Last week special correspondent Anna Gress covered the opening night of the Women In The World Summit for World Moms Blog. The evening launched three days of emotional and inspirational speakers, and panels highlighting the singular truth that Women are key to global development and peace. The sixth annual Women in The World Summit was presented by Tina Brown Live Media in association with the New York Times, and took place at the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City.
The topics were tender and the experiences the women were sharing emotionally centered the entire audience. The atmosphere of the auditorium was indescribable.- Anna Gress
Opening night we heard Saida Munye, the mother and activist spoke on the “Girls as Weapons of War” panel. She shared her story of losing her daughter to a Jihadi recruiter. Her activist message illustrated the power of a mother’s love and created a platform to educate the audience on how she fights to prevent other mothers from enduring the same pain.
As a society and within different cultures, we bottle up sharing and declaring eternal and everlasting feelings, but this was a clear message as Saida spoke.
Communicating with love is the only way to affect a person and to make a change.
Saida was asked by the moderator what would happen if her daughter were to return and without hesitation Saida responded, “As hard as your children may be on the outside there is an inside, do not give up on them.” In closing, Saida left the audience with one message, a message she hopes her daughter will hear where ever she is in the world, regardless of her affiliation with Jihad, “My heart is like the ocean that can clean the earthly waste, I want her to become what she has been before. I still believe…she has my ticket to go to paradise.”
The other opening night panels proved equally as impactful:
During The Sons We Share an Israeli woman and Palestinian women shared how their personal losses forged a path of forgiveness and friendship. The biggest takeaway from this panel was perspective illustrated in the mother’s quotes;
“When you see humanity that is the beginning to the end of conflict.”
“You can say a lot, but do you meant it, forgiving is giving up your just right for revenge.”
“Walk the walk, talk the talk, take the steps.”
Three Great Women of Film with Jon Stewart and Meryl Streep closed the opening evening with the power of Story. Sharing stories is our goal at World Moms Blog, to share our stories across countries and cultures, and forge the connections that we need with each other.
We leave you with two more of the many outstanding moments throughout the summit, 10 year old poet from Kibera School for Girls, Eunice Akoth and closing remarks of the summit by Angelina Jolie on the ongoing, unending, tragedy of Syria.
Anna Gress began her career in NYC after early graduation from Ithaca College in December of 2014. She worked freelance producing events at the BBC post graduation and currently is an Account Coordinator at CIVIC Entertainment Group a Seacrest Global Group Company. She is passionate about women’s equality and interested in building ambition and confidence within young people.