By Rachid Khouya
Morocco World News
Es-Semara, Morocco, February 29, 2012
`It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is that you have a cause to fight for.`
When people speak about US-Moroccan relations, they usually invoke politics, war on terror, religious extremism and corrupt politicians. Rarely do they mention individuals, from literature, media and poetry, who work tirelessly to bridge the cultural gap between the two countries. Lynn Rosen is an American poet who has been involved in a special poetry writing project as a means of promoting cultural cooperation with her Moroccan counterparts. Her work is exemplary of the efforts of intellectuals in connecting people and cultures in order to create a world of love, dialogue and peaceful coexistence.
Lynn Rosen spent many years as a teacher in the New York City public school system. Her other work as a library media teacher allowed her to connect with teachers from across the globe, via the internet, and give birth to her personal quest to make the world a better place. It was in this context that she met the Moroccan poet Hassan Mourabiti, through Facebook, and the result was a collaboration that produced a terrific book of poetry entitled: “Grapes of Hunger”. For Ms. Rosen, writing poetry with Hassan was a means of demystifying their respective cultures. Through their writing, they learned about one another’s traditions and realized that their cultures sought the same thing: a better world for everyone.
Ms. Rosen described the process of writing “Grapes of Hunger” as a journey of caring that is meant to send a message to the world to stop global hunger. As a humanitarian, Ms. Rosen considers social activism the key to bring about global change. She considers hunger an unjust and unacceptable social ill and laments the fact that millions of children are dying from hunger while others enjoy more than three meals a day. Many of her poems are designed to inform children of the danger of living in a world where their peers are starving. Her work against hunger has led to her involvement with projects such as New York Cares. She has also worked in schools, soup kitchens and with organizations for the disabled and the poor.
Ms. Rosen considers her poetry as a “work of heart” and equates writing with breathing. As she stated, “through my poetry, I get to inform others about hunger and other problems that we face today.” As Human right activist, Ms. Rosen published a book entitled “Tomorrow’s Vision” where she provides teachers and students with numerous activities that they can do to help the poor. The book also teaches students and future generations about their individual rights and how to respect the rights of others.
Ms. Rosen’s main mission is to help create a world where there is no hunger. She has pursued her goal as a writer, artist, humanitarian and activist. As she stated, “artists can contribute to the change we want in this troubled world of ours”. As a poet advocating against hunger, Ms. Rosen put it best when she said “we have the ability to dance with words and the more people who listen, the more change makers we will have.”
Edited by Hisham El Koustaf
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