White hydrangeas

In 1998, a British-Lebanese woman, Alexandra Asseily, had an idea.  Her country of Lebanon had suffered from years of civil war, and now her city needed a place for people where people of different beliefs could gather together in peace.  Other people agreed with her. And so in the middle of Beruit, surrounded by three mosques and three cathedrals, a garden was built. Known as Hadiqat As-Samah in Arabic and The Garden of Forgiveness in English, this garden has become a reminder that revenge will never bring peace. Only when people forgive will there be lasting peace.

Author Lauren Thompson and illustrator Christy Hale have created a beautiful picture book inspired by this garden. 

The Forgiveness Garden

“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” – Aristotle, Greek philosopher


“…and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.” – Ruskin Bond, Indian author of over 30 children’s books

A Child's Garden

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” – Gertrude Jekyll, English gardener.


Learn to forgive: HERE

Foreman, Michael. A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2009.
Halperin, Wendy Anderson. Peace. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013.
Thompson, Lauren. The Forgiveness Garden. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2012.
Tutu, Desmond. Desmond and the Very Mean Word: A Story of Forgiveness. Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, c2013..




Print Friendly, PDF & Email