Posted by: azizabusarah | March 18, 2010

CITIZEN DIPLOMACY Class in Israel-Palestine

Experiential Learning & Practice

Location: Israel and Palestine

CONF 695 / CONF 399*

May 26th – June 4th, 2010

Instructor & Trainer: Dr. Marc Gopin
Trainer & Guide: \Aziz Abu Sarah


This course will be a combination of theory exploration, training, and concrete practice in the field. Based on Dr. Gopin’s most recent theories in To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy, the course will create space to interact with the students to understand and measure in a new way the dynamics of their own potential impact on war and peace. It explores:

  1. The theory and practice of positive incremental change and citizen diplomacy
  2. A central case study from the Middle East
  3. The philosophical and spiritual ethics, East and West, of decision making in conflict interventions.

Along with the study of theory, role plays and simulations, the course will involve direct engagement with Israeli and Palestinian nonprofit and for profit change makers, both secular and religious. There will be on the ground engagement in both Israel and Palestine, both inside the classroom and on tour.

Dr. Gopin will be joined by the CRDC’s Director of Middle East Projects Aziz Abu Sarah.    Mr. Abu Sarah will co-lead many of the trainings and manage the tour component of the course.  Mr. Abu Sarah brings over 10 years experience in Palestinian-Israeli peacebuilding and Middle East tourism.  Most notably he was the Palestinian Chairman of the Parent’s Circle – Families Forum, a joint organization of 500 Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families who work for reconciliation within and between their societies.  He also worked with organizations such as All For Peace Radio and Al-Tariq: The Palestinian Institute for Democracy and Development (which he co-founded).

The course will be based most days in Jerusalem, with CLASS TIME, TRAINING, AND EXCURSIONS planned on alternate days. Considering the sensitive nature of the practice component of this work, students will be asked to submit a CV as well as a statement of their qualifications and goals in order to apply for this training and study.




Includes: hotels, 2 meals a day, most local transportation, and course credit


3 credits of CONF 695 (graduate) or 3 credits CONF 399 (undergraduate) at George Mason University

Why are CRDC experiential learning classes unique?  Click here to read about CRDC’s highly successful inaugural course on Citizen Diplomacy in Damascus!  (January 2010) Highlights included:

  • A class meeting with Grand Mufti of Syria that was covered by international news media!
  • Watch a 3 minute video piece about the course that aired on one of the largest television stations in Israel.  (A concrete example showing how our course passed positive messages across ‘enemy lines’.)
  • Visit to ancient religious sites, including the Umayyad Mosque in Old City Damascus and Christian churches in Sednayya and Maaloula.  (Maaloula is an ancient Syrian village where Aramaic – the language of Christ – is still spoken).
  • The unique opportunity to engage with local Syrian students and experience great cultural, historical and culinary events that are a part of Syrian daily life.

* Credits are from George Mason University.  If you do not attend GMU (or one of the Washington Consortium of Universities), you will have to take the course as a non-matriculating student and transfer the credits in to your home university.  Please check with your home university to determine eligibility.

**Price based on course minimum of 16 students. Price may be lower depending on the actual number of students registered. (Flight is NOT included in course cost).

*** Course can be audited and taken as a seminar for no credit.  This qualifies for a price reduction of $400.00

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