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Selling a Vision of Hope: A Refreshing Alternative to Armageddon

Look inside Nissim Dahan's book Selling a Vision of Hope with Google Books.

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Marie Dahan (Mira) E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, April 07 2007

Marie DahanI was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1953. My father enjoyed a youth filled with pleasant moments, and eventually became a very successful businessman. He came to own a sport goods factory and four retail shops. He even remembered meeting a young Yassir Arafat, who came to the store to buy soccer balls for an athletic program he was running.

 

Our life in Egypt was very comfortable, and filled with joy, until one night in 1962, my father was taken to the police station and informed that he had been blacklisted as a Jewish spy for the State of Israel.

 

Within 24 hours, or there about, we packed whatever we could into 31 leather bound suitcases, and moved to Paris, France, where we had some family, and where we enjoyed the right to citizenship. We lost our house, our money, and almost all our possessions. I was 9 years old at the time.

In Paris, my father worked hard to make a living. Among many odd jobs, he became a good salesman, and traveled the countryside from village to village, by train and automobile, selling eyeglass frames to opticians. My father was a good and honest man, beloved by all who knew him. He always remembered the good times he had in Egypt, but never quite got over losing everything there. My mother kept a clean and modest home, and attended to our every need growing up. She has always been a fabulous cook, even to this day.

I met my husband Nissim in 1971, when he visited Paris as a young student with his family. At the time, I couldn?t speak English, and he couldn?t speak French. This made for an unusual relationship, to say the least. But something mysterious drew us close to one another. We wrote letters for four years, visited each other here and there, (accompanied by chaperons, of course), and got married in 1975. We have been blessed with many happy years together.

I was trained as an accountant in Paris, and worked in that field for a number of years, but for the last 18 years I?ve worked in the family custom home building business as a service manager. Much of my time has been spent attending to the needs of our home. I share my husband?s passion for wanting to make a difference in the Middle East.

 

We?ve worked together as a team for many years, and luckily we don?t get on each other?s nerves too often. We both seem to be able to relate to people, and to gain their trust. We understand the Middle East from the perspective of people who where born there, and who have connected emotionally to the people there.

 

We have much to learn, but we bring to the table several qualities: the passion to become involved, the desire to make a difference, the innate capacity to mediate differences, the sensitivity not to offend, the determination to build the peace, and our commitment to a Vision of Hope. We are middle-aged idealists, believe it or not. If given half a chance, we will do everything in our power to make this world a little better, and to leave it a little safer.