World Assembly Même page en français Participate Alliance Agenda Alliance Home page Alliance News Proposals Alliance Publications Contacts Socioprofessional Networks Regional Groups Thematic Workshops Continental Meetings
globe logo     Caravan: Newsletter of the Alliance for a Responsible and United World
Number 1 September 1998
postcard depicting caravan arriving at oasis in Middle East/North Africa postcard depicting people in Indian city postcard depicting people in Asian city

bulletThe Alliance in Motion
bulletThe Alliance? As seen by...
bulletOasis of the Alliance
bulletReflections & News
bulletArtists in Alliance
bulletReturn to ALLIANCE LIBRARY

postcard depicting people in Greece/Asia Minor
postcard depicting people in Europe/North America
postcard depicting people in Central America
postcard depicting people in South America


At the end of a lively long-distance debate, the international editorial staff of this new series of the Alliance’s Newsletter has decided to call it Caravan as you have probably noticed at the top of the page. Other interesting names were suggested, but this one seemed to offer an excellent metaphor for the voluntary and collective movement that the Alliance is hoping to be. This word of Persian origin has the advantage of being phonetically similar in many of the major common languages of the contemporary world (English, French, Spanish, Hindi ...). It also has a positive connotation be it in the West, East or elsewhere to such an extent that it has been adopted by the modern world not only to refer to a device that enables the movement of a family--caravan pulled by a motorised vehicle--but also as a manifestation and symbol of collective will: caravans for peace, for human rights etc...

We all know that a caravan brings together people whose aim is to confront collectively and voluntarily the hardships of a journey towards distant horizons. This implies that travellers--most of whom are unkown to each other at the outset--create a common space of responsibility and solidarity. The caravan is like a ship where all the occupants are members of the crew: each one’s actions involve the entire group. The order of placement of each member in the procession implies that each one’s aptitudes are recognised: be it a child, camel driver or guide, each one has his/her place and responsibility. Faced with the demads of the journey, social and cultural differences are effaced. A common language is soon found and assimilated by the participants.

Once the caravan is on the move, it pursues its course untiringly by following the coded language of the elements: wind, sand, stars. Similarly, the partners of the Alliance makes an effort to decipher the principal forces of the contemporary world in order to detect the forces that are bearers of the future of a movement, towards a less hostile and cold environment. The partners of the Alliance do not transport gold or riches but only the wealth that each on carries, a wealth of optimism and questioning.

Hectic activity marks the main stages of the caravan: tents are pitched according to a geometry that represents a particular culture, common affinities or a coincidence of meeting. A break in the journey is but an excuse for exchanges and spontaneous festivities. A dialogue takes place between cultures of the world which are in search of meeting grounds. The caravan is the natural source of cheerfulness and hospitality. New travellers come regularly to join it finding their place here naturally and a greater strength to go ahead.

Such is our Alliance: an adventure with a human dimension, a movement undoubtedly full of difficulties and surprises, but rich in its diversity and hope. May its march be happy and productive.

postcard depicting people in Pacific IslandsPhilippe Guirlet

Return to Top

© 2000 Alliance for a Responsible and United World. All rights reserved. Last updated March 17, 2000.