julie szegda
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Profile Information

My personal story:
Seven years ago, I met a very nice man who happened to be Israeli (we are now engaged). After knowing him for only a few weeks, I followed him back to the Middle East and my life changed quite dramatically. Shortly after, September 11 occurred, and the world started to look like what we see today. I decided to go back to school to study Political Science, and then on to do my Masters in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University's School of International Service. My final thesis focused on the role of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel in peace negotiations since Oslo.
I am currently founder and Managing Director of LINC Negotiations, LLC, a DC-based group that provides negotiation and mediation training.
Why I want peace:
Peace is something that everyone (almost everyone) wants, but without the understanding for the dynamics of a conflict, how it affects people's daily lives, what must happen for change to occur, peace will remain unattainable. As we can readily see from this conflict, resolving conflict requires much more than a couple of leaders meeting in a room and settling on some agreement.
Interests and activities:
International Negotiation, Mediation, Third Party Intervention.

Check out our website:
LINC Negotiations is a Washington D.C.-based group that provides negotiation and mediation training and consulting. The mission of LINC is to elevate the quality of negotiations between parties by empowering actors to more acutely identify needs and interests while improving their capabilities as a negotiator. We aim to use negotiation to bridge the gap between seemingly mutually exclusive outcomes.

LINC’s experiential learning approach empowers participants to understand conflict from multiple perspectives. Our active approach to conflict resolution enables participants in LINC programs to better understand interests related to a particular conflict and conflict in general. Participants tackle difficult problems head-on by defining goals, developing strategies and aligning interests.

LINC specializes in issues related to international conflict. We also work on cultural communication and interpersonal conflicts that arise in business, education and other organizational settings.
Something you didn't know about me:
I grew up on a dairy farm
How I found
School of International Service Listserv
What I want to achieve here:
To create another channel through which a dialogue can occur.
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Comment Wall (7 comments)

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At 7:48pm on March 7, 2009, amal abu zaidan said…
welcome here. your personal story is exsiting and hope you can find here interesting people to promot peace. did u syudy at the american universty where my best freind profesor mohamed abu nimer is teachig.

amal abu zaidan
At 1:33am on January 28, 2009, Jalal Khudairy said…
Thank for your warm word hope we become good friends
At 4:32pm on September 21, 2008, sina maher said…
hi julie
you are very sweet and cute,i am sina from iran i like be my friend ok?
At 3:47pm on May 30, 2008, Rob Schrama said…
The ‘Big Hug’ and the future of Jerusalem

The sting of all problems between Israeli and Palestinians lays in the Old City of Jerusalem. Her status has to be solved in such a way, that all parties fighting for control over her can agree upon.

On June 24, the ‘Big Hug’ will be hold in Jerusalem. Light workers from Israel, Palestine and from all over the world, ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’, will come together to bring warmth and energy to this city, embracing holding hands the Old City. If we bundle all our positive energies and bring these to Jerusalem, we can create peace to this exceptional place.

We are organizing the Big Hug to make the people aware –especially the Israeli and Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem- that there is a very shaped perspective for the city of Jerusalem as a city of peace: a new, undivided Jerusalem, as the capital of Palestine, Israel and at large.

Let go of the conflict concerning her command and dedicate the city to the Omnipresent. The Old City as a whole is His Temple. To give the walled Old City free to God, as a "Status Apart”, as an independent city, will be the most feasible way to come out the current impasse.

The Old City of Jerusalem must become an open city; a House of Prayer for all the Peoples. This perspective is written down in the Holy Books, this is the perspective we, as ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’ embrace as well as solution. But how many people does already notice this hopeful point of view?

What I saw in Jerusalem and also everywhere else where I meet Islamic and Jewish people is, that not so many persons really think about a future for Jerusalem. Most of the time, they stick with old ideas that the Old City of Jerusalem will always remain a part of Israel, or in opposite, that it will be absolutely a part of a new Palestinian state, as stolen land that has to be given back. With these visions, a future Jerusalem will be a divided city with an East Palestinian and West Israeli part, with barbed wire and checkpoints in between, like the situation of the city from 1948-1967. Or, coming closer to an agreement, people suggest -like proposed in the “Geneva Accord” in 2003- to make a complicated dividing of the Old City in a Israeli and Palestinian part. That will mean that the small alleys will be split by walls and barriers too. The idea that a future Jerusalem will become a divided city, is something that we have to prevent.

There are living about 250.000 Palestinian and 500.000 Israeli rather close together in one city. Do they want to make a separation of Jerusalem in parts or do they choose, deep in their hearts, for unity? So my best friends, it is our task to inform the whole city that there is an alternative for the Jerusalem of today.

All lovers of a united Jerusalem will come together to encircle and embrace the Old City of Jerusalem with love and devotion. We have to encourage all inhabitants of Jerusalem to join the coming Big Hug, with the idea of a New Jerusalem that might be realized with their support.

Rob Schrama Phone:0031-646608660
At 4:50pm on March 26, 2008, Eyal Raviv said…
Julie, add your picture so we will see you.
At 3:30pm on March 26, 2008, Eyal Raviv said…
Hi Julie and welcome. What a fascinating story you have. I am glad you found us. Use our Features. If you have a question on the site, see our FAQ. Please share your Feedback, and invite your friends to join us on
At 12:37pm on March 26, 2008, Jason Silberman said…
Hi Julie,

Welcome to mepeace. I really agree with you when you write "As we can readily see from this conflict, resolving conflict requires much more than a couple of leaders meeting in a room and settling on some agreement. " I also think that peace will not from a piece of paper being signed, but people on all sides interacting with each other, and seeing each other as other REAL complex people, like themselves, even if we don't always agree.

I think that's what great about a site like this.


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