On September 11, 2001, my nephew, Mitch Wallace, was murdered by terrorists in the World Trade Center. I chose to respond to this loss by working for more peaceful tomorrows. 121Contact connects high school students and teachers in the U.S. with their peers in Iraq. The goal is simple: encourage children to get to know each other and they will be less inclined to create war with each other.
The results? We are becoming friends. Children in Baghdad now understand that not all Americans hate Iraqis. Children in America now see Iraqi students as human beings, suffering in the chaos of war, but strong of spirit and hope. We are learning a lot about each other and our respective cultures. When we hear about bombs and bullets on the streets of Iraqi cities, we can no longer change the channel. We are now deeply involved because we have friends there.
In March 2004, Ulema, a 13 year-old Baghdad student, asked us,