Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

November 01, 2006

Former Hostage in Iraq to Speak During Peace Week

A Canadian who was held hostage in Iraq for four months and a Holocaust survivor will share their stories during the University of Guelph’s Peace Week activities Nov. 6 to 10.

Peace by Piece Week is an initiative of staff and students, with representations from a number of on-campus organizations, whose goal is to create community dialogue and understanding of issues of peace-making.

James Loney, a 42-year-old community worker from Toronto who was held hostage in Iraq last year, will speak Nov. 10 at 12 noon in Peter Clark Hall. Loney was in Iraq representing the humanitarian group Christian Peacemaker Teams when he was abducted at gunpoint on Nov. 26, 2005, along with three of his colleagues.

The kidnappers threatened to kill Loney and his colleagues unless the U.S. released all Iraqi detainees by Dec. 8. The hostages later appeared in a video released by kidnappers Jan. 28 to again demand the release of Iraqi prisoners. In March 2006, one of Loney’s colleagues’ tortured body was found in Baghdad. Later that month, Loney, and his two friends were rescued by a special team of coalition troops that included Canadian forces who returned Loney home on March 26, 2006.

On Nov. 6, a multi-faith peace celebration focusing on teachings from many of the world’s religions begins at 6 p.m. in Room 553 of the University Centre.

On Nov. 7, a meditation for peace will take place at 1 p.m. in Room 533 of the University Centre. At 7 p.m., a film called Uganda Rising will be shown, with an introduction by GuluWalk co-founder Adrian Bradbury in Room 1307 of the Thornborough Building. Last year's GuluWalk raised $500K worlwide and brought international attention to the plight of children in the Ugandan Civil War.

Bradbury was named one of Maclean's "newsmakers of the year" in 2005 and was among the first of six Canadians to be awarded 2006 Global Youth Fellowships by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

On Nov. 8, "Discussion on Peace: A Dialogue," will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Room 232 of the MacKinnon Building. At 7:30 p.m., a hate crime vigil will be held in the Grad Lounge. Habitat for Humanity will be hosting an open stage from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Bullring.

John Dear, an anti-war activist and priest, will speak on “The Wisdom of Nonviolence” Nov. 9 at 12 noon in Peter Clark Hall. Dear is the author of approximately twenty books on non-violence, including Living Peace and Peace Behind Bars: A Journal from Jail. In the course of his civil disobedience against war, Dear has been arrested more than 75 times. He was incarcerated for eight months for participating in a disarmament protest and, as a result, lost his voting rights, is prohibited from travelling to certain countries, and is subjected to increased scrutiny at airports.

At 7 p.m. Nov. 9, Holocaust survivor Max Eisen will speak in Room 103 of the University Centre. Eisen's talk is sponsored by the campus Jewish Students’ Organization as part of Holocaust Awareness Week.

On Nov. 10, a Peace Fair, with displays in information in the University Centre courtyard will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The University of Guelph’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony is Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. in War Memorial Hall. The service will be broadcast on TV monitors in Centre Six. Parking is available in P23, P24 or P44.

For more information, visit the Peace Week website.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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