Bahrain and FOWPAL Jointly Celebrate a Beautiful Night of Cultural Exchanges
Dignitaries Ring the Bell of World Peace and Love
(By Wenny Tsai/New York) While the 72nd UN General Assembly was in session, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister's Court of Bahrain held a function of love, peace, and cultural exchanges with the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) on Sept. 19, 2017 in New York. Close to 250 dignitaries including ambassadors, business leaders, and celebrities were invited to attend the gathering. Shaikh Hussam bin Isa Al Khalifa, President of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister's Court of Bahrain, and several other distinguished guests rang the Bell of World Peace and Love to jointly promote love and peace.
The bell-ringers are Paul Maseli, Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; H.E. Mr. Ry Tuy, ambassador of Cambodia to the United Nations; as well as Sandor Lothringen Habsburg， Herta Margarete Habsburg， Gregor Habsburg, Jacqueline Habsburg from the Habsburg family of Austria.
Sandor Habsburg said the event “is very wonderful and very moving. It helps people lift their hearts to find friendships and love together.” H.E. Mr. Ry Tuy, ambassador of Cambodia to the UN, stated, “I would like to commend FOWPAL for organizing this very important event, and I think that this organization is very useful for everyone.”
The joint function of FOWPAL and Bahrain originated from a trip FOWPAL made to Bahrain in May. FOWPAL is an international non-profit organization. Its members have been holding summits of love and peace, bell-ringing ceremonies, and cultural exchange activities around the world to spread the message of love and peace since its inception 17 years ago. The philosophy of FOWPAL is in line with Bahrain’s focus on peace, acceptance, and diversity. Therefore, Dr. Hong led a cultural goodwill group to visit Bahrain in May.
Shaikh Hussam bin Isa Al Khalifa, President of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister's Court, highly recognized the peace efforts of Dr. Hong and FOWPAL. The joint peace function on September 19 was arranged to promote love and peace through cultural exchanges.
Dr. Hong said in his speech at the event, “This year at the UN General Assembly, all nations continue to focus their attention on the sustainable development goals. The world has become increasingly interconnected as leaders and world citizens mutually affect one another; while individuals’ influences have grown rapidly through social media, empowering individuals to be like a small spark that starts a great fire. ‘Water can float a boat or capsize it,’ likewise much depends on a decision-maker’s wisdom and capacity to love. . . . Whether the world will change for the better or worse depends on how well world citizens unite and cooperate with one another.” He also pointed out, “Over the past ten plus years, FOWPAL has visited every populated continent. Through cultural exchanges of love and peace and sacred and peaceful bell-ringing ceremonies, FOWPAL has touched the depths of people’s hearts and inspired their aspirations for the pursuit of goodness and truth. On the clear path to the future, we see a surge of people taking immediate actions for peace. We can never overlook the collective brightness of the dim lights emitted from small stars. The butterfly effect of goodness is beyond human comprehension, beyond any sophisticated words and language, and beyond the perception observed by our eyes. It directly affects our hearts and even affects the future, which is not fixed but changeable.”
Bahrain has the tradition of promoting peace, tolerance, and diversity. Shaikh Hussam bin Isa Al Khalifa, President of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister's Court, on behalf of His Royal Highness, said, “We highly commend the noble objective of the Federation, whose main mission is to promote world peace through various means.” In today’s world, he added, “we are experiencing so many conflicts and challenges that are causing the great human suffering. The noble ideals of peace, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence are more relevant than ever before. This requires the guidance and wisdom of leaders and statesmen with a vision, dedication, and commitment and the active engagement of people across the globe.”
Paul Maseli, Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, wished each citizen of this world “to live a life free of stress, free of deprivation, and be happy.” He stated that there is too much conflict, war, and hatred in this world. If there is no peace, there will be no development. Peace is the foundation upon which development is made possible, added Mr. Maseli.
American actress, Marla Maples, attended the gathering and was deeply touched by the Bell. She said that the sound of the Bell reverberated in her heart and soul. Meeting with the president of FOWPAL for the first time, she said, “Dr. Hong has so much light and so much love.”
Young FOWPAL volunteers’ Eastern cultural performances, including martial arts formations and dancing, enlivened the gathering and amazed the attendees. Marla Maples said their “joy was so authentic “and encouraged them to “keep spreading the light.”