Photograph above, taken in Cochin, Kerala, India: A mosque, synagogue and Hindu temple next to each other.
“But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. And if it is cast out there, then no act, no pact, no treaty, no organization can hope to preserve it…So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people.” John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
The ICfC welcomes two new Global Fellows
The ICfC is very honored to announce the appointment of two old long time friends, trainees and trainers to the position of new Global Fellows: Sangeeta Isvaran of Chennai, India and Oded Adomi of Tel Aviv, Israel
Sangeeta Isvaran, a frequent participant in our workshops on three continents, studied Mathematics and Sanskrit in her native town of Chennai, India. She then decided to seek training in classical Indian dance. She holds a master degree of Performing Arts in Dance. Using the traditional technique of her performing arts she has developed a unique method working with the arts in cultural diplomacy, therapy, education, empowerment and conflict resolution in some of the poorest and war-torn places in the world. For this work she was honored with some of the highest national and international awards. She spends part of each year offering dance recitals at the most prestigious performance centers in the Western world and devotes the revenues supporting her work of healing and empowerment for the vulnerable and the victimized, marginalized communities across the world, such as sex workers, street children, indigenous communities, landmine victims, victims of caste and religious conflict and so on elsewhere. She is able to annotate and elaborate upon her intricate dance movements, communicating effectively, as she does in seven languages. Click here for a personal message from Sangeeta.
Oded Leshem Adomi, with degrees in and professional experience in documentary filmmaking, coordinated ICfC work with Ossim Shalom in developing communal cooperation between Israeli Jews and Israeli minority members in 2009-2011. His successes have encouraged him to do advanced work in conflict resolution at Tel Aviv University. He continues to advise us in our work to foster cooperation between Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian scientists, engineers, and environmentalists, in their research, policy planning, and lifesaving efforts to organize hazard risk planning and mobilization for cross border emergencies and cross border interventions. Click here for a personal message from Oded.
ICfC’s New Involvement in Indonesia
The ICfC will be involved in a project to stop Christian-Muslim violence on the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. This project is initiated by new ICfC Global Fellow, Sangeeta Isvaran, using her well developed methods for using art in conflict resolution and ICfC methods for dealing with pained memory. LAIM (Maluku Interfaith Association) will be the host and local organization in Maluku. The organization has significant accomplishments in the peace process and continues to work with young leaders among the different communities.
Maluku is a province in the South-east of Indonesia, also known as the Spice Islands. This part of Indonesia was torn apart by inter-communal violence between Christians and Muslims resulting in ethnic genocide, mass displacement of people and ghettoization of the communities. The conflict escalated to incredible levels between 1999 and 2004.
The program called ‘Art for Peace’ will use the power of different forms of art to create a common ground for the communities in conflict. The work reflects on local tensions and aims to create opportunities for the different communities to work together and learn about and from each other. It will also provide a regional base for leaders and trainers who will be effective in other parts of Indonesia supporting principled commitments to pluralism in this multi-ethnic vast and diverse country. More information about this new involvement will follow soon. Click here for a personal message from Sangeeta Isvaran.
DeadSeaNet in Progress:
ON THE EDGE OF LONG STANDING CONFLICT AND IN THE EYE OF THE EVER POWERFUL STORM
In partnership with the Physics and Geophysics and Planetary Science Departments of Tel Aviv University and leaders from different religious and ethnic backgrounds from around the world, ICfC is helping to contribute to the effectiveness of a trans-state project in the natural disaster and conflict prone Middle East. For over a decade, the ICfC has trained leaders to foster cooperation and community development in areas around the world torn asunder, where identity and interest based conflicts, pained memories and the lost opportunities from these intractable conflicts lead to more violence, displacement and instability. Beginning August, 2012, the ICfC will conceptualize and organize the ongoing workshops and trainings for the scientists and environmentalists, the educators and youth leaders, the policy planners and officials involved in the work of this new network.
Our partnership is bringing together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli scientists and environmentalists. These scientists are sharing their ideas and research orientations and joining in the use of the most advanced technologies to foster cooperation and understanding to assure sustainable development for the unique Dead Sea Ecosystem, its inhabitants and beyond. Our new platform is called DeadSeaNet.
DeadSeaNet will quickly be recognized as a good example of “21st Century Statecraft,” notes Professor Gilles Hillel Wust-Bloch, founder of DeadSeaNet and Professor of Seismology of Tel Aviv University. “This will be launched in a region of the world that is better known for its tribalism and intractable conflict, our supporters note with no small measure of optimism. We are proud to be joined in this challenging endeavor by the International Center for Conciliation, with its experience, its humanistic and culturally sensitive approaches.”
We and our partner organizations hope to build on the platform of scientific research, education, and policy analysis “Cultures of Peace and Productivity.” We will train leaders of different ages and from different backgrounds. In our cross-border work and in extending our partnerships to universities, corporations and governments, we will develop, procure and distribute the technologies, trainings and experiences that foster professional and civic cooperation. Ultimately, we will strengthen practices and policies that save lives.
Click here for more information and stay tuned for more details…
Recognition of ICfC’s work by US State Department Middle East Partnership Initative
ICfC has been selected by the Department of State’s Middle East Partnerships Initiative (MEPI) as a pre-identified partner for potential future, discrete funding opportunities, under the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA). ICfC is now part of a small group of NGO’s who are eligible to receive special invitations from the NEA for funding in the next four years!
ICfC Dr. President Hillel Levine reflects on the 10th anniversary of 9/11: