Creative works

Oleander Peace Team thanks all those who participated and shared their ideas and creations . More new works will be posted on the website soon.

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Oleander Peace Team

Oleander video

This is just a short introduction of some creative works by students.

How Animals Taught Me a Lesson By Amira Chahrazed Chenine

When we are asked “What is Peace?” we go on setting a whole academic standard definition to the concept. That peace is the opposite of war and we stop there.

Away from those standardized definitions I can say that peace falls into different categories and that it has shapes and colors. We’ve got peace that is the opposite of war, peace which is a mere acceptance of oneself and the other, peace between human and nature and peace that is the rest after death. It can be achieved through different means and methods. If we focus on « Peace as acceptance “, we would understand that this can be a definition and a solution at the same time. The acceptance highlights the act of bridging the gap between nations, races, ethnic groups, nationalities, people from different religions and social classes. It might seem difficult nowadays regarding the global circumstances we’re being through. However, days ago, I learnt the lesson of acceptance from a group of animals online. It was a 6 minutes training on how to accept the other.

I was watching a video about funny animals playing together. As the video continues, I did not notice that the animals were not of the same type sometimes; I just enjoyed it and laughed. To my mind, it seemed normal that two or three animals of different types play or live together, it wasn’t odd at all.

 Once the video finished, the image for some reason did not leave my mind. There were some questions:

 How could a dog and a cat play together in harmony and peace without one attacking the other?

 Anyone might answer that they have been conditioned and they couldn’t have done this if they were living in the wild separately.

 -It’s true

 Animals could attack other animals that seem strange to them, especially those who seem to invade their territory unless they’re brought together in one place for a long period of time and with some exercise,they can cope with the differences they have. Otherwise, they are born in the same house or farm and they grew up to know no other animals of their type except the ones they see in that space.

 What attracted me in this story is the fact that they could cope with one another’s’ differences with some extra exercise.  That is to say that we, humans, study animals’ behavior and set strategies to condition them for the sake of bringing different species living together in one space without conflict.  However, there are certain behaviors that happen without the interference of humans. 

 With a strong emphasis on the word EXTRA EXERCISE, I could understand that when animals are being conditioned to accept other animals in their territory, they are rather trained to stay in the same place without fighting deadly over a piece of bread or meat, but no one really conditioned them to: play cheerfully or care patiently.

 I wondered, supposing that they’re just conditioned and they don’t do this willingly, what about humans who are offered the value of acceptance and they can adopt it willingly. The idea of peace starts, actually, from there.

 Ironically, I believe that we need some conditioning in order to learn how to accept one another’s differences and tolerate. We succeeded in controlling the fiercest and rebellious behaviors while somehow failed controlling ours.  We can learn how to accept our differences in our community, between countries and cultures, people with different skin color, religion and languages. Acceptance as a value is a solution to the world’s most deadly wars that no politics or policies could ever make true. To achieve peace does not require each one of us to mind their business away from any contact or connection with the other. It rather means to communicate with one another with the help of technology and social network as well as in real life.

 What attracted my attention to human circumstances nowadays is the fact that the image of acceptance seems strange and odd to the eyes of the viewer or to the mind of humans. The image of a African man married to an American white girl, the image of a veiled lady climbing a mountain with a group of discoverers, the image of a Muslim giving a hug to a Jewish, the image of Christian dinning with a Muslim, the image of an atheist taking a picture of a Church or the image of Donald Trump visiting the Sacred Haram. However, most of us spend some of their free time on YouTube watching a tiger playing with a sheep, a cat playing with a dog, chicken eating in the same place with an eagle and we laugh at it, we appreciate it, more than that, we, sometimes cheer up and scream “Oh! It’s Cute!”

If we stop for a while and reconsider how cute it could be to mix up with other people who are different from us.

How cute it could be to sit in a table with a Christian, Jewish, atheist, an Asian, an African and an Indian.

It could be as cute as what happens in those videos if we share slices from our culture, language, and religion in order to learn from it how to make this world a better place thanks to this diversity.

We could have learnt that differences can never be a threat so that when a man of a different race or culture is in a foreign country he can be safe and convinced that no one would come and stab him in the back… that when a veil girl sits to wait for a train she can be convinced that no one comes and takes off her veil by force or try to abuse her and that when a priest visits a Muslim country he doesn’t have to dress differently to feel safe. 

Peace is acceptance and communication… think of how cute we could be….think of how happy we would become if each one of us sees the other as a complementary and not a threat.


Thank you.



Poem by Louiza Belaid