On December 1, 2011, women of different faiths from the TRUST WIN (Women's Interfaith Network) fulfilled a promise they had made one year earlier. Last December women leaders of different faiths surveyed the damage of the Carmel forest fire and vowed to replant trees in honor of the the forty-four Prison Services personnel - Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim who perished there. With the cooperation of the Daliat alCarmel Community Center, TRUST - Emun held the Planting and Opening Ceremony of the Garden of the Mothers - planting forty-four trees and creating a permanent and serene symbol of the sisterhood of Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim women who have worked together in the northern region for ten years. The Garden also is home to two ancient olive trees and two new sculptures representing Hope and Rebirth.
Several hundred people gathered for the Ceremony to hear Carmel Nasreddin (the Head of the Local Council of Daliyat al-Karmel), Emile Hamadi(Director of the Cultural Center), Ayoob Kara (Deputy Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil), Prison Service officials, leaders of the Faith Communities of the area, members of the families of the prison personnel who perished, and women leaders from the TRUST WIN (Women's Interfaith Network)CC, Siham Halabi of MADA CC, Ibtisam Mahamid of Women Reborn CC.
After the final planting of the seedling trees, there was a silent Meditation Walk around the garden with the interfaith women and mothers from the families whose sons and husbands had perished. One mother thanked us tearfully and showed us a beautiful photo of her son, and said she would come regularly to visit the Garden of the Mothers. Another one said this was the first time anyone had created a permanent memorial - and that it took the women to do it!
We are deeply grateful for grants and donations from the Center for Religious Tolerance,the URI Environment Program, John Weiser, Barbara Meislin/the Purple Lady, and supporters in Austria, Germany, and Spain. Their faith and financial support for the work of interfaith women enabled us to carry out this substantial and permanent project. We invite everyone to come and visit it with us!
We thank everyone for their prayers and commitment to the sisterhood of women of different faiths building peace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7bkvNikRVs&feature=player_embedded (Elana interview 6:17 - 9:12)