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‘A Common Word’ in the News

Mr. A.H. Farouki Participates in the Second Round Table Discussion of the Religions for Peace World Council

VIENNA, Va., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — This month, at the Second Round Table Discussion for the Religions for Peace and The Helsinki Process, Nour USA CEO Mr. A.H. Farouki called for the constitution of a Middle East Board of Trustees to provide input and support to the Religions for Peace Organization.

Prior to the Second Discussion, the first collaboration between the World Conference of Religions for Peace and the Helsinki Process [on Globalization and Democracy] on “Shared Security” explored the role of multi-religious cooperation in conflict transformation and the promotion of shared security. The Roundtable titled, “Multi-stakeholder approach to shared security: the role of religions,” was held in the Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria Egypt from April 12th-14th, 2007 and focused on searching for means to mobilize both religion and religious assets for peace and the promotion of collective security through peaceful means. The Roundtable further identified the progress possible in the Middle East, specifically the Palestinian situation.

The Second Round Table Discussion in Alexandria, Egypt, held from December 4th through December 5th, 2007, expanded on the previous concept of Palestinian peace with the goal of focusing on three strategic elements designed to foster cooperation and address the following shared security issues specific to the Middle East and Palestinian regions:

1. Further development of the Shared Security concept in a multi-stakeholder approach.

2. Create a multi-religious structure as a mechanism for multi-stakeholder partnership for promoting shared security and peace in the Middle East region.

3. Develop a Palestinian Religions for Peace Inter-religious Council.

In relation to the issue at hand, the core message of the open letter to Christian leaders, “A Common Word Between You and Us,” written by 138 Muslim leaders and issued in October of 2007, was reiterated to attendees. The second statement explained that the letter’s purpose is to “explore the scriptures that are holy to Islam and Christianity, in order to emphasize similarities…” and to express that “a coalition of cooperation can and should be built upon this convergence of moral commitment.” It was also noted that although the letter addresses an Islamic and Christian audience, its message is applicable to all religions worldwide.

In response to this need, Mr. A.H. Farouki has stepped forward to lead the effort to gather and establish the Middle East Board of Trustees for the Religions for Peace Organization.

“The exploration of possible initiatives in the Middle East is key to its continued development and post-war rehabilitation. The creation of a Middle Eastern Board of Trustees for the Religions for Peace Organization will be critical to this development goal. Furthermore, we will recruit the Trustees from academia, philanthropic foundations, civic groups, and businesses” Mr. Farouki later commented.

About The Helsinki Process

The Helsinki Process (http://www.helsinkiprocess.fi/) on Globalization and Democracy was jointly initiated by Finland and Tanzania as a result of the Helsinki Conference of December 2002. During the First Phase of the Process — from 2003 to September 2005 — the high-level Helsinki Group and three thematic Tracks worked on developing a concept for multi-stakeholder cooperation in global problem solving and suggested ways of addressing various global problems using this concept.

About Religions for Peace

Founded in 1970, Religions for Peace enables communities to unleash their enormous potential for common action. Some of Religions for Peace’s recent successes include building a new climate of reconciliation in Iraq; mediating dialogue among warring factions in Sierra Leone; organizing an international network of religious women’s organizations; and establishing an extraordinary program to assist the millions of children affected by Africa’s AIDS pandemic, the Hope for African Children Initiative.

About Mr. A. Huda Farouki

Mr. A. Huda Farouki is a prominent international business leader with a long standing history of philanthropic interests. He is the CEO of ANHAM, LLC (http://www.anham.com/), and CEO of Nour USA, Limited (http://www.nourusa.com/). In addition, through ANHAM LLC and Knowlogy International, two companies Mr. Farouki directs, he spearheaded the effort to gather the financial support required for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the Afghanistan Technical Vocational Institute (ATVI) (http://www.atvi.edu.af/), Afghanistan’s largest and first post-war, co-ed vocational school.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,245289.shtml

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