Fall Updates from our Chapters!
We’re thrilled to welcome several new Chapters to our growing global community, including one at St. Lawrence University in New York; Kolkata, India; Amman, Jordan; and Khartoum, Sudan. We’re inspired by the thoughtful applications we’ve received from individuals around the world who are committed to reducing fear and extremism through the power of compassion and understanding. Visit the Chapters page on our website to read about their incredible goals and mission statements!Our Chapters continue to host a diverse array of events as they tap into local resources and work to meet the needs of their communities. We’d like to highlight a few of their recent and upcoming initiatives.
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
In early October, the Chattanooga Chapter hosted a roundtable discussion, titled, “Foreign Policy and the 2016 Presidential Elections.” They partnered with the UTC History Club and invited five professors to share the positions of the major presidential candidates, speaking to their geographical areas of expertise. It was a hugely successful event with over 150 people in attendance, including those from the community surrounding the college campus. The conversation was lively but respectful and very informative for all.The Chapter has also been engaging with a variety of religious groups in their community. They recently visited the nearby Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and later this month they will attend a service at the Baha’i Center.Later this semester, they are excited to host Dr. Lihi Ben Shitrit as a speaker. Shitrit is a professor at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs, and the author of “Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right.” The Chapter read her book over the summer and is looking forward to hearing her talk.
St. Lawrence University, New York
At their meetings each week, the St. Lawrence Chapter invites professors to offer “crash courses” on Middle Eastern topics. They university chaplain recently introduced the three monotheistic faiths that are rooted in the Middle East--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They will learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how national boundaries were formed in the Middle East at their upcoming sessions.In November, the Chapter will send representatives to the Middle East Institute’s 70th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The Middle East Institute is committed to “objectivity, intellectual rigor, and public service, providing information, analysis, and regional voices necessary for educated policy-making as well as promoting understanding by bringing the cultural traditions of the Middle East to American audiences.” The conference brings together policy makers, Middle East experts, ambassadors, business leaders, and guests for a series of panel discussions and a keynote address.The Chapter is also organizing a benefit night for Syria in early December to fundraise for an organization that is supporting Syrian refugees.
Euphrates Founder and CEO, Janessa Gans Wilder, recently gave a TEDx talk in her hometown of Redding, California! She delivered a powerful and deeply moving talk, titled, “Turning the Other into our Brother,” and we look forward to sharing the video recording with you as soon as it is available online.The Redding Chapter is preparing to host Festival Cinema Invisible over the first weekend in January. The festival will show a variety of films from the Middle East/North Africa region that are “invisible” because they are have been banned in their country of origin or they have been created by people who are “invisible,” such as women, youth, and refugees. It will be a remarkable opportunity to raise awareness about Middle Eastern issues through the art of film.
The Kolkata Chapter hosted a peace concert as their inaugural event! Local musicians and a theatre production company came together to raise awareness about Euphrates and Middle Eastern issues. Chapter Leader, Sohini, is interested in helping members of her community find common ground with their Middle Eastern neighbors and she will be giving an introductory talk to history students at the University of Kolkata this month.
Yasmeen, our new Chapter Leader in Amman, completed a Masters degree in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution earlier this year. She also attended a women’s leadership and empowerment camp in Morocco and has been eager to share her knowledge with youth in her community. Yasmeen recently gave two lectures to local students about the importance of achieving inner peace in order to practice peace on a larger scale.If you would like to learn more about our Chapters program, we encourage you to visit the Chapters page on our website. For information about upcoming events, please see our calendar!