Conference in Portland Oregon on A Common Word in March 2009′

Dr. Ibrahim Kalin, Assistant Professor November 29, 2008
School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University

Dear Dr. Kalin,

The Institute for Christian-Muslim Understanding (ICMU— is planning a regional conference to be held in Portland, Oregon on March 13-14, 2009. The focus of our conference will be the historic letter, A Common Word between Us and You. We would like to invite you and Dr. John Borelli to give the opening presentation on Friday evening, March 13, on “The Significance of A Common Word: Muslim and Christian Perspectives”. (This will not necessarily have to be the title of the presentation—we are open to suggestions—but we would like you to speak from the Muslim perspective, and Dr. Borelli from the Christian perspective, on the importance of this letter.)

Our evening events usually begin at 7:00 pm and last for about two hours. We could discuss possible formats later—perhaps you will have some ideas from your past experience. This event will be open to the public, but in our publicity we will refer people to and suggest that they read the letter prior to attending the event. (We have done this prior to small group dinner/discussions on A Common Word and it seemed to work well.)

Originally we were only planning an event for Friday evening, March 13. However, it has now grown to a 2-part event—an evening presentation and a follow-up the next afternoon. The planning committee thinks people will want to somehow move from a common word about love of God and love of neighbor, to common concerns, and then to common actions. Would you and Dr. Borelli be able to give some type of presentation at 1:00 pm on Saturday about moving from word to deed? (We have some ideas, but thought we should first confirm your interest and availability.)

Later in the afternoon we plan to have some local speakers, perhaps from some social service agencies and/or a panel on the role of the media. We will end our day with a potluck dinner hosted by the Muslim Educational Trust (, a well-respected organization that has existed here in Portland for over 15 years. However, we wouldn’t expect you to stay past your presentation time as we know you have many other commitments.

Regarding stipends and expenses, we are able to offer you and Dr. Borelli stipends of $750.00 each, airfare, and accommodations for Friday night. (If you are able to present on Saturday, we will also arrange accommodations for Saturday night—unless you wish to take an evening flight home.) We hope it will be possible for you to accept our invitation to present on March 13, or on March 13 & 14, 2009—especially because you are one of the signatories of this historic letter!

God’s blessings,

Sr. Mollie Reavis, SNJM Dr. Jan Abushakrah
ICMU Co-president ICMU Co-president
[email protected] [email protected]