Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pursuing Peace, One Step at a Time

Today I went to Columbia Heights, Minnesota, to meet Mohamed Dini, a Minnesota resident originally from Somalia. A mutual friend, Abshir Daacad, who is a great fan of my work as a cultural mediator, had told Mohamed about me and my work, including my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences.

When Abshir connected us, by phone, I learned that Mohamed had founded a non-profit organization called the Center for African Peace Research. During our meeting today, Mohamed told me more about his organization, and we talked about how I could contribute to its work, which is to promote peace, human rights and good governance in Africa.

I shared with him the work I do as a cultural consultant, emphasizing, for example, that unlike others who focus on conflict resolution, I concentrate on preventing conflicts by fostering understanding among people of different cultures, since many conflicts stem from cultural differences. Since he had read my book, he readily understood my perspective.

We explored many aspects of these goals, as well as strategies and  modalities of advancing them. We agreed we can work together fruitfully.

Talking with Mohamed, one gets the idea that he is a serious person with big dreams. In addition to the pursuit of peace in Africa, he is passionate about promoting a true and realistic image of Africa, irritated, like the rest of us Africans, by the stereotypes and negativity that characterize conventional representations of our continent.

For more information, please visit the Center for African Peace Research and Africonexion: Cultural Consultants.

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