We haven’t even begun the conference and the wonder and joy of the interfaith work of Muslim Jewish Conference has already shattered my expectations. Last night an international team of collaborators - which included three Americans, a Frenchman, a Pakistani woman, a turkish woman, and a Bangladeshi-American woman- researched two projects, born out of Pakistan, called Mothers Agains Terror and The History Project.
Mothers Against Terror, brings together an international team of collaborators, through Humanyst, an organization which brings together ordinary leaders to create a better world. This project will bring together mothers who have suffered at the hands of violent extremists to take on the root causes of this violent expression in their home communities. This organization believes that thefamilies of the victims are the best poised to make the greatest impact to shift the tide of radicalization at the local level. They are currently connecting mothers of the 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and the mothers of the 132 boys who were brutally murdered by the Taliban at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. These mothers will be given financial support to be trained in deradicalization and reintegration of radical youth.
The History Project is committed to the importance of multiple perspectives to historical narratives, especially as represented or misrepresented in history textbooks. In 2013, a combination of forty Pakistanis and Indians published a new textbook that pieced together side by side accounts of the different perspectives on the same historical event. These books were first released in Lahore, Pakistan and Mumbai, India to huge success. The hope is to replicate this model in other conflict zones to give students helpful tools so that students gain an awareness to alternative perspectives to their historical narrative.
The Conference begins today and I’m already beaming with the formal and informal international collaborative potential of my fellow team members. Here we go!