April 2016 Chapters Update
➜ On April 16th, the Seattle Chapter hosted four Fulbright Scholars from Jordan, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Israel for a memorable evening of good food and conversation. Each Chapter member brought a potluck dish to share, and the guests offered insight into their respective countries and backgrounds. The students were very open and honest, which made for a lively discussion surrounding topical issues. They parted ways with handshakes and hugs, and received very positive feedback from the World Affairs Council for hosting the students. Everyone left feeling grateful for the opportunity and with further food for thought!➜ The Redding Chapter was actively involved in the Whole Earth and Watershed Festival on April 23-24. They co-sponsored a talk by TH Culhane, the 2014 Euphrates Visionary of the Year and a leader in renewable energy innovation. Culhane is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and founder of Solar CITIES, an organization that works around the world to provide sustainable energy solutions to impoverished communities. At the festival, he also demonstrated how a homemade biodigester works, which produces fuel from organic waste. The Chapter had another opportunity to meet and talk with TH Culhane at a potluck the following day.➜ The Dallas Chapter recently enjoyed meeting for a tasty meal at Afrah’s Mediterranean Restaurant and held their final discussion after reading The Lemon Tree. They are continuing to prepare for the National Day of Prayer luncheon on May 5th, sponsored by the Thanks-Giving Square Foundation, where Janessa Gans Wilder will be the keynote speaker.➜ The St. Louis Chapter organized an inspiring event, Transforming our Sense of “The Other” on April 26th. They watched a brief video about Euphrates Visionary of the Year, Sami Awad, a Palestinian Christian who describes what motivates him to love “the other.” He has done groundbreaking work connecting citizens in Israel and Palestine for grassroots friendship-building. This was followed by a talk and discussion led by Sanford Wilder, CEO of Educare Unlearning Institute.➜ At the beginning of the month, the Principia Chapter hosted an event where students read monologues depicting stories of a few Syrian refugees. It was powerful, informative, and lead to some great discussions. On April 15th, Principia hosted a talk called, Change in the Middle East: Bottom up AND top down? It was a moderated discussion with Janessa Gans Wilder, Founder and CEO of Euphrates Institute, and Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne, one of the nation’s most senior diplomats. Each speaker shared their first-hand experiences in the Middle East, stories of success and failure, and of societal change.➜ The Hebron Chapter leader attended an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that brought together several organizations including Volunteering for Peace, United Religion Initiative MENA, and Euro-Med Youth Program. He met with Muslims, Indians, Chinese, Christians, and people of other diverse backgrounds, and witnessed interfaith in action. The project was designed to empower youth and enhance their understanding and acceptation of socio-cultural differences. It served to energize participants and build their skills to promote positive narratives of social cohesion, coexistence, tolerance, and diversity through real experience and visual storytelling.➜ The Brazos Valley Chapter visited the Islamic Center of Bryan/College Station (ICBCS) on April 5th. They were taken on a guided tour by, Dr. Anwer Ahmed, a professor at Texas A&M, who gave a brief introduction of Islam and allowed time for them to ask questions. The group was warmly received by everyone they met at the mosque!➜ The Riverside Chapter hosted its first event a few weeks ago! They invited an Arabic professor to speak on the topic, The Power of Education in the Middle East, which was followed by great discussion. They are planning a follow-up fundraiser event to support education in Egypt and Syria!