A Platform for Peace in Pyla
Münise Beyaz and Marianne Sophocleous are two members of the Pyla Bi-Communal Women’s Initiative which came to life in 2018. The brainchild of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women who live in harmony in the bicommunal village, Pyla, within the UN-administered Buffer Zone, the Initiative brings the two communities together through regular activities and events across Cyprus, such as excursions for the elderly, social gatherings and youth-oriented activities.
“In Pyla, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have lived side-by-side for decades but the stresses of modern life resulted in us not getting together often enough,” reveals Ms. Beyaz. “Therefore, we decided that if we want to live together as one community we must do things that demonstrate care, attention and respect for each other.”
“The Initiative aims to constantly make sure that the people of Pyla have a platform to come together around activities that are both enjoyable and reaffirm our commitment to peaceful coexistence. I am very glad that the men in our families and in the village are very supportive of us,” says Ms. Sophocleous.
“A rising tide makes everything rise with it and that is our dream for the Initiative – for it to rise to great heights and be a model for a unified future for this island. In unity there is always strength,” she adds.