Dialogue for Peace: Bridging Our Differences

Brian Atwood (left), Dean of the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, and Janet Dolan, founder of Norway House Minnesota Peace Initiative and board member of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights - US Foundation.

Minneapolis, May 1, 2009: In 2006, the Danish press published cartoons that were offensive in the Muslim World. Rioting and bloodshed occurred in many places in the world but not in Norway. The “Open Forum – Dialogue for Peace – Bridging Our Differences” will explore why Norway was able to diffuse the conflict so quickly and how others can learn from that experience.

Could there be a parallel in our own Minneapolis/St. Paul community where fear and misunderstanding has increased because of the mystery of a few young Somali men disappearing from the community, the resulting FBI investigations, and the general public fears of terror and violence? 

The community would like to come together as they have in Norway to discuss the concerns that both the community and the government has in this unfortunate situation.

A Forum, to be held at the Humphrey Institute on May 19, will highlight the experience of Norway in building a local dialogue among cultures and religions and explore how their experience can be used in building a platform for dialogue in our community. Imam Senaid Kobilica, president of the Islamic Council of Norway, and Ms. Ingrid Vik, Senior Advisor for Africa and the Middle East at the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights in Oslo, Norway, will team up with the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Abdi Samatar, Professor of Geography and Global Studies, and Norwegian Ambassador to Syria, Rolf Willy Hansen, in the Forum.

The Forum moderator will be Brian Atwood, Dean of the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, and Ms. Carol Engebretson Byrne, President of the Minnesota International Center, will frame the discussion and introduce the panel.

The forum is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited and reservations are required. The event is organized by Norway House Minnesota Peace Initiative, and Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights – US Foundation at Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave S., Minneapolis, MN on May 19 at 6 pm. (registration/check in at 5:30pm)

To registration please visit:  www.norwayhouse.net. 

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