Joan Baez’s visit to UNIS inspires students, teachers and parents

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Joan Baez visited UNIS on 3rd of April. For her visit, the whole school had a special assembly arranged for one hour, held in the UNIS Sports Center. Not only students and teachers, crowds of parents stood on the second floor of the sports center for hours, just to see the famous Joan Baez.

Joan Baez might not be that familiar to our generation, because she was most active during our parent’s age, during the Vietnam War. She is a Pacifist; someone who opposes to violence and war. She is also a famous American Fold signer known for her peace activism. She especially participated in the anti-war movement for the Vietnam – American War, which is why she visited Hanoi.

At first, as an introduction of the assembly, a few Vietnamese singers performed, singing one of Joan Baez’s songs. The crowd cheered, and Joan Baez herself looked proud and happy too. After, Joan Baez was led up onto stage and she started talking about her life as a Pacifist. She talked about how her family liked peace, and also talked about her first visit to Vietnam. She told us a memorable story of how she encountered bombing, and she had to hide in the shelter with other people for hours, and how she sang for them, to calm them down from panic, even though she herself was suffering from it. She also answered some of the questions from one student from each grade as a representative. One quote that melted the heart of the audience is when she answered the question, the stage where she felt most connected with the audience; “you mean right now?”

To conclude the assembly, Dr. Barder and Joan Baez sang “Stand by me” together. The grade 8 choir sang along with them. It was a wonderful assembly, and also a very meaningful one, for all students, teachers and parents.

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