Every region has multiple narratives. There is the dominant narrative that is often told on tours, and there are the subaltern narratives. Aziz Abu Sarah and his company, MEJDI Tours, seeks to find the subaltern or marginalized narratives in every destination, get access to people and sites and identify authentic experiences for their travelers. Aziz argues that tourism is the most sustainable way to break down barriers. Join us in our conversation on Can Multi-Narrative Tourism Make a Difference? by Aziz Abu Sarah on Friday, November 29, 2019, at 10:30 AM ET. In this webinar, Aziz will talk about the role multi-narrative tourism can play in building bridges between cultures, and how tourism can help people move past tolerance toward reconciliation.
Storytelling and narrative change is an important part of reconciliation work, requiring an understanding of when to use individual storytelling to inspire others and when to incorporate a broader story to build understanding of the broader systemic change that is needed. The narrative power of tourism can help shift the conversations and perceptions surrounding conflict. In the case of tourism, contact between foreign visitors and hosts of diverse and even conflicting groups may provide opportunities in which perceived notions and stereotypes are broken down and ultimately replaced with mutually positive perceptions and understandings of one another. Aziz’s style of tourism seeks to move beyond one-dimensional narratives to shape a more complex picture, using different frames and new metaphors.
Now is the time more than ever for peacebuilders to question our own thinking, language and assumptions in order to break down our own bubbles of meaning to co-construct new narratives for peace with others. Aziz will explain how we are all connected by shared values that cross cultures, languages, religions, nationalities, and ethnicities, and that there is far more that unites us than separates us.
Aziz Abu Sarah is a National Geographic Explorer and Cultural Educator, as well as a TED Fellow. He is the co-founder of MEJDI Tours, a social enterprise focused on introducing multi-narrative cultural education and responsible business practices to the travel industry. In the past, Aziz also served as the Executive Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University (2009-2015).
In the field, Aziz has pioneered and managed projects in conflict resolution and community relations in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Washington D.C, and other sites. He is the co-director of the “I Am Your Protector” interfaith campaign. He also is a cofounder of Project Amal ou Salam, a grassroots relief organization for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
In the media, Aziz has co-produced and hosted the National Geographic web series Conflict Zone, a series that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of Palestinian refugees, the Israeli Defense Forces, Jewish settlers, and more. Aziz has also published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Jerusalem Post, Alarabiya, and others. He frequently provides expert analysis for television news programs such as Al Jazeera, CNN and Fox.
Aziz has been honored to receive numerous awards, including the Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East from the Institute of International Education, the Silver Rose Award from the European Parliament, the Eisenhower Medallion from People to People International, and the Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism from Search for Common Ground. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized Aziz Abu Sarah’s work during his speech at the 5th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in February 2013, and the UNAOC and BMW Group awarded him the intercultural innovation award in 2011. and Aziz has been named one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims” by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre for nine years running.
Please note that the deadline to register for this webinar is one day before the event. We will send the Zoom access link to registrants after the registration closing time and again on the day of the event. For further information about this our other webinars, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.