Projects and Activities
In his role as the first occupant of the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace, Professor Said is often requested to present at conferences and speaking engagements, and he continues to provide consultations around the world. Presentations, speaking engagements and projects under the auspices of the Mohammed Said Farsi (MSF) Chair have included:
Publication: The Localizing Peace Initiative of the Farsi Chair published Educating for Change: A Survey of Programs for Peace, Justice, and Diversity in the Washington, DC Area. This research is part of the Education for Peace DC project, a collaborative initiative between the Center for Peacebuilding and Development and the Farsi Chair. For more information on the project, please see the Education for Peace DC website.
Lecture: The Farsi Chair hosted Chaiwat Satha Anand on Monday, October 15th as the 2012 El Hibri Peace Education Prize Recipient. Prof. Satha Anand spoke about The Jahiliyya Factor? Fighting Muslims' Cultural Resistance to Nonviolence.
Lecture: Oslo, Norway for the US State Department
Prof. Said traveled to Norway this September through the support of the US State Department. He spoke at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo on "From Empowerment to Affirmation: The Arab Spring," and at the University of Oslo on "The Arab Spring: Islam and the West." He met with various groups and representatives on the Arab Spring, US foreign policy, and building relationships between Islam and the West.
Lecture: National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP)
Prof. Said gave a lecture entitled "Compassion and Youths in Foster Care" for National Youth Advocate Program's class on Compassion. Prof. Said appeared with Dr. Mubarak Awad, the Founder of NYAP and a colleague at American University. For Prof. Said's talk, please follow the link.
Award: Pi Award for Excellence and Achievement
Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and Sorority honored Prof. Said with their Pi Award on April 28th.
Conference: Reclaiming the Power of Nonviolence
In collaboration with the Center for Peacebuilding and Development, the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program, Nonviolence International, and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, the Farsi Chair hosted Reclaiming the Power of Nonviolence March 29th and 30th, featuring nonviolent activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordon, and Bahrain. It was a powerful gathering where panelists and the audience learned about successes, challenges, and new strategies of nonviolence. Stay tuned for videos and more from the event.
Conference: The Nobel Peace Prize Forum
Prof. Said was invited to be a speaker at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum held at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The theme of the conference was "The Price of Peace." Prof. Said's presentation was entitled, "Peace, the Inside Story."
Conference: International Conference on Cultural Diplomacy and the UN
Prof. Said was a speaker at this conference hosted by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy on Friday, February 24th. The title of his talk was, "Contextualizing Politics: Islam and the West." For video of Prof. Said's presentation, please follow this link.
Chapter: Co-authored with Sheherazade Jafari entitled "Islam and Peacemaking" in Peacemaking: From Theory to Practice Volume 1 (Edited by Susan Allen Nan, Zachariah Cherian Mampilly, and Andrea Bartoli)
Conference: Syria: Opportunities for Engagement
The Mohammed Said Farsi Chair along with the Peacebuilding and Development Institute and Nonviolence International hosted a conference on July 12, 2011 to bring together scholars, government officials, and practitioners to discuss the implications of the uprisings in Syria and how to support the development of a Syria that includes political participation and social justice.
Lecture: "Making Peace: The West and Islam" at The Wheatley Institute at Brigham Young University
Prof. Said traveled to Brigham Young University to give a lecture on "Making Peace: The West and Islam" on February 8, 2011.
Facilitated Dialogue: What if Obama Were Muslim? A Community Dialogue on Perceptions of Islam in the US, American University
This facilitated community dialogue explored the current climate of increased anti-Islamic sentiment and engaged participants from the AU community in honest conversation. The Farsi Chair co-sponsored this event on November 2, 2010 with the American University Dialogue Development Group.
Conference: A New Beginning: US-Muslim Relations
Attended a conference hosted by Bibliotheca on US-Muslim Relations in June 2010. Prof. Said also provided consultation on the conference design and focus.
Lecture: "Islamic-American Peacemaking," American University
Prof. Said was invited to give a lecture during the American University Islamic Lecture Series on the topic of "Islamic-American Peacemaking," on April 12, 2010.
Presented Paper: Islamic-Western Peacemaking: Partnerships for a Better World, Yale University School of Divinity
At a conference hosted by Yale University School of Divinity, Prof. Said presented a paper entitled, "Islamic-Western Peacemaking: Partnerships for a Better World," on February 22-23,2010.
Board of Directors, Project Khalid
On the Board of Directors for the 100th Anniversary of Project Khalid, promoting the centenial anniversary of the publication of the first Arab-American novel by Ameen Rihani.
Dialogue, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Appeared on Dialogue, a TV and radio program produced by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, entitled "Winning Hearts and Minds in the Muslim World," on February 17, 2011. The other guests on the program were former BBC reporter, Roger Hardy, and Italy's former ambassador to Italy and Iran, Roberto Toscano. Prof. Said's Peace Paradigms class was in attendance.Lecture: Second Annual Al-Alwani Lecture, Washington Theological Consortium
Prof. Said spoke with Dr. Richard Jones at the Second Annual Al-Alwani Lecture on February 22, 2011. His talk was on "Islam and Western Peacemaking: Partnerships for a Better World."
Speaker Series: Engaged Conversations: Perspectives on Islam and Contemporary Global Issues, "Islam and Peace"
In collaboration with the Center for Global Peace, the International Peace and Conflict Division, the Muslim Student Association and the Washington College of Law International Legal Studies program, the MSF Chair co-sponsored American University’s Islamic Speaker Series from November 2008-2009 called, Engaged Conversations: Perspectives on Islam and Contemporary Global Issues. Professor Said was an invited speaker for the lecture series’ inaugural panel on "Islam and Peace." Fellow panelists included Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer and Professor Ayse Kadayifci.
Book: Islam and Peacemaking in the Middle East
Professor Said completed and released a book with Nathan C. Funk in November 2008 entitled Islam and Peacemaking in the Middle East, with Lynne Rienner Publishers. Through an analysis of regional trends, it explores various Islamic ideas of peace and their bearing on difficult ethnic, nationalist and civic conflicts, widening the parameters for serious discussion of Islam’s contributions—real and potential—to ongoing negotiations in the Middle East.
USAID Keynote Speaker: "Peace in Islam"
Invited as the keynote speaker for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Iftar celebrating the Holy Month of Ramadan on September 16,2008. Professor Said spoke on the topic of "Peace in Islam."
Organized Conference: Universalism and Contemporary Universalists
The conference convened a working group of scholars and practitioners to re-define conceptions of Universalism, focusing primarily on the principles of inclusion on August 15, 2008. Members of the Universalist Project working group will engage in ongoing conversation regarding the defining theories and applications of a Universalist approach from both a historical and contemporary perspective, drawing lessons for contemporary social problems.
Conference: Islamic Traditions of Peace and Nonviolence: Responding to Contemporary Challenges, Peacemaking in Islam
In collaboration with the Center for Global Peace, Rumi Forum and the Salam Institute, held a conference entitled "Islamic Traditions of Peace and Nonviolence: Responding to contemporary Challenges" on May 5, 2008. Professor Said gave the opening address on the topic of peacemaking in Islam. The purpose of this one-day conference was to gather scholars, practitioners, and religious leaders to share concepts and approaches to conflict resolution, nonviolence and human rights, rooted in the Islamic tradition. It also served as a platform for Muslim practitioners of peacebuilding and nonviolence to share their experiences on the ground with the wider community of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars and practitioners.
Speaker: "Educating for Global Citizenship," Harvard University
Invited speaker for the "Educating for Global Citizenship" conference at Harvard University October 7, 2007. Professor Said presented on the topic of "Educating for Global Citizenship: Perspectives from the Abrahamic Traditions. Conference papers were ultimately compiled into a published book entitled: The Meeting of Civilizations: Muslim, Christian and Jewish.
Fellowship of Peace Award: Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Foundation
Professor Said was honored with the Fourth Annual Fellowship of Peace Award from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Foundation on November 29, 2007.
El-Hibri Peace Education Prize
280 of Professor Said’s friends, colleagues, and former students attended a celebration of his 50th Anniversary of teaching peace at American University on May 19, 2007. During the tribute, Dr. Said was awarded the first annual El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, in honor of his commitment to peace education, advancement of human rights, social justice and fifty years of service in the field of peace education.
Keynote Address: "Making Peace with Islam," University of Denver Colorado
Invited to offer the keynote address at the University of Denver, Colorado Conflict Resolution Institute Gala on the topic of "Making Peace with Islam."
Professor Said appeared on University of a District of Columbia Television (UDC-TV) program alongside Search for Common Ground president John Marks to discuss avenues for peace in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict on April 2006. The Search for Common Ground documentary "The Shape of the Future" served as a springboard for discussion.
In collaboration with the Salam Institute for Peace and Justice and the Fuller Seminary, the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair worked to foster dialogue between Evangelical Christians and American Muslims and collaboratively hosted an interfaith dialogue on February 5, 2006.
Edited Volume: Contemporary Islam: Dynamic, Not Static
Professor Said published, with Mohammed Abu-Nimer and Meena Sharify-Funk, an edited volume entitled Contemporary Islam: Dynamic, Not Static (Routledge Publishers) on March 2006. This publication emerged from an international conference organized by the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace and hosted at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The volume gathers together a collection of essays by eminent scholars from around the world on topical issues such as intellectual pluralism, gender, human rights, non-violence, religious harmony, and the ethics of political participation. This important contribution to modern Islamic thought articulates a progressive outlook for Islam's role in contemporary politics and society.
Lecture: "Giving Voice to Change: Muslim Women in the Era of Global Communication"
Participated in the Guest-Lecture Series at the United States Library of Congress (LOC) entitled "Giving Voice to Change: Muslim Women in the Era of Global Communication" in Spring of 2004. This series invited prominent women scholars of Islam (e.g., Leila Ahmed, Fatima Mernissi, and Asma Barlas) to address the complexities and contradictions of Muslim women’s lives and their status in a world influenced by globalization.
Organized conference: Contemporary Islamic Synthesis, Library of Alexandria, Egypt
Involved in organizing the Contemporary Islamic Synthesis conference at the Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt on October 4-5, 2003. This conference was a closed, "round table" symposium of distinguished scholars, activists, and officials from all parts of the Muslim world. It aimed to provide a forum for a genuine dialogue on critical modern-day issues such as social justice, civil society, and the politics of interpretation. Out of this conference emerged the Islamic Peacebuilding Initiative which seeks provide a new focus for the energies of Islamic specialists, drawing upon existing expertise to make valuable contributions to policymaking, scholarship, education, and public outreach.
Two Conferences, Co-coordinator and Participant: US Institute of Peace Abrahamic Trialogue, USIP
Two US Institute of Peace Abrahamic Trialogue Conferences were co-coordinated with and attended by the MSF Chair of Islamic Peace at USIP headquarters in Washington DC in July and October 2002. These two-day conferences brought together Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars to explore the obstacles to Abrahamic relationships. Participants began an on-going discussion about inter-religious dialogue and the barriers to communication that have confronted religious peacemakers within Abrahamic traditions.
Consultation Meetings with Charlotte Beers, Former Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
MSF Chair of Islamic Peace, Abdul Aziz Said, and his assistants consulted on issues pertaining to the cultural engagement between the US and the Islamic world in order to narrow the communication gap between the US and Muslims from November 2001 to May 2002.
Four American Muslim Roundtable Meetings, US State Department
Four American Muslim Roundtable Meetings were coordinated by the MSF Chair of Islamic Peace in conjunction with the International Religious Freedom Office of the US State Department in November and December 2001. At these meetings Muslim participants voiced their opinions on the current state of events, advocated and recommended policy initiatives, and emphasized the need for a sustainable dialogue between the State Department and local Muslim scholars and activists.
USIP Workshop: "The Role of Faith and Peacemaking: An Islamic Perspective"
United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Workshop on "The Role of Faith and Peacemaking: An Islamic Perspective," was coordinated in cooperation with USIP in November 2001. This panel discussion was composed of Muslim scholars and was designed to offer reflections on the themes of peace, justice, and civil society in Islamic thought and practice, with specific focus on the crisis of religious tolerance in the Muslim world.
Conference: Cultural Diversity and Islam, American University
Cultural Diversity and Islam at the American University on November 20-21, 1998. This conference convened twenty international Islamic scholars who presented papers and led discussions on the Islamic conception of cultural diversity, tolerance, and pluralism as well as alternative models for coexistence.
Conference: Two Sacred Paths: Christianity and Islam, A Call for Understanding at the Washington National Cathedral
Two Sacred Paths: Christianity and Islam, A Call for Understanding at the Washington National Cathedral on November 6-7, 1998. The purpose of this conference was to deepen the understanding of Islam, to develop closer relationships between Christian and Muslim communities, and to find ways to facilitate meaningful dialogue.
Islamic Peace Resource Directory
The Islamic Peace Resource Directory was created under the MSF Chair of Islamic Peace in Summer of 1997. The directory is a compilation of scholars, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and institutes, embassies, and media sources all of whose work is relevant to the subject of Islam and Peace. This project was funded by a grant from the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Conference: Islam and Peace in the 15th and 21st Century, American University
Islam and Peace in the 15th/21st Century at American University from February 6-7, 1998. This conference enabled twenty-five Muslims from different intellectual trends and ideological commitments to share in their effort of clarifying and comprehending essential issues connected to peaceful change in Islamic societies.
Symposium: Nonviolence in Islam, American University
Nonviolence in Islam at the American University on February 4, 1997. This one-day symposium brought together regional scholars to explore the Islamic traditions and practices of nonviolence and peace.