Crying Out For Joy For Another Year Of Peace

Crying out for joy for another year of peace
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin shake hands on the signing of the Camp David Accords in 1978

September 17, like August 10, is another beautiful day on the calendar of the uniting world. On September 17, 1978, the Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Israel and Egypt have been at peace for 43 years. Anwar Sadat was assassinated in October of 1981. Menachem Begin died in 1992. The peace between Egypt and Israel has lasted for many since the deaths of its original architects.

Crying out for joy for another year of peace

Between the founding of Israel in 1948, and the signing of the Camp David Accords, Egypt and Israel went to war three times. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, over 6,300 Israelis and as many as 7,000 Arabs died. During the 1967 Six-Day war, as many as 15,000 Egyptians, and almost 1,000 Israelis died. In the 1973 Yom Kippur war, 2,800 Israeli and as many as 15,000 Egyptians died. What would have happened if Sadat and Begin had not signed the Accords? That part of the world would be a much sadder and poorer place.

I wish to recall peace much more than war

Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter and Menachem Begin at Camp David, Maryland

I consider the keeping of this peace agreement to be a great accomplishment for both Israel and Egypt. It is something to celebrate. This year I celebrated by eating kushari, beloved street food of Egypt. Next year it will be falafel, beloved street food of Israel. As I ate the kushari, I imagined an Egyptian man born after the signing of the Camp David Accords. In my imagination, he was eating some kushari with his family after a busy day at his work. He was grateful for the peace between Egypt and Israel, as he had family members who died in one of the earlier wars.

Kushari and falafel at Zait and Za’atar in St. Paul, Minnesota

If we are to have peace, we must celebrate peace at every turn. We must make the celebration of peace in the world part of our lifestyle. Each year, I am looking for a way to celebrate the waging of peace. Every year, I am crying out for joy for another year of peace.

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