Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding Initiatives: Egypt
CIDCM's long-standing focus on the Arab world dates from it's founding by Lebanese American Prof. Edward Azar, and is reflected in the establishment of its two endowed chairs: the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, and the Baha'i' Chair for World Peace. The Partners in Conflict/Partners in Peacebuilding projects have collaborated with several organizations, including the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, the Biblioteca Alexandrina's Arab Reform Forum, Suez Canal University and Cairo University's Center for Political Research and Studies.
Most recently, Prof. John Davies visited Egypt to work on two separate initiatives:
- Partnership Project with the Arab Reform Forum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, under the leadership of Mr. Mohsen Youssef. A 2-day Workshop on "Conflict Transformation and a Culture of Peace in Arab Countries" was hosted by the Arab Reform Forum and co-facilitated by Prof. Davies, bringing together opinion leaders representing both government and various civil society groups working for reform. A background paper by Prof. Davies provided a context for discussion that had added urgency in the light of the intense fighting in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah, and ongoing fighting in Gaza. An encouraging vision of the future emerged from the discussion, along with an appraisal of some of the obstacles to development of a culture of peace that we plan to address in future workshops.
- Partnership Project bringing together the Suez Canal University (under the leadership of Prof. Saad Gibaly of the College of Education), the University of Maryland and the Community College of Baltimore County. This has focused on providing training and support for Egyptian educators in conflict management, leadership, service learning and civic education, in order to develop new classes and curricula in civic education as needed to strengthen democratic culture and civil society. Extended exchange visits and collaborative work by faculty over the last two years will culminate in a final conference in Egypt in 2007.