Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Visits Israel, Addresses 2nd Israeli Presidential Conference

published on October 26, 2009

Jerusalem, 22nd October 2009: Art of Living Founder and spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, yesterday addressed the second annual Israeli Presidential Conference as part of his four-day visit to the nation. “The youth need a vision and a mission to resolve the conflict in the region, and I am optimistic that patience and perseverance will bring peace,” he said during his address.

The conference, titled ‘Facing Tomorrow’, brought together leaders from across the world to discuss urgent issues on the global agenda, including instability in the Middle East, the economic crisis, environmental degradation and Iran’s push to acquire nuclear weapons. The conference was inaugurated by Israeli President Shimon Peres, and began with a video message from President Barack Obama. Also present were Prime Minister Netanyahu, Tony Blair, and US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, among others.

Sri Sri’s brand of yoga and meditation found great appeal among the Israelis. Israel’s TV & Radio 2 stated, “No doubt, the most colourful and interesting talk was given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar”.

During the visit, Sri Sri also addressed students at the Hebrew University, members of the Business Forum at Tel Aviv University, and religious leaders in Jerusalem. He met with participants of the Art of Living Foundation’s breathing and meditation workshop in Jerusalem. Sri Sri is scheduled to visit Palestine later this week and meet with leaders there.

At Tel Aviv University, Sri Sri threw light on issues ranging from peace, terrorism, business ethics, and problems among youth. He said, “Peace is not just an absence of conflict; it is a positive inner emotion. Peace and prosperity go together. If there is peace, there is more prosperity. The entire world wants to see peace in the Middle East.”

Sri Sri last visited Israel in 2003, bringing his message of peace and non-violence and meeting with religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze communities. His Art of Living Foundation has been working in the troubled region since 2003, conducting trauma relief programmes for men, women and children in various regions, including the Gaza Strip, the West Bank area, Jerusalem, Tulkarem, Haifa and Sderot.

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