About Aziz

Aziz Ted 3
Aziz Abu Sarah is a National Geographic Explorer and Cultural Educator, as well as a TED Fellow. A Palestinian from Jerusalem. Aziz is the cofounder of MEJDI Tours, a social enterprise focused on introducing multi-narrative cultural education and responsible business practices to the travel industry. MEJDI has been recognized by the UN World Tourism Organization, UN Alliance of Civilizations, and BMW Group for its innovations in travel and education. In the past, Aziz also served as the Executive Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University (2009-2015), and was the chairman of the joint Israeli-Palestinian organization the Bereaved Families Forum (2006 to 2010).
In the field, Aziz has pioneered and managed projects in conflict resolution and community relations in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Washington D.C, the Virgin Islands, and other sites. He also is a cofounder of Project Amal ou Salam with Nousha Kabawat, a grassroots relief organization for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

In the media, Aziz has produced and hosted the National Geographic web series Conflict Zone, a series that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of Palestinian refugees, the Israeli army, Jewish settlers, peace activists and more. Aziz has also published articles in the New York Times,Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, Alarabiya, and others. He frequently provides expert analysis for television news programs such as Al Jazeera, CNN and Fox.

Aziz has been honored to receive numerous awards, including the Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East from the Institute of International Education, the Silver Rose Award from the European Parliament, the Eisenhower Medallion from People to People International, and the Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism from Search for Common Ground. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized Aziz Abu Sarah’s work during his speech at the 5th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in February 2013, and the UNAOC and BMW Group awarded him the intercultural innovation award in 2011. and Aziz has been named one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims” by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre for six years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015).

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized Aziz Abu Sarah’s work during his speech at the 5th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in February 2013. Click here to watch the video. To read more, click here.


A Conflict Close to Home, Aziz’s personal story
A disaster can strike your nation, your state, or even the house of your next door neighbor, but as long as it strikes someone else, it is still a distance away. Like many in Jerusalem, I grew up seeing many people die because of a “worthless conflict.” I felt sad for them, but I continued to live my life just as before. My reaction was the same as others who see an accident on the side of the road, think “how sad,” and drive on. However, my life changed forever the moment the disaster struck my house and my family, and the casualty was my brother. (click here to read the story)

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Responses

  1. U should have succes!!!

  2. Aziz,
    I enjoyed reading the article and congrats for your blog.
    Your ability to look and acknowledge the other without the so common “blaming finger” is extraordinary.
    We know from our unfortunate history, that this is the only way to a sincere dialog, reconciliation and inshalla true peace.

  3. Solidarity with pain of others its indeed goes over and beyond the nationality, race or other human limits. Truly enjoyed reading your touchable article, keep up the good work.

  4. A link to your post on watching “Schindler’s List” was passed to the entire staff of our community college with the comment, “This incredibly courageous man teaches us all how to conquer the root cause of hatred. This truly marks a watershed moment in the history of this seemingly intractable conflict.”

    As an educator with friends both Muslim and Jewish, I hope with you that we can bring an end to the hatred and come closer to a lasting peace. May God bless and keep you!

  5. I discovered your blog this morning through an Israeli friend of mine, and I am so happy to have discovered it!

    I wish you much success in the good work that you are doing.

    It warms my heart to come across people who can see past anger, let negative go, and work towards a brighter future.

    At the end of the day we are all individually similar, and our stories are more alike than different.

  6. How amazing to read this amazing story of Aziz Abu Sarah.
    It gives hope to know that a courageous young well educated Palestinian does so much to reconcile and promote understanding, empathy , tolerance, mutual cooperation between the 2 poeples.
    It is so hopeful and inspiring to know that not all is lost and that finally peace, understanding and tolerance will ultimattely prevail.
    Once the ball gets rolling there is no stopping it anymore. All big movements started that way.
    Non violence and dialogue, interaction is the only road to peace .

  7. Wonderful blog! Thank you for your courage and honesty. Blessings on you and your family!

  8. A very worthwhile endeavor. RE the controversy over the proposed Muslim Cultural Center in lower Manhattan – and other matters – you might want to peruse the website of TULIP – Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine. The website’s at http://www.tuliponline.org/

    • Thank you Arieh, I wish I saw this earlier. I would of included this statement …
      “We feel impelled to add our voices in support of the Cordoba Initiative precisely because this is a time of rising anxiety about, fears of, and outright hostility towards religious, ethnic and cultural minorities, including physical attacks in Staten Island, legislative threats in Arizona, and opposition to mosque-construction projects in diverse communities. In earlier eras, Catholics and their churches were held suspect as having ulterior motives; the same canard was leveled against Jews and Jewish institutions. We can and must be better than the most fearful and the most xenophobic among us.”

  9. aziz i enjoyed reading the article i wish you much succes in your work pleasing on you and your family

    • Thank you Nabeel, I am glad you enjoyed and I also wish you success in your work.

  10. Dear Aziz, I’m so happy to read your blog’ as an Arap \ Palestinian ‘ I feel a high head of you. If there are more educate people like you’ sure it eill be fine.
    Thank you again
    wafaayounis


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