Towards Global Reconciliation - Middle East Summit 2

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Towards global reconciliation – Middle East summit 

An international summit bringing together more than 300 reconciliation experts

from around the world to tackle global cultural, racial, religious and political

difference will be held in Amman, Jordan, from Monday.

Professor Paul James, Pathways to Reconciliation Summit co-convenor and

Director of RMIT University Global Cities Research Institute, says in a forthcoming

book: “The Jews and Arabs of Israel-Palestine have been bound up with each in

the past, are mutually constituting in the present, and – whatever the political

decision about state sovereignty – will be interconnected in the future. 

“A simple and ‘ordinary’ act of reconciliation to counter the ‘ordinary’ acts of

displacement might involve some Arabs, Jews, Christians and others working

together across the Middle East, the Balkans and beyond to reopen a mosque, a

church and a synagogue that have been over the years submerged in the rubbish

of continuing violence,” Professor James said.

The Pathways to Reconciliation Summit is supported by HRH Prince Hassan of

Jordan, RMIT and Monash University. Summit themes include health and

medicine, arts and culture, money and livelihoods, spirituality and celebration,

education and learning and sport and recreation. The summit will introduce the

Living Archive, a resource for learning about exemplary grass-roots reconciliation. 

Pathways to Reconciliation Summit patrons include the Reverend Desmond Tutu,

Aung San Suu Kyi, President Jose Ramos-Horta, Sir William Deane, Dr Lowitja

O’Donaghue, Professor Bernard Lown, and Professor Amartya Sen. 

The Summit will also launch “Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition”,

Christopher Wise and Paul James, eds, Arena Publications, Melbourne. 

“Being Arab” appears at a time of unprecedented historical crisis for non-sectarian

Arabist thought and social movements. Events of the last decade, especially the

US-led occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, have drawn many analysts to

conclude that the era of Arab identity politics has passed. 

The theme of the historical meaning of Arab identity is pursued in “Being Arab” in

the hope of strengthening viable, non-sectarian and democratic alternatives to

Islamist fundamentalism in the Arab world.

The Pathways to Reconciliation Summit will be held in Amman from 14 to 17

December. More info:

Interviews: Professor Paul James, (generally

responds to emails within 10 minutes).

For general media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Paul

Noonan, 0409 239 021,

10 December, 2009   

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