Avinashilingam University For Women, Coimbatore, India
As an international writer and educationist I was in India to take part in Jaipur and Kerala literature festival and on a 5 city tour.
In Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu I was hosted by the Chancellor of the Avinashilingam Women University, Dr Krishna Kumar and in Kerala by Vice Chancellor- Dr. Jayakumar, both well respected and achieving men in their fields.
I was warmly welcomed. In my role as a peace activist and Chair of Faith Network 4 Manchester, and executive member of Muslim Jewish Forum & We Stand Together I assiduously promoted messages of peace, using FFEU banner with its logo, ‘Spread Hummus Not Hate.’
I found the students so engaging, and asked lots of questions. Staff, students, Heads of departments, chancellors and Vice-Chancellors enthusiastically took to the messages of peace & harmony, and happily posed with the peace banner with me.
Quote from Dr Christina Rebecca, Head of English, Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
“There will be no peace among the nations without peace among religions and no peace among the religions without dialog”- Fr Hans Kung
A Confluence of Values, Ideals and Quest for Equality- the phrase best describes Qaisra Shahraz’s visit to Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore. Since its inception in 1957, the university has been striving hard to provide inclusive education to women, driving in its ideals of solidarity and harmony in a world that is growing increasingly diverse each day. With her message “Spread Hummus, Not Hate”, Qaisra’s talk on how interfaith amity is the key to a peaceful world reinforced the values inculcated in and upheld by the young women of the university. Ironically, faith that ought to bind people together is leading to wars and strife in today’s world- a chasm that can only be bridged through dialogue between cultures and faiths. The issues addressed by Qaisra included battling religious extremism, responsible freedom of speech and a healthy interaction between cultures. The importance of adhering to the age-old adage- Love thy neighbor was repeatedly accentuated through vivid descriptions of her travels around the world spreading the message of peace, reading of extracts from her socially relevant novels and an audience interaction which addressed issues of religious and social harmony. The collaboration between the university and a messenger of goodwill such as Qaisra is sure to open up a path towards understanding humanity and being humane.
7th February 2017
Dr Christina Rebecca, Head of English, Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
“Mrs. Qaisra Shahraz, a prominent and award winning writer, social speaker cum activist, visited our Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women premises on 30 Jan to Inaugurate English Literary Association 2017 with the presence of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Dean of Humanities, HOD i/c, Dept of English and all students and Scholars of English.
Her summation of her books and response world-wide was simply astounding. Moreover, a strong message on ‘Spread Hummus and not Hate’ had a very touching and emotional response, which carried forward a meaningful take back home, listening to her. A queries session followed by a short autograph session was heart warming. This beautiful get together had an elegant end with an enthusiastic photograph session. This was a great meet with wishes for another wonderful comeback” – Pearline Priscilla. D, PhD Research Scholar in English