Writing for Peace

A 4-hour workshop – by request


In an atmosphere of non-judgment, loving acceptance and respect for the human soul, we gather to write stories born of war, genocide and occupation.  We go beneath the level of rhetoric and political agendas to the personal experience, to “just telling the story.”

Imagine what can happen when writers from warring or former warring nations write together and listen to each other’s stories with compassion.  Can this be one of the ways to form substantial bridges?  Can such listening to “the other side” empower us as peacemakers and artists?

The process of writing this pain and trauma out of our bodies and souls can heal and transform us.  When that which has been hidden, forbidden and denied is brought out into the light of day in a safe, loving environment, it creates more space inside ourselves to breathe and allows us to act more effectively.  Turning wounds into literature, giving words to the indescribable, is an act of defiance, an act of self-preservation and a journey toward personal and global healing and peace.

Such workshops have been conducted by Elana to groups of Armenians and Turks, Germans and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis.

“In the ‘Writing for Peace’ workshop, Elana created this tender environment in which I felt safe to write and share my grandmother’s story for the first time: how she had been expelled from her home in Acca in the 1948 Naqba – the Palestinian catastrophe.”  

~ Hadia Haaj, wholistic healer, USM grad: