2014 Report

2014 was a year of growth in programming, and a strengthening of the infrastructure of Indiana Center for Middle East Peace, a year of positive change and expansion of our work in Northeast Indiana. A summary of our 2014 programs:

  • January 23, Dr. Noor Boorbieva, Department of Anthropology, IPFW – The State of US-Russia Relations: Challenges, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren
  • February 27, Greg Myre, Foreign Editor for digital news, NPR – Lessons from the “Front Lines” of Israel & Palestine, First Presbyterian Church
  • March 20, Brian McLaren, theologian, My Journey into Progressive Religion in a Multi-Faith World, Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC
  • April 6, Carrie Newcomer, singer, songwriter, & Abdelfattah Abusrour, Al-Rowwad Theater Education Center, Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem – A Concert of Justice, Hope, and Spirit, Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne
  • May 4, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council – A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity, Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC
  • August 22, Zoughbi Zoughbi, Wi’am Conflict Resolution & Transformation Center, Bethlehem – Benefit Dinner for the Children of Gaza, Landmark Conference and Reception Centre
  • September 4, A Vigil and Lament for the Children of Gaza, Lakeside Park
  • September 11, Dr. Fouad Halaby, Ahmed Abdelmageed, Amar El-Masri Stories of Palestinian-American Immigrants, Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC
  • September 25, Where Should the Birds Fly?, October 21, with Fida Qishta, filmmaker, Plymouth Congregational Church, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren
  • October 4, Gala, Rev. Dr. Allan Boesak, Desmond Tutu Chair of Peace, Global Justice, & Reconciliation Studies, Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University – South Africa’s Continuing Lessons for the Middle East, Pine Valley Country Club
  • November 13, Bernard Alter, US State Department, author – The US and Pakistan: Friends or Foes, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren
  • November 21, ArabFeast, Plymouth Congregational Church of the Brethren
  • December 12-January 14, Boycott: The Art of Economic Activism Poster Exhibit,ArtLink, with American Friends Service Committee, Fort Wayne Friends, and others

In May, Dr. Michael Spath was invited to be full-time Executive Director of ICMEP. And we added three new members to the board, all Arab-Americans, the latter two from the local Muslim community: lawyer Sam Jarjour, professor Ahmed Abdelmageed, and businessman Amar El-Masri.

In December, Dr. Spath and board member, Terry Dougherty, traveled to Palestine with a two-fold purpose: [1] to attend the Global Kairos conference, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Kairos Palestine document and connect with Kairos organizations from over 20 other nations, and [2] create a “Virtual Freedom Trail” video-conferencing capability with the Wi’am Conflict Resolution & Transformation Center (Zoughbi Zoughbi) and the Tent of Nations (Daoud Nassar), with a grant from Manchester University’s Peace Studies Institute. In addition, they were introduced to Nablus’ Multipurpose Community Resource Center (Ayman Shakaa and Aroub Jamleh), which ICMEP has adopted as its latest mission partner.

During the last half of 2014, Dr. Spath and the board worked diligently to strengthen the organization’s committee structure and financial support. Dr. Spath also began to establish partnerships with other national (Kairos USA, PCUSA IPMN) and regional groups with similar goals (Tecumseh and Holland, MI, and Indianapolis). Each of these will continue in 2015, which promises to be a year of even more exciting growth.