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A New Record – Authors for Peace

Thanks to everyone who got up at the crack of dawn to support me as I took part in Authors for Peace earlier this week. I had to: you didn’t.

Due to the single-minded efforts of Priya Basil, a new world record was created. 75 authors read consecutively from their work in honour of the UN’s International Day of Peace. Like most participants, my contribution was a 15-minute reading. With her natural ability to put people at ease, Priya personally introduced and interviewed each author (some of whom had first-hand experience of the horrors of war) during the 24-hour event. Not put off by the need to fill in, breezing through time differences and technical hitches, she now wishes to make this an annual event.

I was saddened that the day received little publicity in the International Press. Many said that there was little awareness in their own countries. Despite this, there was an overwhelming message of hope. In reflecting on the event, Scott Ezell summed up the efforts of authors: “I suppose we have not stopped bullets from flying. However, I believe the collective effort of so many wonderful writers, concentrated in one event but broadcast globally, has fanned the embers of desire for peace in many hearts around the world, and that in itself is a great accomplishment, and a good first step towards peace.”