Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tears and Flowers: Rais Bhuiyan awarded Freedom Riders award

Right-top is an Amnesty Photo See Rais Bhuiyan's website World Without Hate ** from

photo by Jonathan White of Rais Bhuiyan with the evening's MC, Susan Collin Marks (Vice President, SFCG) accepting the Freedom Rider award October 27, 2011

Condensed article:

(Bhuiyan) found forgiveness and hope in his faith. Taking the stage to a standing ovation, Rais Bhuiyan, who campaigned to have his attacker’s death sentence commuted, said, “We, in our lives, can make a difference when we move away from hate and revenge and turn to love and forgiveness.” He added, “This is not tribal, it’s not about skin color. This is a human issue.”

Emmanuel Jal brought the entire room to its feet, with a rousing rendition of his hit song, We Want Peace. Introduced by his “friend and brother,” John Prendergast, Jal was magnetic , passionate and humbly suggested he did not know how to accept an award that had previously been given to heroes of his, like Desmond Tutu. “I believe in putting light in a dark place,” Jal said. And so he accepted the award on behalf of those whose voices continue to go unheard, to hopefully be able to bring light to them...

The 2011 Common Ground Awards - October 28, 2011:

Also Awarded: Diane Nash, Emmanuel Jal, Freedom Riders, John Lewis, Ysaye Barnwellby sfcg.

Holding up his Common Ground Award, Cardinal McCarrick likened its design to both a flower and a tear. He accepted his award for his role in securing the Freedom of the American Hikers from Iran saying the design was fitting, “For along this journey there have been many tears, but there have been flowers too.” This might very well have been the official theme of the 2011 Common Ground Awards.

Each of the honorees had faced remarkable struggles, in many cases near-death experiences. They had seen the ugliest of human nature. But they remained unbowed and showed that however easy it may be to meet hatred with more hatred, there are ordinary people doing the opposite each day.“This action of showing compassion and mercy taken by the families [of the hikers] is something our governments can learn from,” Ambassador (Ret.) Bill Miller said...

*First compelling blog photo is from Amnesty I-USA blog GO here

**World Without Hate Website here Calendar of events coming:
November:- Amnesty Regional West Conference, CA- Amnesty Regional South Conference, NC- Rome, Italy -- December:- Rome, Italy- Dallas Peace Center

Commentary on Rais stand for forgiveness "We need more people like Rais Bhuiyan in America here

Article on Rais' lead in the battle to save his attacker from execution here

More on the award night here

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