By Paulo Coelho
To the one who understood her task and her purpose.
To the one who looked at the road ahead, and understood that it was a difficult journey.
To the one who did not make light of those difficulties,
but, on the contrary, made them manifest and visible.
To the one who makes the lonely feel they are not alone,
who satisfies those who hunger and thirst for justice, who makes the oppressor feel as bad as the oppressed.
To the one who always keeps her door open,
her ears listening, her hands working, her feet walking.
To the one who embodies the verses of another Persian poet,
Hafez, when he says: Not even seven thousand years of joy are worth seven days of sadness.
To the one who is here tonight, may she be one with all of us,
may her example multiply, may she still have difficult days ahead,
so that she can do whatever she needs to do,
so that the next generations will not have to strive
for what has already been accomplished.
And may she walk slowly,
because her peace is the peace of change,
and chage, real change, always takes time.
(Message from Paulo Coelho to honour Shirin Ebadi at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, Oslo, December 11th 2003).
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