We learned this week that one of our students from the 2013 IFOR and FOR-sponsored Fellowship School has been denied his visa.
As the coordinator of Seattle CISPES (Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s National Council, I was glad to see the quick response that FOR, CISPES, SHARE El Salvador, and other organizations across the country gave to the sudden closing of a
I’ve taken US President Obama’s speech  at the UN General Assembly and Iranian President Rouhani’s speech  at the UN General Assembly and interwoven them as a dialog of sorts. It appears that President Rouhani did not attend President Obama’s speech, but he says that he did listen to it. Perhaps he sat outside the group so he could take notes and confer with his staff.
I cut some of the blather and redundancies. You can read the full transcripts if you are interested. The links are at the bottom of this page. I highlighted phrases I thought were interesting and more interesting. But I didn’t annotate. You can draw your own conclusions.
Obama: For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. Divisions of race and religion and tribe were settled through the sword and the clash of armies. The idea that nations and peoples could come together in peace to solve their disputes and advance a common prosperity seemed unimaginable.
It took the awful carnage of two world wars to shift our thinking. The leaders who built the United Nations were not naïve; they did not think this body could eradicate all wars. But in the wake of millions dead and continents in rubble, and with the development of nuclear weapons that could annihilate a planet, they understood that humanity could not survive the course it was on. And so they gave us this institution, believing that it could allow us to resolve conflicts, enforce rules of behavior, and build habits of cooperation that would grow stronger over time. [ snip ]
Rouhani: Our world today is replete with fear and hope; fear of war and hostile regional and global relations; fear of deadly confrontation of religious, ethnic and national identities; fear of institutionalization of violence and extremism; fear of poverty and destructive discrimination; fear of decay and destruction of life-sustaining resources; fear of disregard for human dignity and rights; and fear of neglect of morality. Alongside these fears, however, there are new hopes; the hope of universal acceptance by the people and the elite all across the globe of “yes to peace and no to war”; and the hope of preference of dialogue over conflict and moderation over extremism.
The recent elections in Iran represent a clear, living example of the wise choice of hope, rationality and moderation by the great people of Iran. The realization of democracy consistent with religion and the peaceful transfer of executive power manifested that Iran is the anchor of stability in an otherwise ocean of regional instabilities. The firm belief of our people and government in enduring peace, stability, tranquility, peaceful resolution of disputes and reliance on the ballot box as the basis of power, public acceptance and legitimacy, has indeed played a key role in creating such a safe environment.
A survivor of 1980s chemical warfare travels around the Europe 20 years later, to find answers for his questions about the use of chemical weapons during Iran-Iraq war and foreign supports to Saddam’s regime during 80s.
When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother of five, lost her home and her property, and was forced to flee to Jordan.
Events of the past week present us with the strange construct of open, democratic, largely civil debate about monumentally consequential global issues between heads of state in the chambers of the often maligned United Nations at the same time as we endure puerile, bombastic, dysfunctional wrangling among elected officials in the halls, and on the floors, of Congress in the United States of Ame
The International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and the U.S. Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA) are excited to officially announce a new level of partnership and cooperation in the form of this year’s Fellowship School program, to be hosted at FOR-USA’s Nyack, NY, headquarters from October 19 to December 21.
As we approach the International Day of Nonviolence on October 2, which recognizes Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, one challenge we face is to celebrate his life in a way that Gandhi himself would have found meaningful. Gandhi was not a man of token gestures. His life was dedicated to his search for the Truth and guided by his passionate belief that nonviolence was the means to reach it.
He appeared small with delicate features, walked and spoke softly, his message was simple, and yet, Thich Nhat Hanh was utterly captivating. Even when silent, wearing only a beatific smile and plain brown monk’s garb, he held me and an audience of more than 2,500 people in rapt attention.
In 2008, the Fellowship of Reconciliation awarded the Pfeffer Peace Award to Ricardo Esquivia for his work in the peace movement of the High Mountain Zone of El Carmen de Bolívar, Colombia.