A peace museum is a place where peace is given a space to grow, and visitors can learn about alternatives to the culture of war and violence.
Some people may think it would be unlikely that you would find a peace museum in Tehran, Iran, but they would be wrong.
Tehran is home to a thriving new peace museum with special exhibits on the evils of weapons of mass destruction, especially chemical weapons since Iranians know first hand the horror of their use. During the Iran - Iraq War Saddam Hussein directed his military to use chemical weapons against military and civilian targets in Iran causing horrible suffering and deaths to men, women and children.
It was my honour, because of my position as director of the Dayton International Peace Museum and executive board member of the International Network of Museums for Peace, to be included in the planning of the Tehran Peace Museum.
Children in the Dayton, Ohio area sent peace greetings and peace art to the people of Iran, which have been shared with Iranians through the Tehran Peace Museum.
After two wonderful trips to Iran I have returned with beautiful messages of peace and friendship from children in Iran to share with museum visitors and people who have attended my talks on Iran.
The Tehran Peace Museum was recently given a larger building in central Tehran by the city government so that more people would have access to the museum.
In the future we hope to share exhibits between our institutions and continue a productive working relationship towards our common goal of peace.
Peace is possible, but not through threats and violence. Education, communication and open minds create the opportunities for peace in the world.