Books

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This book is a strong critique of the Middle East from an astute observer who has been a passionate critic of the West’s policies in the Middle East, no neocon. Worth reading.

What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East?
By Patrick Seale

[Brit Whitaker, author of What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East] has travelled widely in Arab countries and was Middle East editor of the Guardian newspaper for seven years. He evidently knows the region intimately. His strength, in researching this book, is that he has not restricted himself, as most journalists do, to seeking the views of political leaders and government officials, but has instead moved outside the strictly political sphere to interview a great many thinkers, academics, students, opinion-formers, bloggers, and ordinary people in many countries across the region. He has looked beyond Arab regimes to society as a whole. That is the originality of his

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Recent Book Talk in Toronto

by mgopin on October 14, 2009 · 2 comments

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I had a wonderful experience  recently in Toronto. This is a photo of my book talk at Indigo Books, where I spoke on my recently published To Make the Earth Whole: the Art of Citizen Diplomacy. I had been invited up by the Mosaic Institute to speak on a panel on the state of Middle East peace, together with Fawaz Gerges and Bessma Momani. The event was terrific, but the book talk was also fun because Hind brought so many of her good friends in Toronto, and we were able to celebrate with friends our work together in Syria.

hind marc

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Saira Yamin on TO MAKE THE EARTH WHOLE

by mgopin on August 31, 2009 · 7 comments

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ICAR Ph.D. candidate Saira Yamin’s article in The News, a leading newspaper in Pakistan, reviewing my latest book, To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy:

People to People Contact
By Saira Yamin
The News, August 8, 2009

Excerpt from the Article:

“Positive change is more often pioneered by individuals of courage,” writes Marc Gopin, a rabbi, peacemaker, and scholar. His new book To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy offers invaluable insights for those who want to make the world a more peaceful place. The narrative evolves in the backdrop of the post 9/11 clash of civilizations, whereby fissures between the West and Islam appear to be growing. Gopin observes that relations between the United States and Syria in particular are mired in distrust and hostility. Former President of the United

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Marc Gopin – To Make the Earth Whole

heather-duboisThe Psalmist said three thousand years ago, “Seek peace and pursue it.” The rabbis of the Talmud added two thousand years ago, “Seek it in your own place, and pursue it to other places,” which I guess I understood to mean, “pursue it to other places that are the most risky that you can imagine.”

This passage from Rabbi Marc Gopin’s new book, To Make the Earth Whole, summarizes Gopin’s mind-frame during his January 2005 journey from Jerusalem to Damascus, a journey that would initiate a citizen diplomacy effort between partners in Syria and the United States over the course of several years. After a chance meeting with Syrian-Canadian attorney and peace-activist Hind Kabawat at the World Economic Forum in May 2004, Gopin, the celebrated educator and author, and

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Peace is Not Magic

by mgopin on June 26, 2009 · 5 comments

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By Kobi Skolnick
In the last few weeks, there have been many developments in the Middle East conflict. People around the world have been following the speeches of President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as Hosni Mubarak’s essay in the Wall Street Journal. This high-level discussion signals a shift in policy and progress toward peace. However, some skeptics wonder if this is just another phase in a cycle of false hope. After all, it is not difficult to imagine another suicide bombing in one of Israel’s cities, or an ill-timed Israeli Defense Force operation in the Palestinian Territories, both of which would immediately make peace look like a mere fantasy.

This danger has always existed in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Even when top leaders sign treaties, on the ground there remains a deep enmity between Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab world. With this in mind, …

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An important backdrop to the militant American foreign policy of recent years is the fear that also pervades many Arab capitals of a rising “Shi’a Crescent” across the Middle East, which refers to the rise in militant power of Shi’ites across the region. Shi’ites represent about 12% of the Muslim population worldwide, as opposed to Sunnis who are the vast majority. King Abdullah of Jordan gave a grim warning of this rise on December 8, 2004 in anticipation of the Iraqi elections.

But Dr. Moshe Maoz, Israel’s most senior expert on Syria and Iran, and also passionately committed to peace, has exposed this fear as oversimplified and misplaced, in an important study for the Saban Center. What appears as a rising crescent of the moon is actually more like crumb cake. There are separate and isolated movements across the region of Shi’ites asserting their presence, their rights and their power. …

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Books

by mgopin on December 22, 2006 · 0 comments

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My latest books: Healing the Heart of Conflict (Rodale, 2004)

“Psychologically and spiritually grounded, compassionate, and compelling” — Publishers Weekly starred review Drawing on his rich experience in the field of international conflict resolution, Marc Gopin applies what he has learned about clashing cultures and beliefs on the world stage to the more personalbut no less painfulstruggles involving families, friends, and coworkers. In Healing the Heart of Conflict, Dr. Gopin identifies the measures we can all take to make peace in our own troubled lives. His powerful 8-step plan includes careful coaching in the art of listening, the art of observation, and the delicate process of addressing the deepest emotions of others under circumstances that could turn explosive at any moment. He then applies these steps to practical examples from the workplace, in romantic relationships, and in our communities. Whether you are clashing with a spouse, a relative, or a

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