31 May, 2009

Tuesday June 2 Deadline: Looking for International East/West Peace Facilitators

This looks like a cool opportunity to help promote peace:
Soliya is recruiting skilled volunteers to facilitate its Connect program for the Fall semester 2009. The Connect program intends to bridge the divide between the "West" and the "Arab & Muslim World” by empowering young adults to play a constructive role in creating a more informed, just and peaceful global society.

Through a series of online video conference discussions held between university students from the United States, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, participants will be given the opportunity to collectively address some of the root causes behind the tensions between the "West" and the "Arab and Muslim world."

Role of a Facilitator: As a facilitator you'll mediate these online-discussions intended to promote intercultural awareness and understanding. You will also engage with people from different cultural backgrounds, explore their various opinions, help them to develop a nuanced understanding of the issues that divide them and become part of the bridge.

They are accepting facilitator applications from graduate and masters students, as well as professionals already in the workforce. The deadline was Friday May 30, but they will still consider applications until June 2.

Email to: Sonja Arnold (sonja@soliya.net)

Lots more information on the Soliya website.

14 comments:

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

"Arab & Muslim World”

The fact that they use the term as one showcases the ignorance of this initiative. The "Arab" and "Muslim" worlds are 2 very very different concepts.

Anonymous said...

Then why don't you organize something, ABIT? Slacker.

amazingsusan said...

Yes, of course you are right about them being different concepts.

Perhaps there's an opportunity for you to help them to become less ignorant by becoming involved. I think that's what the objective is, to create bridges by becoming more informed. Maybe you could make the point to them that the a first step would be to make a clear differentiation...?

I went to the website and they seemed to have a good cross section of facilitators of all different nationalities; their religions weren't mentioned I don't think...

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Anonymous said...
Then why don't you organize something, ABIT? Slacker.

1. I am 100% sure that I am more busy than you ever have been. I base this on the fact that for 2 months Ive averaged 3 hours of sleep a night. How much shut eye do you get?

2. I dont believe the east and west can have peace. Both sides are too set in their ways, and so organizing something like this would be stupid (as I just said I dont believe this is possible)

Any other words? perhaps semi intelligent ones? doubtful.

Perhaps there's an opportunity for you to help them to become less ignorant by becoming involved.

Ma'am, I'm pulling 16 or so hour working days these days, you think I have the time?

a group that cant even get those 2 concepts right is a failure already. A pointless exercise in drunken sincerity.

We need more communication the site says. Thats a very dangerous thing. The more westerners and muslims (Ill leave Arabs out of this) know about each other the more they will realize how utterly different they are, and given human history, thats not a good thing.

amazingsusan said...

Hmmmm. Sounds like you're not ideally suited for this type of project ABIT...

Sorry to hear you are working so hard. On the plus side, lucky for you that you have work. Plenty of others don't :(

Even sorrier to hear you don't believe we can achieve peace. More than any other barrier, I think that kind of attitude is the biggest obstacle to achieving understanding and acceptance, which are the cornerstones of peace.

I believe being different is a good thing. Diversity leads to innovation, opportunity, learning and growth. Sameness is boring.

Using your same argument re Arabs and Muslims, I question your use of the term "westerners." There are many westerners who are also Muslim...

I'd like to know more about your belief that knowing more about each other is a bad thing... You say "givin human history," what do you mean? Can you share some examples so I can better understand?

Thanks.
P.S. Please feel free to call me Susan. I'm not much of a "Ma'am" lol

amazingsusan said...

P.S. ABIT,

There are two blog posts I would like to offer you in the spirit of peace:

One is entitled Which Are More Important? Our Similarities? Or Our Differences? You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/mdhrk9

The other is entitled Let's Get Together And Feel All Right. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/lmm4pm

Salaam :)

Lirun said...

i know tons of peace facilitators

hemlock said...

i wonder if anyone has seen 'funky arabs' - an attempt by some 'arab dj' to show the 'world' the 'real face of arabs'

it's vastly amusing. and sad.

unJane said...

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~ Aristotle

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Sorry to hear you are working so hard. On the plus side, lucky for you that you have work. Plenty of others don't :(

True. For that I am thankful.

Funky arabs cant be any worse than "Bait al hiphop" (House of hiphop) as if the crap isnt bad enough without it being in Arabic.

Susan, No, I am totally the wrong person for something like that. PEople have different talents, getting along with people is one of mine. I cant stand my family, you think I can stand strangers doing the hippy thing?

Can you share some examples so I can better understand?

Hitler's whole basis of his wars (well, one of them) was peoples differences. The crusades were others. Hell, even Islam moved rapidly (in part) because of waging war on those who were different.

Knowing others differences means you also start to know their strengths and weaknesses. And as our history is proof of, we are evil little beings that like taking advantage of those things.

Sometimes the differences dont even have to be vast. forget Christians vs. muslims in the crusades. Small differences = civil way in the same place.

Oh, and if Israel being a country isnt proof that what I'm saying is right, then you are blind.

Using your same argument re Arabs and Muslims, I question your use of the term "westerners." There are many westerners who are also Muslim...

No, there are many westerners who CLAIM to be muslim. I believe that the western way of life inherently is devoid of any real deep meaning.

So basically what Im saying is if you are a westerner, you cant really be Muslim, or Jewish, or Christian, or Hindu... A westerner doesnt have that deep capacity anymore.

He/she has a capacity for power, money, whores... but not religion or spirituality.

Proof? my own country, the more "western" it becomes, the less the staples of humanity, family, culture, belief... is important. If that were not true, your rent would be cheaper.

I appreciate you asking though. Not many think this way though it's right there facing them, and for you to even ask other than start name calling (which is what the devoid westerner usually does) kind of makes me sad that you are.

Thats about as close as a nice thing that you'll get out of me. Take care.

unJane said...
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~ Aristotle

Very true. Susan is therefor very educated. (NOT BEING SARCASTIC)

amazingsusan said...

ABIT, thanks for the response and the "as close to a nice thing that you'll get." I'll take that as a compliment. LOL.

Although it sounds like you think there's no hope for me, given that I was born in the West, I fully intend to keep working toward peace and enlightenment :) I may be doomed, but I'm not going to give up without a fight LOL.

I've just read Obama's speech and I'm curious to know what you think of it...?

Also, I have a more personal question. You say you don't get along with people and you can't stand your family. Do you have friends? Is there anyone that you DO like and/or respect?

Al-ain Rose said...

Do you have friends? Is there anyone that you DO like and/or respect?
...
LOL!!
as if he was an alien :D
Thanks for the laugh.
Peace! :)

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Sadly, I do have friends. A few decent ones, most I dont call "friend" but they do me. I try not to answer my phone as often as possible. but they know where I live/work. And just show up to both.

As for respect, I respect you pumkin! Actually, I respect MANY MANY people. You, Susan, Hemlock... and so so so many people in real life, living and dead. I'd say I respect 90% of the people I come across. Most people in my experience warrant respect for various reasons.

Like? No, Not many. But Im also not as arrogant as to believe that those I dont like give a damn about what I think of them.

Susan, I didnt listen to Obama's speech. I was at work. And I really didnt care, because I'm sure it was a mix of a bunch of crap we've heard before, but spoken in better english.

I actually dislike him more now, if that was even possible. The fact that he thinks he and his pitiful 200 something year old country can "change" anything is beyond arrogant.

unJane said...

@ ABIT - if you believe that Obama's 'pitiful 200 something year old country' can change the world for the worse, then logic would dictate that it can also change it for the better.

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