Special Series: The Arab/Muslim World and the US/West - 2004
by Steven Everts
Everts' article is the first in a series on Arab/Muslim - Western Relations commissioned by Search for Common Ground that has been running in Middle Eastern publications over the last month. He advocates reducing the barriers of ignorance through exchange programs that increase exposure and promote access to accurate information. 
by Rami G. Khouri
Khouri's article is the second in a series on Arab/Muslim - Western Relations commissioned by Search for Common Ground that has been running in Middle Eastern publications over the last month. His article explains why it is too simple to consider the relationship between the Arab/Muslim world and the West as "a worsening cycle of war, threats, fears, and savage killings." 
by Jason Erb and Noha Bakr
Erb & Bakr's article is the third in a series on Arab/Muslim - Western Relations commissioned by Search for Common Ground that has been running in Middle Eastern publications over the last month. Arguing that inter-civilizational cooperation and coexistence is the norm rather than the exception, Erb and Bakr redefine Huntington's thesis as "a minority clash of fundamentalisms, whose followers exploit anxieties and frustration caused by genuine political conflicts to further their own ideological agendas." 
by Tawfiq Abu Bakr
Tawfiq Abu Bakr's article is the fourth in a series on Arab/Muslim - Western Relations commissioned by Search for Common Ground that has been running in Middle Eastern publications over the last month. He advocates that intellectuals from the West and the Arab world plan for the future, rather than focusing on the past, and enage in face-to-face dialogue that occurs "away from text assaults, and focuses on life experiences and lessons." 
by Shafeeq N. Ghabra
In the fifth in a series of articles commissioned by Common Ground News on Western-Islamic relations, Shafeeq N. Ghabra, an Arab who has lived in the West for significant periods of time, worries that "the East and the West seem almost to have accepted a future of endless conflict" and suggests means to overcome this deterministic viewpoint. 
by Meena Sharify-Funk
The sixth in a series of articles commissioned by Search for Common Ground in partnership with Al Hayat, Sharify-Funk advocates a new dialogue based not an expectation of immediate rewards and conflict resolution, but instead on a desire for understanding and the development and identification of common interests and goals. 
by Hazem Saghiyeh
The seventh in a series of articles commissioned by Search for Common
Ground in partnership with Al Hayat, Hazem Saghiyeh examines some of the trends that have arisen after the Cold War, including the fact that ideas and concepts have become more influential. He wonders whether this is cause for optimism, bringing the world together around significant topics, or if we should be pessimistic, because a large portion of these ideas are being produced by and for the benefit of limited constituencies. (Source: CGNews, November 12, 2004) 
by Shamil Idriss
The eighth in a series of articles on the Muslim world and the West commissioned by Search for Common Ground in partnership with Al Hayat, Idriss' article advocates a "citizen-led peace process" to address theconflicting views and perceptions between the West and Islam world. From his perspective as director of the Partners in Humanity program, he considers some initiatives that may help to spur this course of action. 
by Daoud Kuttab
This article, the ninth in a series of articles commissioned by Search for Common Ground and first published in partnership with Al-Hayat, addresses the impact of Western media in the Middle East and considers the efficacy of media originating in the region. Kuttab advocates that it is crucial that the Arab world develop a medium that looks inward in a critical way if the Middle East wishes to engage in serious dialogue with the West. 
by Sarah Eltantawi
The eleventh and final article in a series on Muslim Western relations, Eltantawi's article considers the limits of dialogue that is based on simplistic and binary notions of identity clashes. In doing so, she suggests that dialogue has limited value when it avoids controversial topics such as the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and fails to consider complex and evolving identities such as " the American-born woman of Arab decent...the Anglo-American convert to Islam...the African-American Muslim...the Pakistani Christian...the agnostic Muslim living in Baghdad." 
by Samer Shehata
"Dialogue and mutual understanding between the Arab and Muslim worlds and the United States has never been more urgently needed. At a time when international public opinion toward the United States and American public opinion toward the Arab and Muslim worlds is at its lowest, it is imperative that people worldwide work toward increasing genuine understanding and mutual respect." (Source: CGNews, December 3, 2004) 
 
 
 
 
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Women of Tunisia: Let your voices be heard!

The women of Tunisia have a decisive role to play in shaping Tunisia's future. Fatma Ben Saïdane reminds women of the power of their vote and the importance of civic engagement.
 
 
 
 
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