May 12, 2005

May 9, 2005

Releasing 2000 Peace Balloons with Mrs. Mubarak
"Hello everyone!This morning waking up to the beautiful Alexandria sunshine with the Mediterranean Sea in our backyard was truly a magical experience. Although the 6:15 AM wake up call slightly damaged the serenity of the morning, it was well made up for in the exciting events of the day. We all arrived at breakfast in our formal attire, ready to impress Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady of Egypt. We went to the Alexandria Library, and after going through lots of security, participated in "World Quest," a 60 question quiz designed to test our knowledge of global history, geography, and current events. We then took a tour of the library, and saw the reading center, and all of the different museums within the library. There were many old transcripts, artifacts, and different things from recent movies about Egypt. Together with the adults, we released 2000 balloons as a symbol of World Peace as soon as Mrs. Mubarak arrived. We then all assembled into a small auditorium in the library, where we heard speeches from lots of different people, including the First Lady and Mary Eisenhower. Two peace campers, Rinad and Lionel, sang a song for everyone, which was absolutely beautiful! Then all 53 of us got on stage and sang "Ya Salaam" a song about peace and friendship for the whole group. Afterwards, we had a delicious catered lunch, and then we wrote e-mails to leaders around the world telling them about our trip and asking them to work towards peace. We then got back onto our busses and had a three hour trip back to Cairo, during which most of the students took the opportunity to catch up on sleep, which was much needed for the night to come. When we arrived back at the hotel we had our farewell dinner, and then took about an hour exchanging compliments and ribbons. It was very emotional for almost everyone, and the tears started coming. We had our final peace session, which was a Candlelight ceremony where everyone had the chance to say goodbye, read a poem or sing a song to the group. Then, the final goodbyes began. People started to leave, a few at a time, and each farewell was very sad for everyone. For me, I felt like each time someone left, I was losing a best friend. It was so hard to return to our rooms after each person left, knowing our numbers were slowly dwindling. I think that everyone shared countless hugs, kisses and tears, as we all tried to hold on to each other for as long as we could. The trip was certainly the most memorable, unforgettable ten days of my life, and I know that I will hold on to each memory forever. "
Love, Martha, Buffalo New York, USA
“Today was our first day in Alexandria, “the 2nd capital of Egypt”. When we arrived at the train station, the group went straight to the Roman Amphitheatre. After touring for a while, I was requested to give the campus a singing concert since that is on my favorites. Then the whole group sang “Lean On Me”. It was awesome. It was also a real honor to be able to sing in the theatre that is over 2000 years old. Tonight was the farewell dinner, which was a blast. Instead of just eating, we danced music from a band playing American Jazz. Although I am not much of a dancer, I really had a blast tonight. Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to all, especially my mom! Also salam to Dad, Rebew, Liz and everyone else reading the blog today.”
Andrew, Kansas, USA.

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