Peace it Together co-hosted a Pacific Dialogue event in partnership with the University of British Columbia. The evening included a moderated discussion featuring Palestinian and Israeli peace-builders Dr. Sami Adwan and Dr. Gershon Baskin who discussed their personal perspectives on the conflict as well as their work with both Israeli and Palestinian communities, governments and scholars to advance peace in the Middle East.
In a region that experiences conflict on a daily basis, two institutions are working with both Israeli and Palestinian communities, governments and scholars to advance peace in the Middle East. The directors of these two institutions, experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, were in Vancouver for a discussion panel on building peace and a sustainable society in the region.
Gershon Baskin, Co-director and founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), and Sami Adwan, Co-director of the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME), participated in the dialogue event, hosted by UBC and Peace it Together at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
Stephen Owen, UBC’s Vice President, External, Legal and Community Relations and a former Canadian cabinet minister who has worked on peace building projects in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, moderated the discussion. Reena Lazar, Executive Director of Peace it Together, also participated in the dialogue and announce a summer 2011 film project at UBC.
Sami Adwan is a Palestinian professor of education at Bethlehem University and co-director of PRIME. His research focuses on the role of education in building peace, co-existing between different beliefs and religions. Adwan and PRIME have won numerous international awards recognizing their peace-building efforts in the Middle East. For more information, visit http://www.vispo.com/PRIME/about.htm
Peace it Together brings together youth leaders from opposing sides of a conflict to engage in constructive dialogue while co-creating short films to be used as peace-building tools in their communities. While it is currently focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Peace it Together envisions communities throughout the world engaged in peace-building and aims to have its program become a widely adopted model for peace-building. Peace it Together is partnering with UBC for its 2011 program. For more information, visit: www.peaceittogether.com
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America’s largest and most prestigious public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions to be consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. Surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian West, it is a place that inspires bold, new ways of thinking that have helped make it a national leader in areas as diverse as community service learning, sustainability and research commercialization. UBC attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants. For more information, visit: www.ubc.ca
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.