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Profile Information

My personal story:
The CRDC began in 2003, through a major gift commitment from the Catalyst Fund, which endowed the the James H. Laue Chair in World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, and created CRDC to be directed by the Chair. The Chair is named for James H. Laue, the inaugural Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Professor of Conflict Resolution at George Mason from 1987 until his death in 1993.

Dr. Marc Gopin, scholar and practitioner in religious peacebuilding, author of and several of the foundational books of the field of religion and conflict resolution, was appointed as Chair and Director. Dr. Gopin brings years of experience and scholarship in the positive and negative roles that religion can play in conflict. His vision for the center includes education in positive resources for conflict resolution in the world’s religions, empowerment of religious leaders in the resolution of conflicts, and a transformation in the way policymakers approach religious conflicts.
Why I want peace:
The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) engages in practice, education, and research concerning peacebuilding in conflicts where religion and culture play a significant role in both destructive conflict and peacebuilding. CRDC specializes in entrepreneurial engagement with partners, students, and supporters, who share the goal of promoting emerging networks of indigenous and global peacebuilders, mobilizing support for them, and creating linkages between peacebuilders, citizen diplomats, and policy makers.
Interests and activities:
The goal of CRDC is to inspire and generate successful incremental steps of positive change in intractable conflict situations that can become the basis for new approaches to diplomacy and foreign policy. Paths to positive change include: civil society development through education in conflict resolution, peer mediation, innovative religious, spiritual, and cultural forms of conflict resolution, culturally effective methods of cooperation on development projects of benefit to all parties, and an integrated relationship between the world of such work and the world of policy makers and diplomats. An essential element of this is effective relationship-building across multiple sectors of enemy systems and global governance systems, with the help of extraordinary ‘connectors’. But it also entails linking these networks to the complex layers of decision makers in the more privileged sectors of global society. An essential emerging component of this work, therefore, is social network research and the practice of social network peacebuilding through social media, films, and cutting edge venues of global communications. The work of CRDC ranges from grassroots work to policymaking, and seeks to develop and support more effective collaboration between grassroots leaders and policymakers with regard to education, social change, and nonviolent resistance to unjust structures.

While CRDC welcomes grant opportunities for work in many regions, and CRDC has access to students with expertise in every region of the globe, CRDC’s major focus for the next three years will be the promotion of effective interventions in the Middle East, especially as it is linked to the United States.
Something you didn't know about me:
How I found
through social networking sites
What I want to achieve here:
CRDC has also functioned as a unique cultural space in which ICAR community members and others have been welcomed in as social entrepreneurs engaged in new and creative self-supporting ventures that attune well to CRDC’s mission.

CRDC is an incubator for new relationships with training, civil society or educational institutions in parts of the world that may be volatile or situations that may be fluid and too early for engagement with ICAR’s high levels of scholarship and research. CRDC has already pioneered such relationships that could prove useful for more developed relationships with ICAR in the future.

Recent activities emerging from the mission include supporting the following:

* A five year experiment in citizen diplomacy in Syria that included dozens of television, radio appearances, as well as public conferences, debates, and seminars, Syria, Israel and the United States
* The establishment of a CRDC branch in Damascus, Syria, with trainings already underway
* Training in religion and conflict resolution as a channel of indirect communication between enemies (USIP-CRDC)
* Film series, in cooperation with the Fetzer Institute, Friendships Across the Divide, which highlights the work of Middle East peaceabuilders
* Weblog
* Conferences in Washington, in collaboration with Alliance for Middle East Peace, leading to the evolution of recently introduced legislation to create a Palestine/Israel Fund to revolutionize support for people to people peacebuilding (HR 1065).
* Hosting of Middle Eastern diplomats, scholars and peacemakers, such as from Jerusalem Peacemakers.

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Current Events

Hello and welcome to the CRDC mepeace page!

Come join Aziz Abu Sarah Palestinian Chair of the Parents Circle and Director of Middle East Projects for the CRDC and Rabbi Dr.Marc Gopin Professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, and Director of the CRDC at George Mason for a 10 day trip to the Holy Land with this unique chance to experience peace-building first hand!

For More Information, Follow This Link To Our
Facebook Event

Also, Please Check Us Out At Our Homepage or Facebook

Follow CRDC Through Twitter @CRDC_GMU


Meet Marc Gopin in TORONTO

Posted on October 7, 2009 at 4:43pm 0 Comments

Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution will be speaking about his new book “To Make the Earth Whole” at:




Please join us to hear and meet the author of this important work and buy a signed copy of the book

To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen… Continue

New England Paper Highlights Aziz Sarah’s Work as a Peacemaker

Posted on August 28, 2009 at 9:47pm 0 Comments

Published by malloryh under Israel, Palestine, Palestinians, citizen diplomacy, narrative, peace process

By Mallory Huggins

A few weeks ago, The Jewish Voice & Herald (which serves New England and Southeastern Massachusetts) spolighted our own Aziz Abu Sarah’s work as an activist in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The article, titled “Palestinian activist: From angry young man to a proponent of peace,” discusses Aziz’s very personal connection to the conflict and how he… Continue

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At 11:24pm on August 26, 2009, fesalk411 said…
A True Story By Faisal Al-katib
I am a Palestinian Arab from Hizmeh, a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah. When I was 15 years old I fought against the Israeli Occupation in search of freedom. At that time I thought every Jewish person, whether soldier or citizen, man or woman, young or old, should be killed. I rejected the right for any Jew to live and every Jew was a target. I was just a kid, believe me, and I didn’t understand anything about politics or the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was arrested and sat in jail for 12 years. This was during the first intifada from 1987. At that time nobody talked about peace but only of violence. I matured during my time in jail. I started studying and reading books on politics, literature, poetry, and about the Madrid Conference.

It gave me hope to live in peace and dignity. I learned that violence only breeds violence and that peace is the only solution for the two nations, the only way for both to have a respectful and beautiful future. We live on the same land. We are neighbors. We drink the same water and both pray to a monotheistic God. We must live in peace on the basis of religion for God and land for everyone.
At 11:19pm on August 11, 2009, Mahmoud Abu-Laban said…

Welcome to I hope that you will make a constructive and active and consistently ethical contribution to this community.

Peace, Salaam and Shalom.



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