Golden Rule Power:

Peacebuilding in Africa and the Middle East

Wednesday, 07 May 2014


"According to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of

becoming kinder and more loving:

Hurry up. Speed it along.

Start right now."

        ~ Professor George Saunders (2013 Syracuse University commencement address)

            Online at

"...The great and curious truth of the human experience is that

selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself."

        ~ David McCullough, Jr. (2012 Wellesley High School commencement address)

            On the Web at

"All that is gold does not glitter."

        ~  J. R. R. Tolkien  (The Lord of the Rings)


= = 1 = =
It's appeal and power
in northern Nigeria

The Appeal

The Golden Rule directs all people to treat others as one wishes to be treated. 
Surrounding Earth, it is the human ethic prescribed most universally in diverse traditions of religions, cultures, and philosophies. 

The Golden Rule reveals a profound unity underlying the diversity of human experience.
It recommends personal decision-making based on humankind's inextricable mutuality, interdependence, and reciprocity -- one-ness..

The Power

April 5th, 2014 -- International Golden Rule Day -- in northern Nigeria 33 Muslim and Christian religious, tribal, civil, and government administration leaders were invited to engage face-to-face.

To further elevate and embody Golden Rule Day 2014, the preferred Saturday venue was Bauchi State's Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA) with its history of conflicted relationships -- slaughter, dehumanization, massive property destruction.

This powerful Muslim-initiated Dialogue gathered together leading and outspoken Christian reverend fathers and Pastors, Islamic chief Imams and their deputies, traditional chiefs, leaders of youth and of women of the seven area tribes, and the Executive Chairman of Tafawa Balewa LGA.

The facilitator, Usman Mohammed Inuwa, represented Forward in Action for Conservation of Indigenous Species & Leadership (FACIS) and United Religions Initiative (URI).
Usman received e-mail at

Golden Rule posters and teaching curricula are available from Scarboro Missions, Toronto, Canada --
Contact Paul McKenna at



Northern Nigeria Muslim-Christian

Golden Rule Day Reconciliation

Bauchi State -- 05 April 2014

= = 2 = =
Historic African
Reconciliation is Golden
for Ivory Coast Albinos

The same Saturday, April 5th, 2014, The Golden Rule ruled in Ivory Coast, another West African nation where adults and children with albinism have perpetually suffered exclusion and humiliation, and sometimes kidnapping and ritual sacrifice due to perpetuated religious and cultural practices.

But that Saturday in Bouake, northern Cote d'Ivoire, brought together in trust-building and face-to-face Dialogue the traditional heads and the albino community.

Listening to personal life stories and clarifying the medical condition and biological causes of albinism
, traditional leaders and the general community establish personal, relationships with albino youth and adults while creating heart connections that helped humanize and dignify everyone.

This is among the brave, ongoing, citizen-driven tribal and cultural reconciliations being initiated and facilitated by Offuh James Offuh and a volunteer core team of the UFPACI -- -- an NGO based in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
Offuh gets e-mail at

The larger Cote d'Ivoire peacebuilding story is at


Albino ~ Non-Albino Reconciliation Workshop

Bouake, northern Cote d'Ivoire -- 05 April 2014

= = 3 = =
Golden Middle East Moments:
Close Encounters
of the Unusual Kind

NEIGHBORS ENCOUNTER is a new, small experiment pairing Israeli Palestinian communities with Reform Jewish congregations to  get to know and humanize one another.
Six Arab families and six Jewish families meet alternately in Jaljulya village and Jaffa.

These face-to-face meetings are simple yet unusual, flying in the face of of growing alienation and animosity between Jews and Arabs in Israel..
This is no small thing in an increasingly polarized country where at best, Israeli Palestinians and Jews -- except for a tiny portion -- never meet in any depth.
At worst, they fear and dread one another.

Leora Frucht, participant-journalist, described "an odd couple, these two middle-aged womenone in a black hijab and ankle-length dress, the other in tight-fitting jeans and colorful T-shirtstanding there in the middle of the room, locked in a tight embrace."

"Later on, several people would point to that moment as the most jolting and unforgettable scene of the afternoon in Jaffa.
None of them could have been more astonished than Ithe woman in the jeans and colorful T-shirt," wrote Frucht." 

"We soon found ourselves sitting in two rows in a large room, them on that side of the room, us on this side, staring at each other like teenagers at a school dance.
What, many of us wondered, could progressive Jews have in common with these dark-bearded men and these women in hijabs and drab ankle-length dresses?
My husband confessed that the sight of one woman, clad all in black, conjured up images of al-Qaeda."

It was now clear to me why the organizers had hired mediators.
Left to our own devices, we might have taken one peek in the room and, like someone stepping into a bar for a blind date, just snuck right out."

"I faced Futna, the one my husband had dubbed the al-Qaeda look-alike.
She began to tell me about Islam, while I explained to her what Reform Judaism was all about. 'It sounds much like Islam, she said to my surprise.'"

The women went on, surprisingly quickly growing familiar together like neighbors.
They spoke of fertility, childbirth, adoption, their shared humanity and bravery.

"I no longer noticed what she wore because I was too focused on what she was saying.
I was stunned by her openness and courage.
It turned out that I could understand this English teacher from Jaljulyaand she could understand me, a journalist from Modiinbetter than many friends and relatives who had known us for years."

the powerful, instructive story of how walls fall, creating intimacy and community more easily than some people imagine.



by Leora Eren Frucht

Hadassah Magazine -- May 2014

- - - - -
"I believe that we can co-exist
Let's go further now
Than we've ever gone before."



Ring The Bells

by Melissa Etheridge and Salman Ahmad

3-1/2 min music video

- - - - -
These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at