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    Posted October 21, 2010 by
    ajbutler

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    Kia Scherr Plans Peace Event in Mumbai

     

    Please read the article about my mother's work in Mumbai.  She is planning a peace event on the two year anniversary.

     

    With Love,

     

    Aaron

     

     

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/family-lost-on-26-11-she-reaches-out-to-other-victims/700368/0

     

    Family lost on 26/11, she reaches out to other victims


    The last time US national Kia Scherr spoke to her daughter Naomi  was on the phone on November 24, 2008, when the 13-year-old was  “ecstatic at having her nose pierced” and was preparing to write about  her experiences in India. Two days later, Naomi and her father were  killed when two gunmen began shooting wildly in the Oberoi’s Tiffin  restaurant.

    Two years later, Kia,  54, is in Mumbai, planning a commemorative event on the second  anniversary of 26/11 and to launch the Indian arm of a non-profit  organisation that “responds with compassion to acts of terror”.

    Naomi and her father  Alan were in Mumbai for a global meditation meet organised by the  US-based Synchronicity Foundation, a spiritual organisation that  promotes meditation using sound technology. As news broke that the  father and daughter were “unaccounted for” and then later confirmed  dead, Kia received an outpouring of support.

     

    “From  as far away as Zimbabwe and Peru, people from all religions — Muslims,  Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians — sent us their prayers and love and  support,” says Kia who, for the last 11 years, has lived in  Synchronicity’s “meditation sanctuary” in the Blue Ridge Mountains,  Virginia. For Kia, until then, visitors to the sanctuary’s retreats had  been “from the outside world”. “But this experience showed me that we  are one human family. We’re all connected at the level of the heart. And  when life is lost so tragically, it reminds us of how sacred life is.”

    That inspired her to  start One Life Alliance with Master Charles Cannon, the founder of  Synchronicity Foundation. There’s now a Facebook page, a website and  plans to travel across the globe, reach out to victims of any kind of  violence, ask people to simply value the “sacredness of life” and live  with compassion and kindness. “Whether it’s druglords or gang members or  suicide bombers, we can’t fight that directly. But we can be different  with one another,” she reasons.

    Along with Kia and  Master Charles, who was himself trapped in his room in The Oberoi for 48  hours, over a dozen other 26/11 survivors of the original Synchronicity  group will return, most of them for the first time since the attacks.  Among them will be Linda Ronsdale, a children’s book author and  illustrator, who was injured and survived by pretending to be dead under  one of the tables at Tiffin. Ronsdale, unable to keep her promise to  teach Naomi how to draw a dragon, went on to start the Peace Dragon Art  Project for schoolchildren, and will spend two weeks before November 26  teaching Mumbai schoolchildren to draw “peace dragons”.

    Kia is meeting  people at a feverish pace, and hoping Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, whom  she met in July, will keep his promise of attending the event. From a  teenager who started a Facebook page in memory of those who died on 26 /  11 to religious leaders, she wants people from diverse backgrounds to  take the One Life Alliance vow. That pledge is itself not very different  from a quote by Mahatma Gandhi on the home page of the school Naomi  wanted to join: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

    With President  Barack Obama expected to spend a day in Mumbai in the first week of  November, Kia has e-mailed the Associate Director of the White House  Office of Public Engagement. “I heard the President wanted to visit each  of the sites attacked to show solidarity. If it can be arranged, it  would be a great honour. He sent me a beautiful letter of condolence  when he was President-elect back in December 2008, which I still have.  It would be ironic, I’ve been to the White House twice, and I end up  meeting him here in India.”

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