Rhodes, Greece: Every autumn since 2003 the ancient Greek island of Rhodes hosts a session of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" called the Rhodes Forum that brings together public figures and statesmen, academics, religious figures and representatives of the arts, mass media and business spheres from all over the world.
Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation in Washington DC, USA
: Boston, Massachussets, USA: let me know if interested and I will send you details of my speaking engagements.
: Ubud Writes and Readers Festival, Indonesia
Held annually in Ubud, Bali’s artistic and cultural heartland, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has become Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event.
Note: An uprising is on the way here despite Mahmoud Abbas's promise and futile attempts to prevent it. The rampage by colonial settlers started with the arson attack on the Dawabsheh family home several weeks ago (mother, father and child martyred, second child still in hospital). Reactions were expected and the settlers are now getting green light to massacre Palestinians and attack their holy sites. The arrogance of Netanyahu unleashing his settlers on AlAqsa mosque and then staring down the United Nations and lecturing them about Iran was like a Greek myth: tragic and theatrical. This theater of the absurd would be comical if it was not so devastating. The silence of the US validates the widespread belief here that this theater is intended to hide a deal struck between Netanyahu and Obama whereby the US will let Israel proceed with its plans to Judaize Jerusalem and annex other areas of occupied territories. All politicians played their assigned role and Mahmoud Abbas continued to beg from position of weakness he created (by weakening his people). Yet, freedom is coming sooner than most people believe. If you are interested to learn more about why I say so and the relationship of resistance to hope, please read my book available in many languages "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment" (see http://qumsiyeh.org/
The importance of what is happening here to regional and international issues will be highlighted in my upcoming talks. For example here is my abstract for Rhodes Forum:
In this paper we discuss the current mayhem in the Arab world as an inevitable outcome of a historical process originating in Europe 100 years ago with three key dates: the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreements, the 1917 Balfour and Cambon declarations in support of Zionism, the 1919 Paris "Peace Conference", and the 1920 San Remo Conference. The unifying thread of these key events was western support for fragmentation of the Arab world via sectarian and ethnic divisions spearheaded by the formation of a Jewish state in the heart of the area. Rational voices in the Western world argued for a more collaborative approach that takes into account the interests of the common people of those areas (i.e. self-determination). Such voices were silenced because of elite and moneyed interests. Some of those rational voices correctly predicted the mayhem that we see ourselves in this year including extremism, terrorism, flood of refugees, and apartheid racist systems. To reverse this trend is difficult but not impossible. We must first recognize the above diagnosis and begin to reverse western discourse that is now dominated by the USA (itself under significant influence from the Israel or Zionist lobby). We show that there are really only two paths:1) the path of status quo, militarization, and hegemony aided by puppet dictors which leads to no winners, or 2) the path of human rights and justice which leads to accommodation, justice, and equality. The latter path is explored in detail showing that key to it is starting with democratization in Western dependent countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. In particular, evidence shows that it is critical to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands and create a secular pluralistic democracy in historic Palestine as this was and is the main destabilizing element in Western Asia. We show that it is possible to arrive at this humanistic outcome throughout the region via non-armed methods such as popular resistance and the growing boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research (http://palestinenature.org). He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke, and Yale Universities. He published over 130 scientific papers on topics ranging from biodiversity to cancer. He published hundreds of refereed articles and several books including "Mammals of the Holy Land" and "Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle"
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