Last week, a universal and visual tribute to peace -a sculpture called a “Tree of Peace” – was unveiled at perhaps an unlikely location: the School of Dentistry and Oral Health on the campus of A. T. Still University (ATSU) in Mesa, AZ. The bronze sculpture symbolizes how health care, and specifically dental heath, can be a bridge to world peace.
This sculpture is by Hevda Ser, a French artist who began the Tree of Peace odyssey with her first such piece in Jerusalem in 2008 (click on Sculptures, then Outdoor art/Peace Tree). It is on permanent display outdoors at the Hebrew University School of Dental Medicine, and symbolizes the peaceful, pioneering partnership between Israeli and Palestinian dental students at Hebrew University and Al-Quds University, both of which are located in Jerusalem, Israel. The vision was born from a first-ever meeting of 1,000 dentists from 13 countries who met in Jerusalem for an international conference in 1997.
On May 26, the Mesa campus of ATSU hosted the dedication event, attended by ATSU-ASDOH Dean Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., Dr. Adam Stabholz, dean of the Faculty of Dental Medicine at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Dr. Amid Ismail, dean of the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. “We want to produce leaders in communities, and on the way teach them to be great doctors,” said Dr. Dillenberg. “Part of that is a global sense of peace and understanding that this tree represents. Every day when students walk by, this is reinforced.”
What an awesome thought – let’s hope the Tree takes root and spreads.