I grew up on a farm in the Eastern Cape. After High School I spent two years in the Army, first in the Infantry and then the Medical Corps. All "white" men had to complete two years "national service" under the nationalist apartheid government back then. I refused to carry a weapon or be trained in any activity which acknowledged the apartheid government as legitimate. Not a pleasant time in my life but I did get to meet people who introduced me to the true meaning of the struggle for democracy in South Africa. In the past I have been described as a "serial entrepreneur." Since the age of 30 I have mostly been self-employed and consider myself fortunate to have traveled extensively through Africa, North America, Australia and Europe on business. For a living I am involved in Sandbag building and alternative energy solutions for housing. We're currently working on a project to use Sandbag Building as a tool to eradicate tin shacks in informal settlements while increasing comfort and safety of the housing and helping to create employment opportunities in the region. I am also dedicated to The Bright Futures Children's Programme, a feeding and education based programme aimed at improving the lives of children living in informal settlements. I live in a farm environment with my partner and our three (sometimes four) dogs. The fourth is a bit of a drifter and chooses when he wants our company! We reside in the Limpopo province, South Africa's northern-most province bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. I like to think that I left city life behind years ago, and although I have to go to the city often on business, it is always wonderful to return home to the bush. I strongly believe in the concept of an Earth-School, that we are here to grow and awaken to the oneness in which we are all unified.....I am excited to be part of the Universal Flag Peace movement precisely because of this.
I was born in western Samar, a province in the eastern visayas region of the Phillipines. My family was poor but we were fortunate. I had a loving parents who have been supportive with hope, guidance and encouragement for their children. I was taught to respect others, love openly, welcome people into your home with open arms, serve them food (life happens over food), and be a gracious hostess. I was taught to communicate openly, give others the benefit of the doubt and to be honest because truth triumphs above all. I've been blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people living their bliss and truth. I believe in freedom to live life without threat, intimidation and fear. I believe in Peace and that it is the essence of our existence. The freedom to pursue our dreams, the ability to express ourselves, and the opportunity to relate with others with understanding, goodwill and cooperation. I share the same vision with The Universal Flag Peace Movement, The Oneness of All, and celebrate the understanding that We are All Connected.
Sarah Moana Penney - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia My mother raised me to feel first, and then to think. So, from as young as I can remember, I would stare deeply into the eyes of animals and greet trees by touching their trunks with my open palms. I grew up in many places around Sydney and on the central coast of New South Wales. I’ve always been drawn to nature whether it was the water of the beach or the bushland on the coast. For me, volunteering is a way of life. I have helped kids with asthma learn to swim and have worked with the elderly. For several years between New South Wales and Queensland, I also worked in the hospitality industry. I now reside in beautiful Brisbane, Queensland, where I have been working as a swim instructor for schools. I also volunteer at the RSPCA to help animals who have been in abusive situations to reconnect and regain trust with humans. Soon I will be traveling with IVHQ, an international volunteer organization, to be with orphaned children in Nepal for five months. I was once asked to imagine enlightenment as the perfect aligning of two circles – one circle that represents who you are now, and one that represents your absolute potential self. I think this could relate to us as a civilization as well, where one circle is who we are now, and the second is who we can be in all our glorious potential and unity with all other beings. I believe the Universal Flag could be our first step in aligning those two circles together. One Love All Peace Hussein Mohamed Amin — Cairo, Egypt My full name is Hussein Mohamed Ahmed Amin Soliman Aboushousha. I was born in Elkhanka city, Egypt. I have loving, kind and decent parents. They encouraged me from early on to be a big thing and affect the world positively. I also have a small sister named, "Fatima." I love her so much. She is my life. I joined the faculty of engineering to start my journey of changing the world for the better. Perhaps I have excessive self-confidence, but I know that someday I'll reach my dream. I love volunteering, helping the poor and making everyone smile. I love traveling a lot, and have traveled to many countries. One of my dreams is to fly everywhere in the world. I believe in freedom and peace to live without threat or fear. I believe the Universal Flag could be our first step towards relating to each other with understanding. I always say that every country should give up any weapon and live life without violence. Hemn Mansour - Iraqi Kurdistan My full name is Hemin Mansour Karim. I am a journalist and a translator. I was born in Salahadin city, when I was six I started studying, and it took me many years until I finally got my bachelors degree in English language and literature from Salahadin University. This was a turning point in my life. When I learned English I became another man, and it helped me to see the world differently. Right now I live in Sulaymani, a city in the Iraqi Kurdistan region. I am Kurd - it is my nationality, and we as Kurd are the largest nation that does not have status as an independent state. We had a hard time, so as a people, we need peace more than any nation in the world. That is why I joined THE UNIVERSAL FLAG peace movement. Marzia Meena – Kabul, Afghanistan I was born in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. I dreamed of making my own contribution to the freedom struggle of my people. After graduating from public high school, I received a B.A. degree from Kabul University, and was awarded the one year diploma in conflict management and peace building from South Africa in 2003, with a fellowship at Peace Action Network. Recently, I received the "Executive" MBA degree from World Wide Science University of Malaysia. When the Taliban Government came into power my family was forced to leave, so we emigrated from Kabul to Pakistan in 1998, and I had to adopt a number of disguises, sometimes dressing as an unwanted extremist Muslim and at other times as a young Afghani girl. But always, I remained a strong worker for the civil rights of my people. It was during this time that I worked with other peace activists of the NGO community to build a new specialized section of the peace, human right and democracy movements. In June of 1999, after a long and anxious assessment of the country situation, we came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable; it would be unrealistic to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force and violence. I was awarded honorary membership of peace and human rights networks and became a member of Peace Action, Community of Democracies and Gender Equality Peace. I was the youngest woman to be collectively nominated for the project 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2006. From a young girl, schooled for royalty, to a peace and human rights activist, I have done so much for the peace building and conflict transformation, gender equity and empowerment of women as an issue of development effectiveness, not just a matter of political correctness or kindness to women. My efforts to promote a culture of peace through non- violence practices remain strong. Through experience, I have learned that peace is our gift to one another, and I believe it. The Universal Flag is one way to share that gift and remind others that “We Are All Connected.” I am so pleased to be sharing this flag with my people. Francisco Lopez - Guatemala City, Guatemala I was born in Guatemala city, Central America. During my teenage years, there was a civil revolution in Guatemala that was ruled by military officials. I had to get out of the country, and went to college in Virginia, USA. Now I am a Buddhist, and also work in the videogame industry. As a Buddhist, we believe that everything is conected in the universe, we are much the same. One flag, one earth, one universe! Salma El-Banna - Cairo, Egypt I was born and raised in Egypt a heavenly part of the world. Studied Architecture at the Faculty of Fine Arts and doing my masters in Urban Design & Community Development. My parents raised me to be at peace with the world and seek grace and kindness in everything that I do, they even named me Salma which translates in Arabic to "peaceful." I consider myself a social activist, there are a lot of things in my country that I wish to change and I believe in order to do that I need to start one baby step at a time. I am the co-founder and vice-chairperson of "Debate Egypt." Our aim is to create a whole new level of tolerance and acceptance in our society—an entire generation capable of engaging in conversation where they can accept, process and share information in a civil manner, eventually passing on this knowledge to younger generations to create a world we can all aspire to live in. I firmly believe in people’s power to change and I think that if humanity reaches out to truly listen to one another we can build a lot from our similarities. I am inspired by the Universal Flag initiative and I wish to inspire others by this grand notion: We are one. Lee Warren Probert - United Kingdom I was raised in England by happy-go-lucky parents who taught me from an early age to enjoy my short stay on earth. I work for a living putting decking on boats and live a modest existence in a small cottage by the Black Water River in Maldon, Essex. I have always been a thinker, preferring to observe from a distance. I tend to watch people's actions rather than engage their conversation, which leads me to say, "Sorry, what was that?" a fair bit. Anyway nothing too unusual about me: I have traveled, I have loved, I have lost, and I have tasted all the wines. Waking up to this rich Enlightenment that "we are all connected" was not a huge step for me cause I've always felt that way, but after stumbling across various books by Osho, Ken Wilber, etc. and groups like The Universal Flag Peace Movement, it made me happy that other people not only felt the same but could explain it in such a wonderful way. I express myself through music as a singer songwriter. My band is a UK rock band called Doll Set Tones. Our music is alive with the spirit of Oneness! Big Love to one and all x Mohammad Shoaib "Saboory" - Balkh, Afghanistan I was born in Afghanistan, where I was going to school until the United Nations took action against the Talib regime, annihilated their government and brought a democratic government. I then enrolled in Kabul University with full and big hopes because of all I had witnessed of the unfortunate situation of my country. This was the best period of life, along with my classmates and teachers—both male and female. But suddenly the Taliban emerged and got the authority of our government, and all of our achievements were abolished. All of the female students, teachers and employees were now being urged to stay at home. So, the situation had changed to become very strict, poverty affected all and development was stopped. These challenges pushed me to get involved as a volunteer with some developing organizations like UN and USAID until I got my Bachelors in Agriculture Sciences and began trying to achieve a scholarship to get my Masters. Since 2009, I have been working with the Ministry of Energy and Water. Our main service is the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, which were destroyed during three decades of war, and most of the regions in my country do not benefit from our services due to poor security. This encouraged me to combat terrorism and to bring stability and peace. I am pleased to share the Universal Flag with my people and I am very excited to be an Ambassador of Universal Flag Peace Movement so that more of us will understand that we all are connected. Hopefully this movement will help to abolish racism and bias. Czarenel - Philippines I'm Czarenel, an International fashion model, green activist and lover of nature. I'm currently staying in the Philippines, which is considered a third world country, and am fortunate enough to have a loving and supportive family. It was always festive and positive having a family with Hispanic descent thanks to my grandparents. We traveled around different places as part also of my father's job as a public servant, so I was always exposed to the different sides of the world and this gave me a better understanding of life. I believe that nurturing your inside will radiate beauty on the outside. So attractiveness and magnetism of your personality are the result of your inner radiance. Peace on the other hand comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. It is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are. As Mother Theresa said, "All works of love are works of peace." I've been volunteering and always sharing a helping hand to people in remote areas of the country. I guess it's an innate part of my being to help people as much as I can and it's a way I can give back all those blessings. Being an Ambassador for the Universal Flag Peace Movement here in my country really means a lot not just for my country but also especially for my people who have been suffering a lot. This will give them much courage and strengthen their hope to thrive. It will help them believe that there will be a better tomorrow for everyone, that there are still those who truly care and love them. Judi Purdy - Atenas, Costa Rica I am American, and moved to Costa Rica June 2012. I have been following the Universal Flag movement for several years. The work that Brian does is a symbol of pure love and oneness. It is exciting to watch the progress of this group, and it is even more exciting to have the opportunity to be an active member. Global oneness means acceptance of, love for and non-violence toward all of life. It is a tall order to ask this of everyone, so I find comfort in knowing I am doing my best to be a living example wherever I am. For 59 years, that was in the United States. Today, it is in Costa Rica. We decided to sell our "stuff" in the U.S., and move unencumbered to Costa Rica. We are enjoying our two adult children who also live close by. My husband and I rent and want to remain free to stay, or free to move. We are close to retirement age, and are looking for a simple, cost-effective life for the next 20 years, enriched by beautiful people from different cultures. I look forward to hearing from the other Ambassadors about their plans for the flag. We can all learn from each other. My initial plan is to fly the flag at our Poco Cielo Resort in Atenas, Costa Rica. We meet many international travelers, and think it will be fun to promote global oneness with the people who share their lives with us. I would love to interview and photograph the guests who want to participate, and encourage them to share their meaning of global oneness. My long-term desire for the Universal Flag Ambassadorship is for the flag to fly among the other flags on the campus of Universidad para la Paz in Colon, Costa Rica. The United Nations-mandated University for Peace was established in December 1980 as a Treaty Organization by the UN General Assembly. As determined in the Charter of the University, the mission of the University for Peace is: "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations." The wider mission of the University should be seen in the context of the worldwide peace and security objectives of the United Nations. To read more about this university of peace, go to http://www.upeace.org. The picture above is of me and Peace Pilgrim's statue on the campus of Universidad para la Paz, Colon, Costa Rica. I fell in love with the story of Peace Pilgrim in 1996 and with the University in 2009. Imagine my excitement when I discovered Peace Pilgrim at the Universidad para la Paz. Now, the possibilities of marrying Peace Pilgrim, the University of Peace and the Universal Flag – a match made in heaven! My goal over the next several months is to cultivate connections with the university, connections that are sent to me by the universe. When my goal is accomplished, I know the flag will have a permanent home. This is important to me, because I am not sure Costa Rica is my permanent home. To know that we are free to move almost anywhere, and experience life with people around the globe, is a gift of our present times and consciousness. Muhanna Muayad Ahmed - Kirkuk, Iraq I was born in Mosul City, Northern Iraq. I've lived in the province of Kirkuk since childhood and still live there now. My native language is Arabic, and I also speak English, Kurdish and Turkish. I worked at the press for 5 years as a reporter and got many certificates of experience and participated in workshops on journalism, while working as a photojournalist for a number of news agencies. Then I followed my interest to work in civil society organizations, including youth organizations, and became director of Iraqi Youth Parliament non-government for a year, then worked in the field of peace. I am now an International member of Peace and friendship International Organization in Denmark. I have worked as a volunteer for 2 years and became a volunteer member of the Kirkuk Youth Against Violence group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and UN Volunteers. Currently I am studying at Business Management College. Nada Sultan Zainal - Kirkuk, Iraq I am 27 years old and a single mother of an eight-year old, living with my family in Kirkuk—one of the most beautiful cities in all of Iraq. I hold a bachelor's degree in Turkish Literature from the University of Kirkuk, and have mastered Arabic, English, Turkish, and am studying Persian. Since the invasion of Iraq, I've worked in the field of journalism and media. I began my career writing for local newspapers and magazines, and then worked as an audio broadcaster and a political and economic news anchor. Shortly after, I worked as a reporter for the ALETEJAH satelite channel and as a news editor and debugger team linguist for satellite correspondents in Kirkuk. I was also a translator to the Turkish satellite TV Net. Over the last decade, I've been an independent activist for children and human rights. In 2010, I helped set up the center for the rehabilitation of Iraqi women, and was an international journalists' union member in Brussels. My degree is in Business Administration and I've got many certificates for activities related to civil society organizations in Kirkuk. I currently work as a human rights activist and volunteer for the elimination of illiteracy and the dissemination of culture, as well as for the fight against ignorance and to educate women about women's rights. I love my country, and I love humanity, and I want to see the whole country working for peace and rights and in order to ensure a decent life for all. I believe in human beings, and I love everyone alike without regard to color, race, or gender. I love helping others so I will work to spread these ideas wherever I go. Tomás Miranda Agulló – Santiago City, Chile Since I can recall, I experienced life as "something" that is not what it seems to be, so I'd searched for information to learn why I saw things that adults didn't talk about such as "balls of light" entering my room, shadows moving around, "shiny beings," and my journey to realize what it is actually to be alive in this strange place with others also began. I started to do Kendo - The Way of the Sword - (which I continue practicing every week) a Budo martial art that somehow connects people's hearts through the duels and trainings. I began to meditate and to know that "the answers" are within us. After high school I flew to Japan and lived there for two years. This experience radically expanded the way I saw the world. Also, being a National Team Kendo Member allowed me to travel around the world showing me that we are all the same living in ONE world. I learned Reiki and other energy channeling techniques, bringing me close to my inner-self. After a couple of year studying Kinesiology, I decided to take a leap of fate and change my career to Integrative Health (Holistic Medicine). This decision was made after Ayahuasca, shamanic trips, Brazilian jungles and personal experiences that empowered me to embrace what I really FELT to do, to align with my true self instead of following the unconscious mass and participating blindly in "the matrix." Just when I realized that everything is just how it should be, I found love (or we found each other) and since then my life has been healthier, blissfully and my aim changed from "understanding the language of my soul and body" to "sharing awareness with people" so they can know for themselves what life is and begin to hear what their bodies and souls are constantly telling them, so we can live together in a way of truth with everyone and everything else on the Earth (more aware and attuned to the rhythm of this Oneness that we share). Hazem Ali Madi — Palestine I am a 26 year old photographer, journalist and human rights activist, living in Gaza. I work as a photographer for many local channels, Arab and foreign, and have also worked with several human rights organizations, local and international, and have had a big role in documenting tragedies that have occurred as a result of the Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip. It's been an honor to be involved with human rights organizations, the local community, and Arab and foreign countries who have extended such an effort to help people with disabilities and document abuses in our community. I am in the process of producing a documentary film to be shown at the Human Rights Film Festival, which will be a visual documentation project for violations of young men and women in the Gaza Strip. And, I'm also working on processing and writing the screenplay for a Palestinian operetta music video for peace, under the title "Gaza sings for peace" and the slogan "Made in Gaza." Our intention is for this performance in Palestine to compare with other art performances, both Arab and international, in terms of performance and capabilities. Ramie Sherif - Alexandria, Egypt I was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. And I am a citizen of the world. I believe that our loyalties must be to the species and the planet, our obligation to survive and flourish is owed to that cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring. We are in a global age, and we all need each other. Uniting people will make the world a better and safer place for all. The mentality of "us against them" has caused untold, useless suffering worldwide. So I believe it's time to work together as one unit for the welfare of our world. I work in Information Science (Library Digitization) and I am part of a team, working in harmony all together - that's why I really count on teamwork. I am against all kind of racism, tribalism, regionalism, religious bias and segregation of any kind. I think we better learn about the past in order to help build a better future. We should think about the life and struggles of other peoples and cultures and value each human life as we value our own and find out how we can help. I hope I can give a good contribution with the Universal Flag Peace Movement and find the best way to really help our world. Claudia Durán Miranda - Yucatán, Mexico I was born in Mérida, Yucatán in southeast México. I have a profound love and concern for nature which is why I became a biologist, with the idea to help preserve and protect endangered species. Now I work with ONG’s in conservation projects. It helps me realize that the root of the nature problems is our separate vision of ourselves and our environment. I believe the key of conservation is through shifting our colective perception to recognizing that we are all connected, and that what we do to nature we do to ourselves. Also, I believe from my own experience that we need nature as a source of physical, mental and spiritual healing. I have no religion but I think Science and Spirituality are complementary and we need science with consciousness in this time of science research to focus our efforts what's important. I'm an environmental activist, and believe in practicing love and respect towards all living beings. That's why I became vegetarian some months ago. I love to practice yoga and that brought love and light into my life. I like to read Jiddu Krishnamurti, Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama among other spiritual teachers. I think this is the time for us to change our perception, with the hand of ancestral knowledge and the recent discoveries of quantum physics – that we all are energy and frequencies and we are all connected to each other. Now is time for a new collective consciousness. I share this point of view with The Universal Flag Peace Movement and am very glad to be an Ambassador. Spreading this message of peace is a pleasure and honor to me. Kayiwa Fred - Uganda I am Ugandan by nationality and African by race. I have a bachelors’ degree in social work and social administration from Bugema University. I love social networking and community development, especially focusing on child development. Having been born in a very remote village called Nabinene, in the Masaka District, growing up with poor kids from poor families, studying in poor schools, I experienced life in a ghetto or slum environment for my teen years, and I developed a passion for all young people who are disadvantaged. Looking at children living on the street and in slums with no one taking care of them, I started an organization, Beyond Youth Sports, that could mobilize kids through sports. I love sports and see it as one of the only tools to bring kids of different backgrounds together and help them to learn from each other. There are 200 kids involved in our program, however not all of them were once street kids (orphans). There are 50 kids who are orphans with no parent at all, 30 who have a single parent and 70 kids whose poor families can’t even afford $1 per day. 50 kids get scholarships from different schools as a result of their better performance in sports and 30 kids gets scholastic materials. Hany Basuony - Alexandria, Egypt I am 39 years old and I was born in Elbehera, Egypt, worked as a journalist and I am currently working as Head of Unit in the Library of Alexandria, a non-profit organization. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word, if we work to achieve peace and harmony within ourselves, we will more readily show peace and harmony in our actions. Sílvia Silva - Lisbon, Portugal I am a simple person from Lisbon who supports Animal Rights and Human Rights. I am Christian respecting other cultures and religions. I love to write and wish to not only be the best I can, but to help others as well in their lives. My blog is the Admin of Life Blog, under the name Life since 2010. Currently I'm attending a course to become an Administrator. I also dedicate myself to other causes whenever I can. I definitely love this project of Universal Peace and am glad to be part of it, to represent my country. Brwa j. Faqi - Kurdistan, Iraq I was born in 1989 in the city of Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. I received my Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Sulaimani in 2011. Due to internal war, I was forced to move from my home city to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region, where I stayed for several years. From an early age, I was engaged in civil society and cultural work. My first working experience started with the 'Kurdistan Students Union' in 2008, where I was the Cadre of Sulaimani Central Governorate. My dedication and success motivated me to take greater responsibility and I became the Representative of an Iraqi Organization called 'Iraqi Research Foundation for Analyses and Development.' This organization is closely related with a Swedish Foundation named 'Seda.' After having worked as IRFAD's Representative in the Kurdistan Region for two years, I started a new adventure. Together with some partners and comrades, we founded the 'Aynda Cultural Organization' in Sulaimani. Working as a Board Member, I contributed to the progress and development of Aynda. What becomes obvious from my views and my working experience is my passion and my strong dedication and belief in societal work and the interaction with people in order to create a better, peaceful society. My boundless love for humanity is my main source of inspiration. It drives me to aspire and to work for a better world, a world without borders. As an optimist, I believe in the peaceful evolution of societies. Taking inspiration from great humanist preachers such as Osho, Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, my life motto is "Think Globally, Act Locally." Having grown up in a land of war and extremist ideologies, I realize the value and importance of peace and democracy to be spread in the Kurdistan and Iraqi society. I am therefore honored and pleased to become an Ambassador of the Universal Flag Peace Movement. Niena Sevilla - Saudi Arabia and The Philippines I am from Palompon, Leyte, Philippines. I am an Overseas Filipino Worker based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and I've been here for seven years. I've learned the importance of patience, love and kindness from my mother who grew up on a farm. But alongside with my father, she was able to open a tailoring shop in our town. Because of my parents' hard work, we had the opportunity to study and experienced a better life. They got separated when I was in college, so I know what it's like to be in a dysfunctional family. I did not finish college, because I was terribly and emotionally affected. Eventually, I forgave my father for what he had done. Since my mother was getting older, my brother and I advised her to close down our shop. I believe that a love for peace starts at home. It will continue to grow if we pay it forward by sharing it with friends, neighbors and strangers through simple acts of kindness. Years ago, I was an active officer and member of the Jaycees. With pride and conviction, this part of the creed is my favorite: "We believe...that service to humanity is the best work of life." During our orientation it was elaborated, "That by dispelling selfish thoughts from the mind and devoting life to the betterment of the community, we will play in making this world of ours a much better place in which to live." I am a thousand miles away from my country, the Philippines, yet my thoughts are always with my children. I have great respect towards my mother who has been looking after them. I am so grateful for the strength that I've been holding on in raising my kids all by myself and in being far away from them. Since I was able to overcome the trials, pain and hatred, I want to inspire others that they too have the ability to do the same, regardless of their beliefs and status in life. Sukant Panigraphy - Mumbai, India I am a Production designer for Indian Films (popularly known as Bollywood films). I was born in Aska, a small town in Odisha, an area surrounded by lush greenery, rivers, mountains and not much industry. But after graduating high school, there wasn't enough opportunity for me there and so I decided to pursue my dreams in Bollywood, as cinema was my first love at the time. It took me nine years until I finally got my first film, "Gangaajal" as art director. So far I have been the art director and designer for about 15 movies. While working on sets I saw a lot of damage to the environment due to big set construction - it leaves a lot of waste, damaging nature and the environment. This led me to express my art using recycling and to further research environmental disasters caused by technology and development. I revisited Odisha and the mountains nearby, which are full of construction and have been ruined for mines, and I saw how this has caused a warlike situation in my state and nearby states. I wanted to use my art as a weapon and to communicate and to help stabilize our troubled nation. Since then I've been doing as much as I can by participating in art festivals across the country to create awareness about the dangers of technology and environmental disasters, and how the only way to bring peace is to understand each other - the people in power and industrialists and the people who lived all their life in nature for generations. Din Bami - Tetovo, Macedonia My name is Din Bami and on my documents it looks like this: Sadudin Bajrami. I was born in Tetovo, a city of Macedonia, and spent my childhood in one of its villages. I studied in Tetovo and grow up there and that?s where my first home is. I am 23 years of age and am involved in arts & humanities, work in business and do sports. I live my life as a world citizen and perceive the planet as it is, a city of its own people which all of us are. Becoming part of the Universal Flag Peace Movement was what I have always wanted to do and it is also what I wish I had grown up with. To me, life is all about being happy and to be happy I need to reach beyond borders of race, country, and so on. One very important thing I have learned in life and like always to share is this: "Never expect other people to tell you the truth of what a thing is. Your own feelings, eyes, and ears help you touch life as it is, and as long as you live it this way, you will feel through the pain and know happiness." Manuel E. Narvadez, Jr. - Caloocan City, Philippines I was born in Sorsogon Province, one of the sixth provinces of the Bicol Region located at the southern part of Luzon Island of the Philippines. I was 11 years old when Martial Law was declared by then Dictator President Ferdinand Marcos in September 21, 1972. It intensified conflicts and military atrocities in our once peaceful country. When I was in college I joined student organizations advocating peace based on justice. When I graduated, I became part of one of the human rights groups in the country working for the release of all political prisoners and helping the families of victims of human rights violations. All forms of human rights violations were committed under the Marcos government for more than 20 years until democracy was restored through the peaceful "People Power Revolution" in 1986. In 1990's, I joined local and international environmental organizations in the Philippines working for the protection of forests, seas, and wildlife, educating and capacitating the local government units and people in both upland and coastal communities nationwide. At present, I'm working with the Mediator's Network (MedNet) for Sustainable Peace, Inc., a network of individuals and professionals from civil society, people's organizations and the government practicing Empowering Dispute Resolution / Management Processes (EDR/MP) on conflicts ranging from agrarian, natural resources, urban housing and organizational disputes. Peace is a global issue. It is not only the absence of war or conflicts but it is also the existence of respect, equality, justice and ecological balance. The Universal Flag Peace Movement will be the instrument of my advocacy in promoting PEACE in our country by sharing the flag and its vision of oneness. Jecowas K. Mboya - Freetown, Sierra Leone I am a 24-year old youth from the Eastern province headquarter (Kenema) in Sierra Leone. I studied Peace and Conflicts Studies at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCE & T) and am presently studying Journalism and Media Law at the Institute of Business Studies and Administration (IBSA). I'm an easy going person who believes in oneness, and I grew up as a humanitarian preaching love and universal human rights. Humans are all equal irrespective of their race, colour and social background. Having been a refugee for 22 years, I want to give hope to the hopeless who are in my shoes. To give hope and to tell them all is not lost, and being a refugee or a displaced person is not the end of the world, but is a lesson to learn from. I want to tell others that we're are all one. I have sisters, brothers, a mother and father who are refugees from Liberia living in Sierra Leone. I came to Sierra Leone as a kid don't know much about my home but am still struggling to preach love and solidarity to all mankind. Vivien Rose - Baden, Austria I was born in Austria and my roots are mixed: South American, Asian, European and Arabian. My family is everywhere around the globe, because we all are one. But I didn't always know that. When I was young, I questioned where I belonged. Because of my darker skin, kids in school used to ask me to wash my hands and face because of being dirty. I washed my hands till they were bleeding, but my color stayed black. Even some of my close blood family members didn't want to be seen with me in public. After getting my degree I traveled a lot and worked in different countries. Some years later I got the greatest blessing of all: my daughter. I flew back to Austria and started working as journalist before becoming a freelancer and author of several books. In 2004, I received the International "Poet of Merit" Award, and a year later I was included in the International "Who is Who." In 2006, I represented Unicef for Children helping Children through the Fight against AIDS. In 2013, I was honored with a "Thank-You Letter" by the Austrian Archduchess Lady Habsburg-Lothringen also known as the flame of peace. I am not my hair, my eyes, my nose or my mouth. I am not my skin or any part of my body. Also I am not the IQ of my brain. My body is just an exquisitely perfect dwelling for my soul. I am a uniting of body, mind and spirit... the same as everyone else! I am here to glow into full awareness of my true nature, which is peace, creativity and happiness. It doesn't matter if you are black or white, rich or poor, young or old, fat or thin, man or woman, what religion you belong to, or what language you speak ... we all have the same smile, the same tears, the same needs, we all share the same pain and the same joy. Love has its origin in peace and peace starts in your own heart! We all have one heart but two arms. I have a idea: Lets hug each other: You are my brother, my sister, my mother, my father, you are ... Thank you! To God be all the glory! Naraya Naserian - Tiwi, Kenya I am the founder of YOUth Shift Africa, a Kenya based movement of Conscious Awakening Souls, upLifting, inSpiring, emPowering each other to be Who We Really Are, creating Purpose, Peace & Plenty for ALL. I am a Visionary Leadership Coach, Mentor, Speaker, Journey Practitioner (Brandon Bays) among other qualifications and as such I'm passionate about Awakening, Oneness, sustainable community living and all things Africa. Born and raised on a small farm in Germany and mother of two budding teenagers, I have lived in Germany, Kenya and the UK, traveled to 4 of 5 continents, and am now permanently settled on beautiful Tiwi Beach, South Coast Mombasa/Kenya, considering myself a global citizen. It is from here that YOUth Shift Africa's core team of myself (middle of picture) and (from left to right) Leroy Abawata, Patrick Masila, Michael Mwadime and Oluoch Otieno operate and where we provide retreats and refuge for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, supporting them in their quest to break the cycle of poverty and dependency and step into their full potential for personal, social & environmental innovation. We are excited to be part of the Universal Flag Peace Movement because it is in alignment with our vision of a peaceful, sustainable, caring, sharing world beyond boundaries of nations, race, colour, gender, age, educational or economic background. Let's do it TOGETHER! Sarwat Sdeeq - Kurdistan, Iraq I was born on March 13, 1985 in Kalar, Kurdistan, north of Iraq. After high school, I finished my studies of engineering and irrigation at the University of Sulaimania. Now I work as a civil engineer. As you may know, life here in the Middle East is an experience of facing death every day, with all the war and conflicts. All kinds of violence happen here between the different religions, ethnics and political parties. The hot power of violence has not just burned the beauty of our lives but has blended with other violence all over the globe. Today anyone with a quick search of the TV and Internet news pages can realize how much life is under threat in Middle East. In Turkey Kurdish people are under death threat. In Iran people are under the threat of dogmatism. In Iraq killing people seems like no bigger an event than eating a piece of cake. In Syria the number of people killed doesn't seem to affect any one. In Saudi Arabia freedom is in jail. In Palestine, Egypt and Bahrain the situation is not better. I ask all my friends here: What do you think? What is the best way to return our life of peace? Is violence is the only choice we have? Is it impossible to live with other colors in peace? Are we the best creature that God created? Here I declare that life is beautiful with all the colors, I would hate it if one color took over my whole life. Abdel-ilah Rachidi - Al Haouz, Morocco I was born and raised in Morocco, am a master's student, international project manager, and work with different NGOs. From my perspective, peace and tolerance are boundless values that should be prioritized in all public institutions, and in everyday life. In fact, peace is more important than ever before. Having been raised in an area where conflict has increased, I've become engaged as a civil activist in many programs which aim to spread the culture of peace and tolerance in the MENA-Mediterranean region as well as the rest of the world. I have coordinated with the council of Europe and Arab league of states on many projects focused on peace and conflict management in the Middle East. I hope from the bottom of my heart, to be a powerful agent in a way that can make peace available for all. Asadullah Salarzai - Kunduz, Afghanistan Three decades ago, I was born in a refugee camp, Toor Camp, in northern Pakistan. My parents had fled to Pakistan in the early 1980s during the soviet occupation of Afghanistan and ensuing civil war. In the camp I studied at a local school. By the time I reached my late teens, I had wanted to study Agriculture at the University and then go to Afghanistan to help in the reconstruction of the conflict-battered country. There were more than 650 Afghan refugees in Pakistan who had benefited from DAFI Scholarship (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) since the program was setup in 1992. They were awarded scholarships to study a wide range of subjects for terms ranging from one to four years. Because of this scholarship, I achieved my Bachelors in Agriculture Entomology from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan and then my Masters in Entomology from Agriculture University Peshawar, Pakistan. I am now living in Kunduz province (where my parents were born). I have experienced different aspects of this industry, such as Agriculture Extension, Natural Resources, Community, Integrated Pest Management and Conflict Resolution from different National and International organizations like Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, USAID and World Bank. I like to help needy families to educate them and teach them how to fish. I enjoy basketball and volleyball. I want to enroll for my PhD and run for parliament and so I can serve the people, and connect the link between people and government. Nimrod Ochieng Otieno - Doha, Qatar and Nairobi, Kenya My full name is Nimrod Ochieng Otieno, but people know me as a musician and poet by the name of Mnemonic Nimrod. I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. I have lived there nearly my whole life until recently when I moved to Doha, Qatar, where I currently reside and work. I grew up in extreme poverty and have seen the extent a hungry person can go to in order to provide for a family. I have witnessed violence around me caused by differences in tribe, race and class. The state where Kenya and most countries of the world have gotten to, is very delicate. I am here to offer my coin, my knowledge and strength to uplift these situations. I am a singer, poet and song writer. I also do video editing and photography. I am willing to work in conjunction with other artists to put out peace songs or write peace messages in form of poetry. This can also be taken to the next level by bringing together youths with similar talent and empowering them by teaching them peaceful and honest ways of earning a living. Mustafa Ali Alaydrousy – Baghdad, Iraq I was born and raised in Baghdad, and have been in love with nature since I was a little boy. When I was a teenager, I found a place by the Tigris river. It became, and still is, my sanctuary. When I go there, I experience an amazing connection with nature and peace. Everyone should experience that. I've volunteered in civil society since 2014. Our aim is to help the displaced people who flee from ISIS, orphans, cancer children and disabled people. And my personal intention is to talk to people (especially the youth) into peace, and remind them about our oneness...that we are all connected, remind them to love life again so we can ensure that no one is dragged into extremism and terrorism. I believe that one person can make a difference, I believe in freedom and I believe in a better future.