Algebra for Coexistence:

Discovering our human equality, our best

29 January 2016


"Either war is finished or we are."

~ Herman Wouk (1915 - )

  in War and Remembrance

"The days of humiliation, of second-class citizens and of inequality

are over and gone forever." 

~ Gerry Adams (1948- )

President, Sinn Fein - Northern Ireland

"Not one of you truly believes until you

wish for others what you wish for yourself."

~ Prophet Mohammed Hadith

The Golden Rule expressed in most major religions


"How do I listen to others?

As if everyone were my Master speaking to me

His cherished last words."

- Hafiz (1320-1389, Persia)

Sufi Persian mystic and poet


"I win, you lose" does not equate.
It is neither logical nor successful in human relationships.

Some adults remember that two childhood difficulties were algebra and keeping bonds of human friendship.
We are still learning.

Human bonds
are broken by inciting harm, rankism, unfairness, humiliation.
We are driven apart by loss and by fear of losing home, identity, dignity,  and freedom  to reach our human best.

Algebra is from Arabic, al-jabr, meaning "reunion of broken parts."
It openly inquires to discover what "unknown" on the "other side" proves the equality of the two sides is true.

And so it is with us -- equally human.
We discover this truth of our existence on Earth by meeting face-to-face.

We listen with sincere, skilled openness and inquire into one another's lives.
The experience is as dependable as algebra: "An enemy is one whose story we have not heard."

It is time to incite what strengthens human bonds -- acts of kindness that dignify donor and recipient. . .equally.
In homes, schools, neighborhoods, and among nations.
With every decision, every day.

Here are citizens solving equations.
Seeking the unknown -- the equally human partner awaiting discovery.

= = 1 = =
Finding equality in
A Circle of Women
Or-Nur-Light includes Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women together for 10 years ago in Haifa.
They are one of seventy groups of the Interfaith Encounter Association -- -- dedicated to promoting peace in the Middle East through face-to-face interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural learning.

Monthly in-home meetings include visits in Arab villages and cultural activities throughout

the land. 
This 21-minute film documents a meeting in the living room of Nawal and Omar in Kababir, a mixed neighborhood of Jews and Ahmadi Muslim Arabs in Haifa.
Included were Manal Sherif and her husband, Mohammad, leader of the Ahmadi congregation.

Their new video chronicles 10 years of communication excellence and sustained partnership in their "island of sanity."
It is intended to encourage similar new groups to begin worldwide.



21-min video -- December 2015

= = 2 = =
Discovering equality by
Living Together
Israel's Channel One program, Release, recently visited Wahat al-Salam ~ Neve Shalom -- -- to talk with some of the teens living in this deliberate cooperative village of Jews and Palestinian Arabs near Jerusalem.
In the current climate of distrust, despair and violence they found courage, humor, optimism, inspiration and hope -- honest, ongoing relationships.


Coexistence is no dream in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam

6-1/2 min video -- 28 January 2016

= = 3 = =
Experiencing equality
Among Martial Artists
In contrast with news reports of Middle East tension, today Budos for Peace -- -- continues to unite with person-to-person martial arts that reject violence in favor of human engagement that diffuses resistance and harm.
In the Holy Land and internationally, Budo for Peace participants give adversaries experiences of peaceful co-existence between Jews, Palestinians, other Arabs, and all humankind.


Fighting for peaceful co-existence

Australian Jewish News - 26 November 2012

2-min news video

= = 4 = =
Realizing equality while
Healing Together
Increasing in numbers,. Palestinians and Israelis of the Parents Circle ~ Families Forum -- -- are drawn together of shared grief.
They have lost family members to violence, yet choose open dialogue rather than revenge.


It Wont End Until We Talk

Tablet Magazine -- 28 January 2016

= = 5 = =
Exploring equality while
Guiding Tours
In December 2015, 40 Palestinians and Israelis answered the call to professional tour guides for an all-day meeting by the Dead Sea.
How could they use their professional opportunities to help travelers to experience diverse people, places, and faiths -- our shared humanity?

With thousands of daily tourists, they saw their potential to awaken understanding, heart connections, and compassion to dignify everyone and create community.


Tour Guides as a Bridge Between Humans

Meeting notes and photos -- December 2015


= = 1 = =
A how-to and why of Dialogue


The Power of Authentic Dialogue

George Kohlrieser

Leader to Leader -- Fall 2006


= = 2 = =
How Change happens (and doesn't)
"The way we're trying to change the world is not going to work."

Most of our big systems education, health care, government, business are failing our communities.
What if we stopped trying to fix them?

Deborah Frieze says its not possible to change big systemswe can only abandon them and start over or offer hospice to whats dying.
Change will begin with "localism" -- small, loosely connected circles of interested, imaginative citizens with courage and initiative.
Each citizen will matter.


How I Became a Localist

Deborah Frieze: 

TEDxTalk -- December 2015

13 min video

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