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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living in Iraq

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living has been involved in philanthropic activities in Iraq since September 2003. The volunteers of Art of Living has been working under trying circumstances to help the Iraqi people overcome the deep pain and suffering inflicted by the long-drawn warfare and the prevailing uncertainty. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will embark on a three-day visit to Iraq from May 22, 2007 at the invitation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Malaki.

This is for the first time that an Indian spiritual leader has been invited as an ambassador of peace to the conflict-ravaged country by the Government of Iraq. During the visit, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will hold discussions on restoring peace in Iraq with the Prime Minister. On Tuesday, 22nd May 2007, Sri Sri Ravishankar will address a public gathering to be attended by several political leaders belonging to Sunni, Shia and Kurdish parties.

Art of Living volunteers have been conducting trauma relief workshops in various parts of Iraq, especially in Baghdad. Medicines and clothes for the body, breathing and meditation exercises for the mind and soul are being provided to the local population.

Several Iraqis have completed special trainings to impart the Art of Living techniques to the Iraqi people. In 2006, a batch of 43, mostly women, graduated to be Art of Living teachers.

So far, over 5,000 Iraqis have undergone the Art of Living trauma relief workshops apart from attending the Ayurvedic training camps. The Art of Living has also initiated a women empowerment project under which local women are given vacationing training such as tailoring and computer skills. Over 500 women have benefited from the program.

All this is philanthropic activity is taking place when most NGOs are compelled to evacuate their volunteers from Iraq in the wake of heightened unrest and kidnapping.

Help should first reach the needy. Food should be provided to those starving. Above all, food and help should be provided without any preconditions. Keep up the good work Art of Living volunteers.