Archive for conflict resolution – Page 2

Grassroots Diplomacy in the Middle East

The following was contributed by Nora Gordon, an MIA student concentrating in Human Rights.


On Wednesday, January 27,  I had the honor of participating in an event on campus entitled, “Grassroots Diplomacy in the Middle East.”  The event was co-sponsored by the Arab Student Association, the Conflict Resolution Working Group, The Middle East Institute, and the UN Studies Program Working Group, and was organized by the American Mideast Leadership Network (AMLN).

The event focused on issues of grassroots diplomacy in Syria and showcased AMLN’s United States-Syria Grassroots Diplomacy Program.  We began with a presentation by AMLN’s founding director, Rami Nuseir, and a question and answer session with Dr. Mazin Adi, the permanent representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations.


Following Dr. Adi, three SIPA students, Heidi Rosbe, Nick Jaeger, and myself (Nora Gordon) spoke about our experiences with the United States-Syria Grassroots Diplomacy Program of which we were participants in 2009.  Ms. Rosbe and I discussed our work as co-facilitators of the conflict resolution dialogue sessions which were a main component of the program, and we all discussed our experiences as a participants and travelers in Syria.


The question and answer session after the presentation was particularly interesting.  Audience members wanted to know about women’s rights, the controversy over the occupied Golan Heights and other issues regarding US-Syrian relations.  These questions were difficult, but it was important to bring up these issues that are crucial to discuss in order to develop diplomatic relations between the two countries.

At the end of the event, it was inspiring to hear Dr. Mazin Adi emphasize the importance of AMLN’s efforts.  “Because of the program,” he said, “we now have 12 additional citizen ambassadors that have visited Syria.”

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The American MidEast Leadership Network (AMLN) is a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the Arab-American community in the United States and to bringing together American and Middle Eastern students and young professionals in cultural exchange programs that give these future leaders a more thorough understanding of each other’s cultural, religious, and political lives.

CICR Fellowship Deadline Extended

On April 6th I posted some information about a fellowship opportunity associated with the Center for International Conflict Resolution.  I am happy to say that the deadline to apply has been extended.  For full details of the fellowship, please revisit this post.  Over $20,000 is being awarded and this certainly is a wonderful opportunity if you qualify to apply.

The following is the communication I received:

The Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University has extended the deadline for all Masters and Doctoral students applying for Fellowships at The Fund for Global Environment and Conflict Resolution until 5pm on April 30. Please send all applications and application material to You can contact CICR Assistant Director, Josie Lianna Kaye at for more details.

The Darfur Debate

The Institute for African Studies (IAS) presents, “The Darfur Debate” with Professor Mahmood Mamdani and John Prendergast of the Enough Project.

A human rights activist and an Africa scholar will debate issues not limited to: Is the violence in Darfur really genocide? Have advocacy movements like the Save Darfur Coalition helped or hindered the search for a political solution in Sudan’s troubled western province? Is the ICC jeopardizing the peace process or does it have an immediate mandate to seek justice?

Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and a member of the departments of anthropology; political science; and Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.

His previous books include Good Muslim, Bad Muslim; Citizen and Subject; and When Victims Become Killers.

Prendergast is a co-chair with the Enough Project and serves on the board of the Save Darfur Coalition. He served as an adviser to the White House and the State Department during the Clinton administration and later as a senior adviser to the nonpartisan International Crisis Group.

He co-authored the book Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, with actor Don Cheadle, and has written seven other books on Africa.

Sponsored by The Institute of African Studies, the SIPA Pan-African Network, Humanitarian Affairs Working Group, Graduate Committee on African Studies, Center for African Education, Conflict Resolution Working Group, UN Studies Program Working Group, Arab Student Association, the Center for International Conflict Resolution and Brooklyn For Peace.  Full information on the event here and here.

$2 Million to Help Fund The Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR): The Fund for Global Environment and Conflict Resolution Masters Fellowship Program, 2009-2010

If you have had the opportunity to attend an information session at SIPA that I have led you might remember that I take a minute or two to talk about applying for outside awards and scholarships.  Part of my speech is to always be prepared.  In the instance below, if you are qualified admitted applicant, you could earn $22,500 toward your costs at SIPA.

I talk specifically about two things.  One is that once you start applying for outside scholarships you might recognize that the essay questions might not sound all that different.  Thus if you apply for one or two scholarships and write an essay, you just may very well be able to use the essay again or modify it slightly for submission for another opportunity you discover.

Second is advice that I credit to my high school guidance counselor, Ms. Steele.  Ms. Steele encouraged me to continue to look for scholarships as long as I was a student (the process never stops), and to be prepared, to ask those composing a letter of recommendation for me to print multiple copies, seal them each in an individual envelop, and give them to me so that each time I found out about a new opportunity I would be prepared.  So if I found about ten different scholarship opportunities and I had ten envelops each containing a letter of recommendation, I did not need to bother my recommendation writer ten different times.

You never know when you might find out about an opportunity that fits you, and it helps greatly to be prepared.  It just so happens that I found out about a great opportunity for admitted SIPA applicants, and the deadline is next Wednesday.  Yes, not a lot of time.  Thus being prepared for opportunities like this turns out to be pretty good advice.

The details, application, and program guidelines are below.  Good luck!

The Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of the Italian Government are pleased to announce the establishment of the Fund for Environment and Conflict Resolution (The Fund).

Over a period three years, the $2 Million Fund will provide support for research, teaching and fellowships. Thanks to The Fund, CICR will promote research conducted by prominent scholars at Columbia University, in Italy and other countries around the issue of the global environment and conflict resolution.

The Fund has three major focus areas. First, it will look at the relationships between sustainable development and post-conflict in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru and Colombia where the Italian Ministry has on-going activities. Second, the research will focus on the prevention of potential conflicts in the use of natural resources, paying particular attention to China, the Middle East and North Africa. Third, the research will focus on the relationship between climate change and international security. The Fund will also give the opportunity for fellowships and scholarships, for scholars and students interested in these areas.

The student must be from one of the following countries/regions in order to be considered for this fellowship: Italy, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, China, the Middle East, and/or North Africa.

For more information on teaching, research and fellowships related to this grant please contact CICR’s Assistant Director, Josie Lianna Kaye,

CICR Italian Overview

CICR Application

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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