Peacemaker in Action Media Update: March-April

Hind Kabawat, Syria
The upheaval of the Middle East’s Arab Spring continues in Syria, where government forces have responded to protesters calling for political and economic reform with violent crackdowns. Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been detained since the protests began in mid-March. Check out the BBC’s “Q&A: Syria Protests” for a complete background, and follow Peacemaker Hind Kabawat on Twitter for her latest thoughts and statements on the situation. You can also read her statement on the Egyptian revolution, where it all began. Hind remains in Syria, working to restore a sustainable peace to her nation. 

Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa, Nigeria
Nigeria’s April elections secured the presidency for Goodluck Jonathan, the incumbent candidate from Nigeria’s South. While many experts and observers have called these elections Nigeria’s most credible since the beginning of civilian rule in 1999, many Northerners rejected the outcomes as illegitimate and violent riots spread across areas in the Northern states. Listen here to a BBC radio interview with Pastor James and Imam Ashafa’s comments on the elections and the subsequent violence.
 
You can also hear some analysis of the elections from John Campbell, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and an Africa expert with the Council on Foreign Relations. Although he doesn’t mention Pastor James and Imam Ashafa by name, Campbell commends some of their techniques, such as early warning systems and teamwork between pastors and imams.
 
Friar Ivo Markovic, Bosnia
Friar Ivo visited the United States this April. During his time here, he delivered a talk at the United States Institute of Peace on the topic of interreligious cooperation and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event was held at USIP’s brand new building in Washington D.C., and was also webcast live online. You can listen to the audio of Ivo’s talk on USIP’s website.
 
Rabbi Menachem Froman, Israel/Palestine
Rabbi Froman was awarded the Makor Rishon newspaper’s “Alternative Israel Prize” award.
 
Sakena Yacoobi, Afghanistan
Sakena was inducted into the Enterprising Women’s Hall of Fame, “for her efforts to empower women and communities, to bring education and health services to poor rural and urban girls and women, as well as other disenfranchised Afghans.” Congratulations, Sakena!