Watch a short video about Peacemaker in Action, Hind Kabawat’s work in Syria and then scroll down to read about her life and work.
Until the current civil war in Syria, most people knew Hind Aboud Kabawat as an international consultant who divided her time between Damascus and Toronto. However, even before the war, Hind became involved in different citizen diplomacy and educational initiatives to spur positive change in Syrian society. In addition to her legal practice in Toronto, Hind serves as an adviser to many national and international firms and organizations, including the World Bank, the Syrian Public Relations Association, and the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, where she is a senior research associate in Public Diplomacy.
Growing up as a Christian in Syria, Hind was surrounded by the rich multi-religious history of the region. In her peacemaking work as an adult, she draws upon religious leaders to help change attitudes, reverse prejudice and work toward conflict analysis and reconciliation in Syria and throughout the Middle East.
Hind’s early career was as an International Consul in a Toronto law firm, where she lived a hectic life similar to many professional women, dividing her time between her law practice and raising two children. But by 1999, she came to believe that there was more for her to do in the world – more beyond the business of law and her family. Hind returned to school to study Conflict Resolution at the University of Toronto and International Relations at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
In just a few years, Hind quickly established herself as an important figure promoting dialogue among various sectors within Syria and throughout the Middle East. As an international advisor and attorney, as well as an educator and intellectual, she leads public diplomacy efforts that encourage interfaith tolerance and cooperation, modernization, reform and educational innovations in conflict resolution and diplomacy education.
Hind’s first-hand knowledge of her country allows her to recognize Syria as a once very tolerant society surrounded by countries that are suffering from deep divisions, war and injustice. In response, Hind publicly cultivated local dialogue and respectful debate among Sunnis, Shias, Christians and Jews across the Middle East. Hind’s peacemaking ideology still ties together various traditions, messages and teachings from Islam, Christianity and Judaism, creating a multi-faceted approach to Middle East peace initiatives.
Hind is firmly rooted in grassroots movements and society in Syria and surrounding refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan. Motivating dialogue and conflict resolution skills from the ground up, Hind remains dedicated to building a peaceful Syria. She is also connected with international and academic institutions that give her opportunities to promote change within society. Her latest projects involve trainings for peace activists in refugee camps surrounding Syria. Other past projects include opening a dialogue among Middle Eastern women and Western women from all religions through roundtable discussions on interfaith peace building.
Hind is currently on staff at George Mason University’s Center for World Religions Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution as a Senior Research Analyst and Expert in Conflict Resolution. She continues to lead projects and initiatives in Syria’s surrounding countries, such as Turkey and Jordan, and has with fellow Peacemakers in Action on different Interventions.
Read the Journal of Interreligious Studies article Building Peace Through Trans-local Community and Collaboration: The Tanenbaum Peacemakers in Action Network, by Joyce S. Dubensky & Tanenbaum Staff to learn more about Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action Network. Learn how the Network organically formed and how it is structured, as well as its evolution and effectiveness. The authors also review the ways in which Etienne Wenger et al.’s “Communities of Practice” model is reflected by the Network’s concepts of domain, community, and practice.
Read Tanenbaum’s 2015 Syria Intervention Report that details Hind’s work with Syrian activists. She was joined by Tanenbaum Peacemakers Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge from South Africa and Friar Ivo Markovic from Bosnia-Herzegovina
Hind’s new project Tight Knit Syria: http://tightknitsyria.com
Astana Must Be a Stepping-stone to UN-led Negotiations in Geneva
Huffington Post | January 10, 2017 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
At Geneva, Syria’s Future Put On Hold Yet Again
Huffington Post | March 13, 2017 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
RPP Colloquium: The Evolving Field of Religious Peacebuilding
Harvard Divinity School | January 2017 (Video features Tanenbaum CEO Joyce S. Dubensky and Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
The Time for Leadership to Protect All Civilians Across Syria
Huffington Post | November 18, 2016 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Syria opposition: ‘Very keen’ on talks ‘immediately’
CNN | September 10, 2016 (features Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Syrian opposition to reveal transition plan next week
Reuters | September 1, 2016 (features Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Europe Must Help Syria’s Women Make Peace
Huffington Post | July 21, 2016 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
A Syrian call to Europe for help
Huffington Post | June 14, 2016 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
The Syrian Revolution Is Not a Holy War
Foreign Policy | March 9, 2016 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Lingering Questions Surround Geneva III
Huffington Post | February 12, 2016 (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Women of Syria Tell The Real Story
Huffington Post (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
From Green to Black: What Happens to a Revolution Without Support
Huffington Post | (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Children of Syria
Huffington Post (by Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
A Place Where Syrians All Get Along
National Post (featuring Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)
Syria’s Christian Conundrum
CNN World (featuring Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat)