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- BlogTue, 28 Feb 2017Fighting Female Genital Mutilation
In 2012, the United Nations (UN) designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The day is observed to raise awareness of the issue and to encourage concrete action against the practice. For readers who’ve never heard of this inhumane and harmful practice—FGM involves... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogWed, 22 Feb 2017Three Days in Damascus
Sometimes you have an experience that changes your life. You don’t expect it. You don’t ask for and you certainly don’t plan for it, but it happens. And that is exactly what happened to me in 2009. As part of their Iraqi Voices Amplification Project, Intersections International invited me to join seven other artists as... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogMon, 13 Feb 2017Islamophobia: An Attack on American Democracy
In the wake of President Trump's executive order banning the entry of Muslims from seven different Muslim majority countries, the country has witnessed some of its largest protests in recent history. There have been incredible displays of support for individuals and families affected by this hastily implemented policy. The scenes of... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogThu, 19 Jan 20171000 Days and Still Missing: When Will our...
January 8th, 2017 marked 1,000 days since 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from school by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Some of them have since been released while others managed to escape—but 195 girls still remain in captivity. The ill-fate of the Chibok schoolgirls has come to symbolize the horror of Boko Haram’s rise and bloody... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogMon, 9 Jan 2017Stateless Rohingya: The Power to Protect or Deny...
What sets us humans apart from other living organisms is humanity, compassion and intelligence. Although one look at the news and we realize the world we live in today seems to lack the very aspects that make us unique. Earlier this week, I came across a video showing Burmese police officers lining up villagers in rows, beating and... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogMon, 15 Aug 2016An Incident in New York With Global Implications
On Saturday afternoon, Imam Maulama Akonjee and his associate Thara Uddin were walking home from prayers at the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid when they were gunned down execution style. This tragic, senseless act cannot go unaddressed by those who care about the fabric of our city. Indeed, the interfaith community in New York City has responded... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogWed, 16 Mar 2016Pakistan and the US, Not So Different
Last week some of my UPIC colleagues and I gave a “briefing” at the State Department about our recent trip to Pakistan. At the briefing, I had an exchange with a State Department official who had recently returned to Pakistan. “Are you hopeful?” he asked. “Indeed, I am,” I responded and then recounted... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogMon, 7 Mar 2016Of Shalom and Salaam
The following article appeared in the March 4, 2016 edition of Pakistan’s online paper, The Friday Times... “The Jewish community in Pakistan is almost non-existent and often lives in secrecy out of fear of anti-Semitic violence. But last month, an audience in Lahore packed into a room to hear a talk from Rabbi Reuven... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogTue, 23 Feb 20162016 UPIC Pakistan Trip: Returning from Pakistan
A week ago, I awoke before dawn to the local Imam’s call to the Fajr, or morning prayer common throughout the Muslim majority world. I was in Pakistan, reflecting on how our UPIC (US-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium) effort has grown over the four years since our first trip to Oman. I felt both gratitude and humility for the... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking
- BlogTue, 16 Feb 2016Aahang: The Sublime Music of Pakistan
The Urdu word aahang (aahung) could be translated in English simply as “melody” (a word I quite like). But as explained to our UPIC group by LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) student Monahil, aahang is a tightly knit ensemble producing beautiful music, but if even one instrument is missing, the song becomes... more...Filters: Global Peacemaking