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Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace

Past Activities

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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."

UDC-TV Appearance

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.

Interfaith Dialogue

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.

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.

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.

Islamic Lecture Series

Islamic Lecture Series: Muslim Women Peacebuilders

Recognizing the importance of fostering conversations that explore the diverse and multidimensional facets of Islam, the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace established the American University Islamic Lecture Series in August 2009.

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