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Stories for peace

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On Sept. 16, the groovily named Peace Love Story Fest, a celebration of the positive power of storytelling, descends on Camp Ocean Pines. Spearheaded by one Zette Harbour, peacemonger and professional storyteller, the inaugural festival will kick off a week of peace awareness, timed to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.

DJELIBA BABA THE STORYTELLER: - PHOTO COURTESY OF ZETTE HARBOUR
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF ZETTE HARBOUR
  • DJELIBA BABA THE STORYTELLER:

“The idea for the theme came about when I was in New York City with my daughter at the Montessori Model United Nations Conference in April,” Harbour explained. “I was watching the students caucus about the issue of the status of the Israeli/Palestinian heritage sites. One after another, the recommendations for a resolution offered the idea that the sites should be owned by the UN, kept neutral, or managed by UNESCO. It was then that I realized that there was something missing in these ideas.”

It occurred to Harbour that the only way to make peace between two feuding countries was to change the way they saw each other and themselves—and that this could be done through something as simple as a story: “How do you shift the Israelis’ and the Palestinians’ stories in order to allow for the neutrality of these sites? Each side believes that it must preserve the sacredness according to its own religious dictates. Only a new story, a story in which the respective deities desire and require the two sides to work peacefully together, would create a peaceful resolution.”

In preparation for the event that resulted from this epiphany, Harbour teamed up with many groups and businesses to hold several paper crane-folding parties, creating a “peace sculpture” out of 1,000 cranes that will be unveiled at the Peace Love Story Fest.

Guest artists Shannon Savage, Djeliba Baba the Storyteller, and father-daughter musical duo Ranchers for Peace will contribute to the event’s good vibes.

It’s all going down Saturday, Sept. 16 at Camp Ocean Pines, 1473 Randall Drive, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10; kids 6 and younger get in free. Lunch will be available for purchase. Tickets are available at Whiz Kids in SLO or at peacelovestory.com.

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