 2011 and is one of the leaders of the White Helmets. Those rescue workers are the heroes who dig out survivors and bodies from under the rubble left by the unprovoked attacks. They have enraged the Assad regime by making videos of the devastation caused by the barrel bombs and the chemical attacks.
Artists and speakers will highlight the ceremony. Dr. Sahloul will be introduced by Linda Sarsour, noted Palestinian-American activist who co-chaired the 2017 and 2019 Women’s Marches and past executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. Ms. Almisri will be introduced by Orlando von Einsiedel, the Academy Award-winning director of the film “The White Helmets,” a segment of which will be shown as part of the program.
Music will be provided by Wasfi Massarani and Dylan Connor. There will be narrated presentations by artists Akram Swedaan, Molly Crabapple, Marc Nelson, and Adeebah Alnema.
The Gandhi Peace Award has been presented since 1960. Its laureates include Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Day, Benjamin Spock, Caesar Chavez, Bill McKibben, Ralph Nader, Amy Goodman, Jackson Browne and many more. The Award comes with a $5,000 prize and a medallion fashioned from Peace Bronze made of metals extracted from retired nuclear weapons systems.