I could never image that Belfast has so many histories before until I heard the history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland 20 years ago. From the end of the 1960s to the end of the 1990s, the conflict between Northern Irish sectarians rose one after another and terrorist incidents continued one after another. It was not until 1994 that the Irish Republican Army, the Northern Ireland Catholics’ armed forces, declared a ceasefire. In 1998, when the Northern Ireland peace agreement was signed, Northern Ireland gradually entered the peace process.
And the symbol of these conflicts in Belfast, I believe is the Peace Wall. It was built by British Army in order to isolate Catholics and Protestant settlements and reduce paramilitary conflicts between the parties. Although the Belfast Agreement has been signed long times ago, the height of this wall still increasing. Different political tendencies and religious beliefs divide the people in both sides of wall to the two worlds. They are so close to each other but it seems complete two different worlds. I can see the British Flags in people’s house and the supportive slogan of UK government supporters. On the other side, Irish Flags are everywhere. People in different sides even pick their position in Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This scene reminds me of the Berlin Wall, where they also had a wall to divide people in different opinions. Yet, the Berlin Wall is not exist now, the Peace Wall in Belfast is still here.
There is also a tradition that people who visit this wall could write something on it. Therefore, with my sincere wish of our world, I wrote “世界和平” on it, which mean “World Peace” in Chinese. It was just a simple wish, but it is hard to fulfill it.