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The Newsletter
2nd Quarter 2000

Mindanao is Bleeding
Statements of Peace

Unleashing the Dogs of War
by Said Sadain, Jr.

The Abuja Islamic Education Trust
Islam Through E-Mail

What is Shariah?

Poetry
written by
Raul Moldez
Rene Bernales

CAMPEACE2000

Essays
written by
Fr. Eliseo Mercado, Jr.
Mehol Sadain
Said Sadain, Jr.

Featured Links

Growth Mindanao
The other faces of Mindanao

Manila Moods Online
Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, a Saudi-American journalist goes online with his Arab News column on everything Filipino

Virtual Bugs
Explore the world of bugs, the ones that actually bite

Innovative Ideas Design
Some of Angel's artworks grace this issue. Visit her site too.

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Calling All Kids For Peace
Rosan Aliya Agbon
May 4, 2000

Dear Friends  of   Peace,

These past days have been disturbing here in Central Mindanao. I know you don't wonder why. Violence between the Philippine military and the MILF rebels erupted, affecting many areas.  We all know the dread that war brings.

Yesterday,  I went to school for my  summer classes only to find out that our classes were cancelled for two days because of the fighting going on in the neighboring areas of Cotabato City.    As we were heading home, I saw two helicopters and two fighter planes in the sky. How fascinating, I thought. But then I saw them drop bombs.  Mama also told me that when she was about 8 years old, she saw the same thing - flying machines that dropped killer bombs in the same areas.

All afternoon, I heard bombs exploding, and the sounds of gunfire.  Over the radio,  I heard reporters say that a lot of civilians have been shot!  The reporters said that most of these   civilians  are children, maybe your age, maybe  mine, (I am 12), maybe older and maybe a lot younger, like the 7-month old baby.  I am sure that the children did  not plan this war, but why are they made to suffer from it? What do they know about war? What do we know about it?  What I am learning from it all is that nobody wins a war and that children  like you and me are its biggest losers.

When I was in Grade 6, I ran for the student council and called my party Kids for Peace. I did not win but in my mind, making children talk about peace was a  good start. I wanted to do my share in what is happening now so I thought of continuing the campaign.

We are kids for peace, as our elders are, as the military and the MILF should have been. I know we can't
stop the fight but we can do something to help the young and infant victims of this war.   If we donate our used clothes, canned goods, medicines, toys and school items, we can keep them warm and fed and maybe, help them prepare for school next month. The violence may have ended but the children evacuees will walk home to find their homes, farms and maybe their schools destroyed,  their belongings lost, maybe their relatives dead.  Their parents may not even have money anymore to send them to school. 

Let us, the children who were fortunately spared from this war, help them, the child victims. They should not have suffered from  this. They should have been spared.

Kids for peace, let us do our share. I know we can count on each other to help these pitiful children. Donations shall be welcomed from May 8-14, 2000 at 13 Javier Street, Cotabato City. We have made arrangements with Fr. Ben Toreto, DCC, parish priest of the Holy Rosary Heights Parish, that when we have enough, we shall distribute our donations to the young war victims at the evacuation centers. Please also write messages of peace for the adults who started this war and for the children who had nothing to do with it.

Thank you in advance.

In peace,
Rosan Aliya Agbon
12 years old

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