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Aziz Abu Sarah        

National Geographic Explorer, Cultural Educator & Peace Activist. Has been included numerous times in Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre's list of "500 Most Influential Muslims"

Aziz Abu Sarah is a National Geographic Explorer and Cultural Educator, as well as a TED Fellow. He cofounded MEJDI Tours, a cultural exploration vehicle for an ever-changing travel market. He 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, Colombia, and other sites. He is the co-founder of the “I Am Your Protector” interfaith campaign and the cofounder of Project Amal ou Salam, 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 multiple perspectives. Aziz has also published articles in the New York Times, National Geographic Travel, Haaretz, Alarabiya and others. 

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.

Speech Topics


Conflict and Global Issues

  • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Stories from the Field
  • Can There be Peace in the Middle East?
  • Conflict Zones: Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and Beyond
  • Islam: Religion of Peace or Violence?
  • Growing up Palestinian in Israel: One Man’s Journey from Revenge to Reconciliation
  • Making a Difference? The Role of NGOs, Social Enterprises, and Corporations in Communities
  • Stopping Radicalization
  • Conflict 101: Driven by Economics, Politics, or Ideology?
  • ISIS and the Caliphate: Islamic Perspectives
  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Stories from the Field

Education and Travel

  • Field Studies and Experiential Learning: Engaging Students in and beyond the Classroom
  • Storytelling as an Educational Tool
  • The Importance of Learning a Second Language
  • Tourism: Destructive or Constructive?
  • Building Global Citizens through Travel and Intercultural Exchange
  • Facilitating Constructive Conversations on Hot Topic Issues Like Race, Immigration, and Religion

Community and Workplace Relations

  • Creative Strategies for Improving Communication and Handling Conflict in the Workplace
  • Using Business as a Tool for Positive Social Change
  • Facilitating Constructive Conversations on Hot Topic Issues Like Race, Immigration, and Religion
  • Community Relations and Community Building in Troubled Times
  • Strategies and Considerations for Law Enforcement/Military Personnel Working in Volatile Communities

Religion

  • Interfaith Relations: Challenges and Solutions
  • Forging Social Justice at Home and Abroad
  • Islam: Religion of Peace or Violence?
  • Oh Brother Where Art Thou? How Christians, Jews, and Muslims Can Work Together
  • Facilitating Prayerful Conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Strategies for Christian Leaders
  • An Introduction to Islamic Beliefs and Practices
  • Palestinian Perspectives on Peace in the Middle East
  • Bridging the Divide between Jews and Palestinians

News


A Palestinian's journey from stone-throwing to conflict resolution ...

Aziz Abu Sarah became embittered as a kid during the first Palestinian intifada but had an extraordinary transformation – in Hebrew class.

Aziz Abu Sarah | Cultural Educator

In a place where struggles over land have fueled hatred and distrust for centuries, Aziz Abu Sarah is finding common ground. His effort to build relationships, not walls, amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is especially amazing in light of his own past...

Aziz Abu Sarah: How Can Tourism Promote Peace In The Middle ...

Social entrepreneur and educator Aziz Abu Sarah describes how he came to lead tours in which Jews, Muslims and Christians cross contested borders to spend ...

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