Waging Peace: The Carter Center, The Old Globe and an Extraordinary Day in San Diego

Camp David old globe

The Old Globe Camp David Program

Jimmy Carter is one of my heroes.

Theater has long been my passion.

So when an invitation arrived to attend a west coast premiere of Camp David at The Old Globe theatre in San Diego, I pounced. The program exceeded my expectations and left me feeling hopeful for our troubled world.

The Carter Center

Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter,  the Atlanta-based Carter Center has helped to improve the quality of life for people in more than 70 countries. The Center, in partnership with Emory University, is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering.

Our Weekend

We gathered at The Old Globe for a luncheon and a presentation by Hrair Balian. Balian is the Director of the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center.

carter center Hrair Balian

Hrair Balian, The Carter Center

I could have listened to him speak all day. His presentation was brief, but informative, touching on many subjects that I would like to learn more about.  I was able to appreciate all of the Center’s efforts towards peace. In conversations about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), The Carter Center involvement includes:

  • Relations with all, across multiple divides
  • Involvement of women, siting UN Security Council Resolution 1325
  • Factual conflict analysis
  • Coordination with the UN
  • Peaceful transition for Syria

and more. We were able to chat with Mr. Balian before lunch and sat with him during the play, which we loved.

The Old Globe, San Diego

Waiting for the start of Camp David at The Old Globe

Camp David received a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd. Playwright Lawrence Wright is also an awarding winning journalist. His thorough research, including access to the Carters, led him to add Rosalynn Carter as the fourth character in the play. Rosalynn Carter is a powerful force in her own right, advocating for mental health care around the globe.

Conversations with Playwright Larry Wright

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, author and playwright Lawrence Wright wrote the play, Camp David, and a follow-up book called Thirteen Days in September Days. It chronicles the thirteen days at Camp David that led to a peace accord between Israel and Egypt, facilitated by the President Carter. Peace between those two countries remains thirty years later.

Wright spoke with us after the play, and we joined in a question and answer session; also far too brief. What a fascinating man. They hope to bring Camp David to Broadway in the near future.

Special thanks to Seema Shams and Marian Dickson of The Carter Center

If you’re interested in learning more, here are a few links:

Here are a few snapshots from the rest of our weekend. We walked along the Shelter Island harbor, ate dinner near Balboa Park, and enjoyed an outdoor breakfast at our hotel.

19 thoughts on “Waging Peace: The Carter Center, The Old Globe and an Extraordinary Day in San Diego

  1. On another blog this past Memorial Weekend, we were discussing the idea that peace is more than the absence of war; peace needs constant attention, and dedication. I love how your post shows different aspects of peace making and peace keeping. And how we can all contribute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can all contribute! That sounds like a great thread, Ann. One thought articulated by one of our Carter Center hosts is that we can’t go in as a western power and force (or enforce) our will. Everyone needs to come to the table, men and women, warring factions, and gradually,working together, come to a middle ground. It was said that we “make peace with our enemies, not with our friends.” Words to live by, eh?

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  2. How wonderful! Jimmy Carter is one of the greats – he has become the best ex-president ever and his work has touched millions of lives. I would love to see the play “Camp David” if the opportunity arises. Thanks for sharing the links and what a great outing for you.

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    • Exactly! I have so much respect and admiration for this man, and for Roslynn Carter as well. She’s equally amazing, but gets so much less press. They are a great team, married so many years and dedicated their lives to service.

      It was a great outing. I hope Camp David makes it’s way to your neighborhood.

      I’ve just read, ironically, that it started in DC which would have been perfect for you, but they hope to launch on Broadway next season. Here’s the article: http://variety.com/2015/legit/news/camp-david-broadway-1201528503/

      Thanks for your comments and interest.

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  3. I agree 100% about Carter and his amazing legacy! What a wonderful chance you had to experience this play and talk to the author. And, really the whole weekend looks terrific–you packed a lot in! My favorite photo, though, is the giggling selfie! SO sweet!

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    • Kerry, it was wonderful! I’ve thought about it a lot since returning home, even with my busier than average schedule. They sent home a number of articles to read as well, so I’ve worked my way through them and have learned even more. There is so much good work being done. It’s truly heartening.

      I’m glad you liked the giggling selfie. Aren’t we silly?

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  4. This weekend was tailor made for you, Alys. Isn’t it wonderful to attend something that gives us ideas to think about and study further? I’m also very happy that you and Mike had a getaway.

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    • Thank you, ME! It really did feel tailor made. I don’t think I even fully realized that till we were there.

      It’s wonderful to get away with Mike, even for a day. I wish that possibility existed for you, too.

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  5. Alys that looks like a great weekend away! I’m so glad you and Mike get to take these times together and to participate in something so worthwhile is simply wonderful!! Any programme that has the by-line ‘waging peace’ would grab my attention! I am so happy to see that it grabbed yours too. I have taken time out from the world contemplating this very thing and am coming back even more committed to ensuring my life, my actions and my words are committed to peace. it’s a challenge 🙂 There will be an email to you later today. xoxo

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    • Pauline, I think it’s mindful of you to take time and contemplate the nature of peace in our world. I endured lots of criticism in my youth for identifying as a pacifist and for objecting to the goals of the NRA. It was wonderful spending even this short amount of time with others who are like-minded *and* doing something about it. When I learned that women, even in Syria, are spending time working towards the goals for peace my heart lifted. We’re half the world’s population. We need a voice. It’s wonderful to see that being facilitated.

      As for time away with Mike, it’s been wonderful. Young boys become young men; we now have more opportunities to take advantage of events like this when they come along.

      I hope to meet Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter in person one day. That would be extraordinary.

      I will look forward to your email.

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  6. I am so happy you and hubby were able to go and see this together. You already knew my thoughts on the former President and wife, Roslynn. They seem to do their best work without fanfare. If only we could have more people like that in the world. Thank you for going and sharing this experience with the rest of us. Much appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marlene, agreed, on all fronts. Part of the joy of this weekend was realizing that there are amazing people out there making a difference. They’re quietly and steadfastly getting things done. The reward isn’t in the headlines but in the quality of the improvements to every day lives, be it health or peace or social fairness and equality. It was heartening.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m floating around Nirvana this AM and I know I left a message here but now I don’t see it. Well….I insist on ‘another’ message since I can’t let WP run things, LOL.
    What a fantastic opportunity! It’s really wonderful to be re-energized by the good deeds of the silent majority. Do you feel like, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I suppose the loud, bombastic and offensive types make for more dramatic television, so that’s the lead story. But it’s far more comforting to know these things go on without fanfare and fireworks. Congratulations for receiving an invite to such a prestigious event. How nice that the event was held in a gorgeous location, close to home. You both are looking great and it makes me giggle to see you always so lovey dovey……I don’t know why. It’s like I’m 12 and in my mind I hear, “Alys has a boyfriend”…snort. As always, you’re an inspiration. xox K

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    • Don’t you hate that? I’ve left lengthy messages before, then watch them evaporate into the ether. Its frustrating, isn’t it? Thanks for taking the time to write another comment.

      Loud and bombastic sells “papers” but the real work happens quietly. I believe in diplomacy. It just takes time.

      Sometimes I feel like I’m 12 when taking a selfie. There is something so silly about it. Do you remember all the hilarious ones we took at Santana Row on your last visit? Oh my gosh that was fun.

      Thanks for visiting and for making me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The day is easy breezy when you can be silly. I’m actually not sure I’ve seen the Santana row photo’s have I? Were we in ‘The Container’ store? Or perhaps one of the other fun stops that day. I have photo’s from the house at the old Orchard, and a couple from the cool clothes store where I bought a dress and wore it out of the store, ha. That was a yummy pasta place that night too. I’m up late attempting to catch up. Deb and I visited the last two evenings so that was fun. I’m doing more gardening tomorrow, how about you? xo K

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