To mark World Peace Day on September 21st 2013, a group of young people in Najaf, Iraq, called “Moja” team, drew attention to the dangers of the culture of violence prevalent in children due to the use of toy weapons.
The aim was to the raise awareness of the local community – particularly the legislative and executive branches of the local government – about the dangers posed by a culture of violence arising from the use of the toy weapons. These toys, along with fireworks, have caused hundreds of injuries, including to eyes, that have required hospital treatment.
Such toys also promote aggression as opposed to the creation of a peaceful, benevolent generation working to build a bright future for Iraq. As such, the team collected more than 1,000 toy weapons and destroyed them using a huge paving steel wheel roller.
The machine was operated by two children, Aya and Omar, in the city center, in front of hundreds of people – including members of the provincial council, officials and civil society organizations.
The attendees demanded that decision-makers work seriously to enact laws that prohibit the import and sale of such weapons. Team members stood and raised slogans calling for peace in more than seven languages, to the tune of the Iraqi national anthem.
The kids themselves destroyed the weapons, distributed roses to the audience and handed-out leaflets raising awareness about the danger of this phenomenon and the need to work seriously to remove it from society in order to build a conscious and tolerant generation .