Oscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican independence activist, serving prison time since 1981. Rivera was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico on January 6, 1943, which is a holiday in Puerto Rico, but he wasn’t registered until January 8th, 1943. “I was five years old when I started school. By the time I started school my sister Clary had taught me how to write my name and the numbers from one to ten. She had also forced me to learn to write with my right hand although I was left handed. I was the youngest and the smartest kid when I started school but I had the habit of sneaking out of the classroom to go with my second cousin to the river. That’s how I learned to swim when I was five. I always stayed ahead of my classmates because my sister treated me as her student. In school I was full of mischief, fights, and pranks. During all the years I was in school in Puerto Rico I never stopped being me—an honor student with a bad boy attitude.”
Jaber is a Palestinian refugee, in the Gaza Strip and one of the most truly remarkable people I have ever encountered. I first got to know him in 2004 when I moved to Gaza. His story, in many ways, is a typical Palestinian one. His mother and father were refugees from Palestine, fleeing in the 1948 war. Jaber was educated in the refugee camps, after his graduation, he worked as a physics teacher of physics teacher in Cairo. He later became active in leftist political struggles in both Palestine and Egypt.
Bassam Aramin is a Palestinian peace activist and president of the Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue.  He was a former Fatah militant imprisoned for seven years for an attack on an Israeli Army jeep. His 10-year-old daughter, Abir, was killed on January 16, 2007, by an Israeli soldier on her way home from school. However, Aramin did not want revenge; all he asked for was justice.
One of the most notable leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement and the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. Right from youth, Lewis subscribed to the philosophy, which considered suffering as redemptive.
Vaclav Havel was a dissident playwright, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic. According to Iva K. Naffziger, “He led his country from the defeat of communism in 1989, to its first free elections in 1990, to its economic revival, and to its reincorporation into the international community—into NATO and soon the EU.”
Nguyen Van Thuan was born into a prominent Vietnamese family with a long Catholic tradition. His relatives were among the Vietnamese martyrs since l698, including the assassinated Vietnam leader, President Diem. Father Van Thuan had premonition that he would suffer martyrdom just like his relatives, therefore his arrest and imprisonment by the communist regime did not come as a surprise. However, while Thuan was in prison, his jailers asked him why he was usually so happy and he replied, ”Because I have faith in my God.” Father Van Thuan was appointed the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and was subsequently elevated to Cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.