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London - Amman Summer 2013

FROM:  Dr. Paul Arthur and Omar Rifai
RE: London/Amman: Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and Beyond, with an Arabic Language Study Extension Option

Dear Colleague,

We are excited to update you on our study abroad program in London and Amman exploring the theory and practice of conflict resolution and management and its applicability to intractable conflicts like those in the Middle East and beyond. This program, co-sponsored by the Foundation for International Education and AMIDEAST, divides its time between London and Amman. In the London-based course, “Life Cycle of Peace and Conflict: Lessons Learned in Northern Ireland,” we evaluate the literature of the field and concentrate on the case study of Northern Ireland as an exemplar of the life cycle of a conflict through the phases of analysis, negotiation and implementation. We are excited to include a short study tour to Derry and Belfast, Ireland now, as part of this program.

In the Amman-based, “Conflict Resolution and Management: Beyond The Arab-Israeli Conflict,” we explore peace and conflict resolution in the Middle East. Using the framework developed in London, we examine the role of religion and the clash of cultures; the significance of regional organizations in preventing and resolving conflict; the place of civil society and of political leadership; economic assistance as a generator in peace building; and the question (or lack thereof) of gender mainstreaming. We look beyond the Arab-Israeli conflict to other significant regional conflicts involving Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Syria and to inter-tribal conflict. And, in the process, we conduct a critical inquiry into conflict analysis and resolution.

We are excited to offer the opportunity, to students who wish it, to stay in Amman to do an intensive course in Modern Arabic at the introductory, intermediate, or advanced level. Each student will receive 80 hours of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic in each session, covering the material usually covered in one semester on a U.S. campus. In addition, students receive 20 hours of instruction per session in Jordanian Arabic.

Grounded in collegiality reflection and critical analysis, this program of conflict resolution and management will attempt to marry theory and practice by being temporal and spatial, comparative and challenging. Site visits, meetings with leading practitioners in conflict negotiation, meetings with local students, cultural excursions, group discussion and guest lectures will enhance the richness of the experience.

Our program will provide a rich experience in extracurricular activities, cultural excursions, and in depth analysis of the case studies that will impact participants’ understanding of Arab life and culture, with emphasis on local approaches to conflict.

In Amman, students will participate in homestays.

We invite your students – and you – to join us in this unique academic exploration. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Arthur

Professor of Politics and Emeritus Director of the Graduate Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
University of Ulster

Omar Rifai

Executive Director of Amman-based West Asia-North Africa Forum, former President of Jordan Institute of Diplomacy and former President of Jordan Media Institute
University of Jordan