I first heard about the peace day carnival from a dear friend of mine, who encouraged me to be a part of this event.
As I was sending my volunteer application I kept on wondering if there is anything I could actually do as a volunteer or if I had anything that I could share or help with I also was not sure about how big is this event or what I was putting myself into, all what was going on in my head is to be able to help somehow!
As soon as the first volunteer meeting was held, I understood what everything was all about, I felt the love, understanding and passion for peace between the volunteers, and everyone was extremely friendly, welcoming and supportive for any idea or suggestion
As everyone was discussing ideas and suggestions an idea popped into my head, how about a booth for Business cards, at first it seemed like a random silly thought but as soon as I said it out load people seemed to be interested, and got some extremely positive reaction
and so I went back home with “Something” to plan and work for, I needed a design, a program, some tools and people who can work with me, even though it seemed like too much work, I was excited!, it seemed like a new adventure, A new chapter opening up and an opportunity to get to know the people I met at the volunteers meeting, a wide new window opening up with countless amounts of possibilities.
By the next meeting, the program, the design and the tools for the booth were almost finished and ready, and I got the opportunity to show the people there some samples of the design and got some feedback and constructive Criticism
Later on I was introduced to Majd and Usama, who were responsible for the booths group, they taught me various things about the carnival and allowed me to go on some errands which was a great experience
Soon enough I found myself surrounded by amazing people, amazing friends, and got to learn from them about how the carnival grew from only two booths, to the form we witnessed this year, they relied me to do some of the designs and they would support whatever I come up with.
I also had the opportunity to meet some fascinating talented people, from people who sang and played guitar to people who could make an entire photo booth by themselves and see them work in action
I got extreme support from my friends, some who offered their help and were up for it immediately, and sadly some negative support from some people, I was even told once to “give it up”, that negative support got me down at first, but then I remembered the atmosphere of that meeting place and how enthusiastic, positive and energetic those people were, so I kept on moving!
soon enough the day of the carnival was already here, me and my best friends had pulled an all nighters working on various stuff and putting some final touches , we put everything in the car and we hurried to where the carnival was held ,we were not surprised, everyone was super energetic , setting up the work they had worked for all this time, putting their final touches and helping others setting up their stuff, and so the people started coming in, the atmosphere that I had felt during the meetings is now maximized ,
the feelings of love, joy and peace was enchanting, even though our booth had some technical difficulties at first we managed to pull it through and the idea succeeded, by the end of the carnival, we went running to stage, as we were going up on the stairs and I looked at the large amount of people there was right in front of me, cheering for us, cheering for themselves for attending and cheering for peace… it was finally revealed to me, it was a victory, a victory after all the hard work a victory after all the doubts I had, a victory for all Iraqis ,a victory of peace and a message to the world, “we can make Peace!”
it was also a message to me,
Every one of us has the chance to bring happiness, true love and peace to the people around us, not matter where you are or what conditions you might have, seek what you believe in no matter what others might tell you, this is an event that started as a “silly” idea with barely two booths and turned into something that brought happiness and joy to thousands of people, and YOU can be a part of it!
” don’t fly so low….don’t fly solo…”
by Ameer Laith