Wednesday, October 9, 2013

“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world...."

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches     

      Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel. Since 1901 the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 124 Nobel Laureates.  Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Alfred Nobel's (1833-1896) family was descended from Olof Rudbeck, the best-known technical genius in Sweden of the 17th century. This was the era in which Sweden was the greatest power in northern Europe. Nobel was fluent in several languages and wrote poetry and drama. He was interested in social and peace-related issues and held views that were considered radical during his time. Nobel's interests are reflected in the prizes he later established - science, inventions, entrepreneurship, literature and peace work.
     Nobel Laureates are chosen at the beginning of October, the Nobel Committee chooses the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates through a majority vote. The decision is final and without appeal. The names of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are then announced. A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria. A letter of invitation to submit is not required. The names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later.
     Contenders for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize include Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai who survived being shot by the Taliban and ushered in a new age of activism for women in her region. In fact Malala’s only crime was that she wanted the right to an education and attend school. She survived the shooting and bravely continues to stand up for women who seek education. Her story was communicated to the world through the BBC blog, "Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl."  Today the Taliban continues to threaten Malala's voice. Her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize would bring further awareness and understanding for her cause. Other noteworthy Prize contenders are Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Congo who has dedicated his life to helping rape victims and courageous organized crime fighting Guatemalan attorney general, Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz.

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