A familiar Dutch traveler speaks about peace in Shiraz, check the article here. Below you’ll find an English translation.
Commencement of the 11th presidential administration with the slogan of ‘Hope and Moderation’ delivered a big message from the people of Iran to the world: peace and friendship. Through this campaign slogan President Rouhani demonstrated that the Iranians have no interest in animosity against the world and lean more towards establishing relations based on mutual respect, powered by their rich historical background.
This new-found atmosphere has led to a considerable increase in number of foreign tourists traveling to Iran which has transformed the tourism landscape of the nation to a great extent, and Shiraz, a major tourism hotspot is no exception.
For the past few months multiple articles have been published telling the tales of foreigners who have been traveling in Iran some of which have found international recognition. Such as the HONY (Humans of New York), Mandy Ta Filipino traveler, or the German family who transformed their van into publicity space for encouragement of traveling to Iran.
David’s trip, which led him to discover first hand a very different Iran than what he had envisioned, was also special in his intentions to deliver the message of peace and friendship to Iran. At a time when the Middle East is ridden with unfathomable atrocities committed by ISIS which has ensued in conflicts by the policies of some western countries and local governments such as that of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, David hopes to invite the nations to altruism and humane virtues.
David Theuvenet, the Dutch traveler, speaks to Shiraz-1400 about the hospitality of the Iranians and the modern urban landscape of Iran. He continued to explain his ideas on peace, where along a group of young peace activists they plan to organize a festival where a symbolic congregation of different nationalities can gather and deliver the message of peace and friendship between all mankind to the governments of the world.
The inspiration came from Woodstock in the summer of 1969 which started out as a music festival and turned out to become one of the most recognizable events worldwide with nearly half a million participants who came to see performances by the biggest names in music.
Woodstock went on to become a free for all event concentrating on peace and humanity, and now BPE comprised of 7 peace activists plan to rekindle the concept on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock in 2019 in one of the countries of the world. The event will last 21 days, as a symbol of the children of the 21st century.
Theuvenet explains the motivation behind the initiative as being rooted in the revelation over the course of the second Gulf war, where the Dutch government supported the war in different ways which was faced with harsh criticism from its citizens.
After the war and during the Geroge W. Bush administrations which spiked up the tensions between Iran and the US with the threat of an imminent conflict between the two adversaries, a group of peace activists intended to arrive in Tehran with the message of unity between all mankind in order to prevent an offense on the Iranian people which would lead to the killing of innocent citizens.
The BPE (Biggest Part Ever) group, which David has formed along with his peers, dons a key symbol as their emblem with the slogan ‘In Diversity We Unite’.
He mentions as their objective the discontent of the young generation with mistakes of the past and their willingness to cease the wrong practices which have led to war and conflict. In other words, as different as the nations of the world may seem regarding food, culture and lifestyle we are all ultimately members of a great family that is humankind. A primary objective would be to familiarize a few people from each nation with the idea of BPE so as to shape it into a global movement. If all goes well over the next three years, by spreading the notion of “In Diversity We Unite” they hope to raise enough money from ticket sales to the festival in order to build a city some place in the world where it can host (regardless of race or religion) refugees of the war.
David has flown the flag of the movement in cities such as Paris, Beirut, Nepal and London and hopes to one day organize an event in Iran with the aim of supporting world peace so that Iran can, as a victim of war and terrorism, and backed by its rich cultural heritage play a part in this humanitarian project.
Socrates is quoted as having said: “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Translator: Sara Rasekh
Interview: Amin Al Shams