2016 Annual Report
Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
2016 was a very successful year for Indiana Center for Middle East Peace (ICMEP) as we celebrated our eleventh anniversary as an independent, non-sectarian 501c3 organization in NE Indiana educating, engaging, and empowering citizens for justice, peace, human rights, and intercultural dialogue locally and globally.
In 2016 ICMEP hosted the following programs:
- Screening of the film, The Stones Cry Out: Palestinian Christian Voices;
- Multiple award-winning qanounist and vocal artist, Ali Paris, in concert;
- Dr. Don Wagner, Dr. Linda Kateeb, Terry Dougherty, and Dr. Ron Caldwell, Palestinian Popular Resistance And Liberation Theology
- Screening of the film, The Land Speaks Arabic: The Zionist Project & the Palestinian Expulsion
- Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Voice for Peace
- The Nakba Exhibit of Memory and Hope – photographs and displays of the 1948, 1967, and ongoing Nakba of the Diaspora
- Barbara Harvey, Jewish Voice for Peace, Detroit – BDS in the Statehouse and in the US Congress
- ArabFest, 2016
- Iyad Burnat, Bil’in Popular Resistance Council
- Ed Thompson – Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy
- Sam Bahour – Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy
- Dr. Juan Cole – University of Michigan, The US and Middle East Foreign Policy
- Dr. Mads Gilbert, Gala 2016 – What My Volunteer Medical Work in Gaza Has Taught Me. The Gala was very successful with regards to attendees, and money raised.
- Rami Elhanan, George & Najwa Saadeh – Our Stories of Grief and Hope: The Bereaved Parents Circle
- Screening of the film Valentino’s Ghost: The Politics Behind the Media’s Image of Arabs
- Dr. L. Michael Spath, In the Arms of the Beloved: An Evening With Rumi
ArabFest 2016 was a great success with again more than 2500 attendees. Musician Ronnie Malley and his trio from Chicago was a big hit. And we had good community support from Culligan Water, Tim Horton’s Coffee, and others in the community. We decreased the deficit to the ICMEP budget for ArabFest by half this year.
We entered into partnership with Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy (A4VPE). We hosted Chicago businessman Ed Thompson twice and Palestinian-American businessman and entrepreneur, Sam Bahour (now resident of Ramallah) for meetings with interested individuals. Already there have been individuals from the Fort Wayne area who have provided resource information for Palestinian businesses.
We are very grateful to Jitasa Accounting Services, our first full year with them providing help with our books.
ICMEP collated a mailing list of its attendees and contributors from the last five years. ICMEP continued their financial and material support of Fort Wayne for Refugees, as a vehicle for contributions.
Representatives of ICMEP met with Jorge Ortiz, representative of US Senator Joe Donnelly about the No Way to Treat A Child initiative before the US Congress.
Michael provided resources to Plymouth Congregational Church; First Congregational Church UCC, Angola; Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship regarding resolutions before their respective denominations.
In 2016, ICMEP partnered with the UEF, Unitarian Universalists, Fort Wayne Friends, and Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship in co-sponsoring programs. We hope to build on those relationships in the future. We continue with strong partnership relationships with Plymouth Congregational UCC and Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren.
Michael has met with leaders of the UEF Educational Center and Mosque in Fort Wayne to seek ways for ICMEP to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community against efforts to marginalize Muslims in the United States.
Michael helped to plan the tour featuring Dr. Mads Gilbert, who was the ICMEP Gala speaker this year. Dr. Gilbert spoke at eight different venues during his Midwest and Texas tour. Michael was also the Tour Director and Planner for the Bereaved Parents tour with Rami Elhanan, George & Najwa Saadeh. They spoke to at least 12 different groups in five states during their two-week tour of the Midwest US.
Michael attended the Kairos USA Leadership Retreat, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and the Friends of Sabeel North America-sponsored “Racialized States” conference (the latter along with board members Ron Caldwell, Terry Dougherty – and their spouses – and Barbara O’Connor).
Michael co-led (with Drs. Don Wagner and Linda Kateeb) a Friends of Sabeel North America-sponsored “immersion tour” of the West Bank in January, 2016. Board members Ron Caldwell and Terry Dougherty participated in the tour. Michael also led his 12th “solidarity tour” in June with 15 participants.
17 December 2016