On February 2, 2008 Elza Maalouf and Dr. Don Beck (she is from Lebanon) helped design and implement a "Summit on the Future of Palestine" in Bethlehem.

 The event drew 700 Palestinian leaders. They helped plant the seeds in the West Bank that are now beginning to "grow" a new sense of cultural empowerment and systemic development. You can read about it at

None of the speeches by Palestinians dealt with Israel or the occupation. Dr. Beck have also been involved in Iceland with the National Assembly, a quite innovative approach to tap into the insights and wisdom of the 'hearts and minds' of Icelanders. Finally, they have just received a request from thier colleagues in the West Bank who are planning for a similar event. 

Dr. Beck have believed for some time that the historic gaps and asymmetrics both within and between Israel and Palestine cannot be "negotiated" in the traditional manner. Dr. Beck propose, instead, a 'Natural Design' process based on a "Hong Kong of the Middle East" vision. Many of these concepts were used in the South African transformation out of apartheid, and even in the role of rugby in the l995 World Cup where the Springbok provided Nelson Mandela with a nation-building euphoria. You can see evidence of our approach in the movie INVICTUS that is about to be released in DVD format. It is not enough to think out of the box; we must now experience a "quantum leap" out of it. No more prizes for forecasting the rain; only prizes for building the ark. the only way to deal with radical voices, is to appeal to the hearts and minds of people who also have children and grandchildren and are now weary of violence and even resent outside intervention from Iran. Finally, Dr. Beck was able to introduce a master Code that best explains how cultures form, why they fight, how they can change, and what processes are necessary in collective decision-making. Time to leave the stereotypes based on ethnicity, religion, skin color, gender and class-based divides behind as we explore new and well researched and documented models for human emergence. And, The efforts were funded by visionary American business men and women who only seek after global understanding and peaceful settlements of difficult conflicts. They understand that any solution from any other culture cannot be imposed on the unique situation and value system differences in any other place on the planet. 
(The work is pro bono.)

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I've heard of Amin Maalouf, author of The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. I wonder if she's related to him? Anyway, thanks for sharing this article, Neri. This reminds me of the online chat about civil societies and the requirements for building sustainable civil societies.



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