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Shoqi-Abas-Al-Maktary

Alumni relish returning to SPI

Instead of returning for EMU’s “homecoming” celebration – always held over one weekend each October – degree-holding alumni of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) often show up for its annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). And those SPI alumni who aren’t aiming to earn a degree? Some of them just keep coming back yea ...More

Fireside

The First and the Foremost: Summer Peacebuilding Institute

In the summer of 1994, about 40 peace and development workers gathered on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University for a one-week seminar called “Frontiers in International Peacebuilding.” It was the first official event held by what is now known as the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, or CJP, which was then so fledgling ...More

Low res Archbishop Selwanos

Syrian archbishop leaves EMU abruptly to rally his flock to return to their historic, destroyed city and rebuild their lives

Two days of arduous traveling from war-torn Syria to peaceful Harrisonburg, Virginia. Four days in a class called “PeaceTalk: English Language Skills for Peacebuilders.” Then suddenly rushing back to Syria, again navigating many difficulties to arrive at his freshly gutted church in Homs, Syria. This was the experience of Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, a prominent Syriac Orthodox (Catholi ...More

low res Assefa with May agreement

Mediations guided by Hizkias Assefa yield comprehensive peace accord for a broad swath of South Sudan

Professor Hizkias Assefa responds here to questions about his successful efforts as a mediator to bring peace in early May 2014 to one large swath of South Sudan. Assefa’s key role in ending a conflict that had displaced over 100,000 persons and killed unknown numbers of civilians was h ...More

Farshid

Afghanistan needs nonviolent peace movement at grassroots, says this Afghan, and he proposes to start one

Farshid Hakimyar has much in common with four men he greatly admires – Mahatma Gandhi, Khān Abdul Ghaffār Khān, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. Like them, Hakimyar is a man from a comparatively comfortable family background and, as a result, he is well educated and can make choices that could lead him to a comfortable existence either in his home country of Afghanistan or outsi ...More

Women's Peacebuilding Cohort

Kenyan group begins Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program at EMU

Among the 200 people studying at the 2014 Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) are eight Kenyan women in the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program (WPLP). Ranging in age from 23 to 51, the women come from across Kenya and work for a variety of NGOs or in academia. Now in its third year, ...More

PlayBackTheater-0057

Volunteers discover power of playback theater to shift painful stories toward path of healing

When volunteers were solicited, nobody immediately stepped forward. It was a tough request: tell a painful personal story before an audience of maybe 40, many of them strangers to each other, and watch seven people trained in playback theater re-tell it through an impromptu performance. Yet Muhammad Afdillah—a visiting scholar with Eastern Mennonite University’s ...More

islamic_women_scholars_web

Iranian-Islamic women scholars embrace model of interactive teaching at Summer Peacebuilding Institute

For two women from an Islamic seminary in Iran, one of the best parts about attending the 2014 Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University is experiencing an interactive style of teaching, where lengthy lectures are rare and role-playing is common. ...More

Nicole-and-SPI-women, low res

The Summer Peacebuilding Institute draws widely diverse people to “sit and talk outside of the conflict zone”

What started in the mid-1990s as a series of lunches where those working in the peacebuilding field could exchange ideas on theories and practice has grown into a world-renowned institute for peacebuilding and development professionals, without losing its emphasis on relationship building. The annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) now consists of fo ...More

Shomali with Shomali with Amernian Orthodox Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian in Tehran

Well-known scholar leads group of Iranian women from their Islamic seminary to the Summer Peacebuilding Institute

“When you can joyfully sit and eat together,meaningfully pray together, and feel at home and close to God in one another’s holy sites, then surely you have really become intimate friends.” —Dr. Mohammad Shomali, Afterword, 5th Catholic Shi’a Dialogue As the first session of Eastern Mennonite University’s ...More