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"Potlucks for Peace" Promote Dialogue About Middle East

We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman about one person who is making a big difference to dialogue on the Middle East in Ottawa, Canada. Qais Ghanem (Ghanems@rogers.com) is a Yemeni-born professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. He was inspired to start “Potlucks for Peace” after attending a panel on the Middle East that quickly descended into a shouting match. Seeking to promote civil dialogue on the issues, he extended his hands (and his living room!) to both Arabs and Jews in Ottawa, the capital of Canada in early 2003. Today in Spring 2005, “Potlucks for Peace” — 60 women and men — continue to recruit new Arab and Jewish members. Many of the participants had had little or no contact with members of the other group before coming to their first meeting. Visit the Potlucks for Peace website for more information on this group www.potlucksforpeace.org.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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