Iran Peace Museum
Iran Peace Museum echoes message of peace and friendship to world
The Tehran Peace Museum
On 29 June, the national day for campaigning against chemical & Biological weapons, the memorial ceremony for commemorating the victims of chemical weapons went very well in
In that ceremony, the peace monument was unveiled by Mayor of Tehran and the
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SCVWS/Tehran Peace Museum
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Iran Peace Museum sponsored by the society advocating victims of chemical weapons echoes the nation's message of peace and friendship to the world and gives documents about the crimes perpetrated by the US-backed Saddam's regime against Iranians in 1980s.
"The Peace Museum brought together the voices of Iranian "victims of chemical warfare to speak of the sinister ills of war," a brochure reads on entry of the museum.
Once a simple and largely unknown exhibit in the basement of the society for chemical weapons victims advocacy is being
administered by Shahriar Khateri, war veteran and victim of chemical warfare.
Tehran's Mayor Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf inaugurated the monument and the building being donated by the city for the museum.
The monument, with its sculpture of a white dove mounted on a marble pedestal at the center of Tehran's large City Park, is literally across the street from City Hall, its message written in six languages.
The new museum building stands on park grounds 100 yards away, its large new sign evidence of a planned full opening in coming months.
The museum and monument were inaugurated in June on the 20th anniversary of the Iraqi gassing of Sardasht, in western Iran, which left more than 100 dead, mostly civilians. For Iranians, Sardasht is a symbol of Iraq's extensive use of chemical weapons in the war against Iran, the first use since World War I.
"That terrible suffering gave us a new understanding of the cruelty of war, the terror of weapons of mass destruction, and the importance of peace," the inscription reads.
"Until the day when all people on Earth can live in peace, we will continuously send messages of peace to the world."
Even the opening ceremony broke new ground. "For the first time it was a celebration, instead of mourning; it was a new way of respecting," Khateri said.
"There were a new kind of people, children drawing for peace," Steve Fryburg, director of the Dayton Peace Museum in Ohio, has visited Iran twice to work with the Tehran Peace Museum.
"The people of peace around the world, including the Middle East," he says.
"Yet it is the violent news that is given priority in media coverage. This only distorts people's perceptions of other countries and cultures, increases fear, and reduces the chances for peace." "At such a critical time in our relations with Iran, it is very important for people not to get a distorted view about Iran and its people," says Mr. Fryburg.
The idea for the museum emerged in 2005, when Khateri was in Ypres, Belgium, at a conference marking the 90th anniversary of the first modern use of chemical weapons.
He met the coordinator of the global peace museum network, who gave strong encouragement.
While many nations honor sacrifices made in war - Arlington National Cemetery is but one example in the West - many issues of setting up a peace museum here are specific to Iran.
For Khateri, it had to start with his own epiphany more than a decade ago, when he was part of a group collecting remains of soldiers from mine-laced front lines near Iraq.
"Dozens of my close friends were killed in the war and hundreds were wounded, so I really respect their cause," says Khateri.