Meet Donna Qawasmi - Peacemaker of the Week

Donna Qawasmi is a proud, modern, and brave Jordanian woman. I remember how warmly our community responded to her when she joined. She shares herself openly and creatively on her page, and that helps us get to know her. Naturally, when we initiated the feature of Peacemaker of the Week to share more personal stories, we wanted Donna's story to follow the inspiration of Earl Prignitz. Our interview follows.
On your mepeace profile, your personal story begins with: "a girl who had dream ... hope oneday it will become true ... " What was that dream? Do you still have the same dream? Will it come true?

Donna Qawasmi: I had one dream since I was 18. I was so active at the high school but I only heard: "You are still young - you can't do anything". From here I started to work on my dream which is letting the big people hear (I mean the decision makers). The political process in Jordan in those days didn't include young people. I tried so hard to establish new organization for the active youth.

And finally we did it in the year 2002. I and my friends who shared the same dream with me established the " National Society for political Development " in Amman. It was a very big step for me to feel that the dreams come true one day but by good work everything is possible.

But I still want more. Our beloved King Abdullah bin al Hussain Support us very much and he asked all the young people in Jordan (Palestinian – Jordanian) to help in working to achieve peace in the whole area and to make a new peaceful - educational - economic Jordan. Can you tell us about your childhood. How did you become a person committed to peace?

Donna Qawasmi: My childhood was great. I am the daughter of a Jordanian father and Turkish mother. I am a mix of two ancient culture.

I studied accounting and now I am doing my masters. My family always urges us to study. My mother was an artist " painter ". She established an organization for woman rights in Amman and she was very active in this field, God bless her soul. And I wish to be a good mother and active woman like her. Also my grandfather was a political man. He was a minister.

So I was raised in a very active family my father used to say to me: "Your land is your blood. Don't you ever gave up. You should do what ever you can to make your country proud of you." On your profile page there is beautiful tribute to the Hashemite royal family. You title this "Proud to be Jordanian". Can you tell us more about about King Hussein and his family and why you are proud.

Donna Qawasmi: If I am going to speak about H.M king Hussain and the royal Hashemite family i will never stop. King Hussain, God bless his soul, is the father of all the Jordanians and Palestians. At the same time he was a great man you can't feel that he is a king with a crown only but you can feel that he is your own dad. He gave us and jordan a lot and it is time for us to give.

He was saying that the Palestinian and Jordanian are brothers having the same blood Jordan is the country of all Arab.

H.M king Abdullah and H.M Queen Rania are great supporters for the Jordanian youth. They support every event made by young people they always ask us to support them to achieve the Educational – Economic – Peaceful Jordan. You write that you hate see crying babies, or crying mothers. I know you have a lovely small kid. How have your views on peace changed since you became a mother.

Donna Qawasmi: I became a mother in 2002. Being a mother made a lot of changes in my life and in my personality.

Becoming a mother, protecting my child and raising him is the most important thing. When I look at the news I look at the injured children crying from their pain or mothers crying for losing there children, it is very hard to view. Then I knew that I should do something. They are children. Their only fault is that they get born in this land to suffer from hunger and war.

I volunteered in several community services which care about children in Jordan and in south turkey - giving help as much as I could. And I participated in several events for children in eastern Asia, China and Indonesia, helping them after earthquakes and nature devastations.

I met a lot of mothers from all over the world who lost there children. I heard a lot of sad stories. Every story give the strength to go on. You work as an events organizer and have your own company. Can you tell us how you find the time to be a mother, to work and to make peace?

For a single mother like me it is very hard to manage time between home – kid – work - study. But thank God I have a great family that helps me a lot in taking care of my kid.

I work about 6- 7 hours a day at my office, "Made in Jordan Events Management". After that I go home to share my time with my kid by helping him with his home work and playing with him.

I went 2 days a week to the "NSFPD".

I'm doing my best to give everything the time it needs and I know that I still young I have strength to manage all my goals together. Will you tell us about peace events you've already held (encounter point) and what you are planning (Foundations of Peace)?

Donna Qawasmi: I made a lot of peace events but it was local events even in Jordan or in istanbul. But the most challenging event that I did is the "Encounter Point " screening film at the United Nations University in Amman . it was very hard to bring this documentary, with the ideas it contains, to Jordan. A lot of people here didn't accept the idea of non-violence. They accept the idea of taking their land by there hands and it is our turn to convince them with this idea. And u can't imagine how they accepted it. It was amazing. Her Royal Highness Princess Alia bint el hussain and H.E Dr. Abdel salam el majali - the Prime minister - gave us great support and people accepted the idea and discussed it with heroes of the film, Ali Abu –Awwad and Robi Damilen.

After this screening the prime minister invited us to very important conference on Aqaba the conference participants were from Israel, Palestine, and Jordan and we screened the film there.

The "Foundations of Peace" idea came through a peace conference in Spain. Several peace NGO's met there and decided to make this meeting every year to discuss what do they achieve this year in non–violence and in the peace process. This year the chose to come to Jordan and it will be in 27th of February until the 1st of March.

The participants are from the USA, UK, Srilanka, Bangladesh, India, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Serbia, Ireland and Colombia. At the bottom of your profile you write that you want to: "meet real peace makers .... not to talk only but to do something". What is a real peace maker? What needs to be done for peace in the Middle East?

Donna Qawasmi: Here I was not talking about the Middle East peace makers. I am only talking about a lot of peace makers that I met in several meetings and conferences. They participate in the meeting just to talk and talk . I know you can talk. If any one of them were asked: "What did u achieve?", he would say I went to this conference and to that meeting. But there's no result.

They should know that papers did not solve any problem. But you can move and do. If they want to take a decision, don't sit around tables and talk to each other. The real peace comes from the real people who lives the situation your talking about.

Anyone who wants more information on the "Foundations of Peace" can get in touch with Donna on her page.
Thank you Donna for sharing yourself as a Peacemaker of the Week.

Eyal Raviv

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Comment by amal abu zaidan on January 27, 2008 at 4:49pm
when reading the profile and the interview with donna we all can be ipressed that she is very inspiring and very motivated to pursue peace and showing all of us that we have to really beleive in peace and translate thwe belief into actions . according to her proile and peace' activities involvemebt surely donna can be a model for active people especially when realize that believinf is not enough but strong envolvment and being active is the best way to bribg peace. after all i could feel that donna is really honest and big beleiver for peace and justice . all left is to hear more and more about her sussecfull activities ibn the peace feild .

knowing that there is a peace maker like you can provide us the hope we need all the time
do not forget - nothing can prevent the sune to rise tommorow

go on for the next challenge
your's amal abu zaidan
Comment by Ali on January 26, 2008 at 7:09pm
Dear Donna,

As a Jordanian, and as one of the world's community, I am proud of you. And we are all supporting you in your acheivements.

You are a very strong young woman, go ahead and we will follow you, We need peace for the whole world.


Comment by Jeff Rudy on January 24, 2008 at 7:12pm
Hey there,

What you want to get IS not everbody steps up and does what there is to do.
I suggest it isn't even about "doing," but more about who you are BEING as a person committed to making a difference for children that really puts you into action.
And to be to the point: you are an extraordinary person!
Much love and peace,
I choose peace!
Comment by Jeff Rudy on January 24, 2008 at 4:27pm
Dear all,

I can speak to Donna being a peacemaker of action.

After becoming "friends" here on mepeace, I made a request of her to put me in contact with someone who could help bring the Where Peace Lives' Kids International Peace Mural Project to Jordan. She immediately responded and sent me contact information with Director of Programs at the United Nations
University in Amman.
She says it all when talking about those who meet and talk and those who take action. We all should take those words to heart.
In the face of all the "no" people; self-doubt; fear of failing; I keep bring forward the impact conflict has on the children. Then I find the courage to take action.
It is people like Donna who inspire me and remind me that being a voice of peace on behalf of all children.
Thank you Eyal for posting this interview. Great job.
Much love and peace,
Jeff Rudy
Development Director
Where Peace Lives
Comment by Yoav Roccas on January 24, 2008 at 1:30pm
Proud to be your friend!
Comment by Paul RETI on January 24, 2008 at 8:20am
Given what seem to be all her very real and challenging circumstances that are obvious (and implied) to some of us, it seems to me that Donna is either the most naive or most gutsy person here.

My assesment is that she is a very gutsy and very real lady!
Comment by Earl Prignitz on January 23, 2008 at 8:58pm
Hi Donna:
All I can say is Keep up the good work you are doing.
Comment by Saeed Az. on January 23, 2008 at 6:34pm
Hi Donna,

I appreciate very much your work. what you said in the meeting is very important. You are very serious. Good Luck
Best Wishes,

Comment by Vincent Mespoulet on January 23, 2008 at 2:31pm
Well done ! i think also that Donna is a great peacemaker...


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