Before starting my panel I thought about the Quilt as a creative grassroots initiative to support the search for peace and prosperity in the Middle East; its purpose being to present visual images from many contributors, to encourage thousands more Canadians to participate in a Canadian forum.

The focus on Palestinian and Israeli peoples is a promising microcosm for the resolution of greater Middle East issues in relation to global, political and economic realities. My panel centres on the key hope that Israeli and Palestinian leaders find the will to work through fears, wounds and mistrust to enable ancient neighbours to regain mutual respect and build cultural understanding and economic partnerships.

The theme of the Middle East Peace Quilt might be said to be "stitching peace together". My single panel and personal interpretation is a small contribution to this creative effort for peace.

The pattern of quilting stitches is a simple pictorial use of design and colour to try to express in abstract form and visual metaphor, episodes in the complex history of the search for peace and prosperity in the Middle East. In accord with the Quilt theme, I focus on the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, set in the reality of larger political, cultural and economic issues and problems.

The black barbed effect may be said to represent the Diaspora and the suffering of Jewish people over history and this century, and the horrors of the holocaust, to the point at which the modern state of Israel emerges in 1948 from the ancient Jewish homelands. The grey continuation of the barbed effect may be said to exemplify the suffering of the Palestinian people over history and dispersal from their homelands after 1948, the victims of fear and reprisal and callous and disastrous international and regional politics, rivalries and war.

The two trees centred in the design may be seen as symbolizing the warmth of earthy brown and life giving green, as the "roots and leaves" of two peoples share the same earth over centuries, and the promise of healthy growth in the future as peace and prosperity prevails. The circular pattern may be viewed as representing a continuum of life, with history given in shades of barbed black to barbed grey, giving way to the future in dove white, a change from war to friendship and lasting peace for future generations of Palestinians and Israelis.

Marj Moir, Burnaby British Columbia Canada