H.E. Faisal bin Muaammar is currently founder and Secretary General of two organizations focused on enhancing understanding and knowledge: the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) in Vienna, and the King Abdulaziz Public Library (KAPL) in Riyadh. H.E. Mr. Bin Muaammar is also Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. His senior positions in the Saudi Arabian administration have included Vice Minister of Education, Advisor to the Royal Court of then-Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Deputy of the National Guard for Cultural and Educational Affairs.
Dialogue Knowledge Hub
#DialogueDespiteDistance: Resources for Combatting COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, breaking down the social fabric of our communities. Fear of the virus and “the Other” have fuelled discrimination and violence against religious and ethnic minorities.
At the same time, religious communities and faith-based organizations, which have been vital to maintaining peace and security in countries torn apart by conflict, have faced budget cuts by overburdened governments and the challenge of isolation.
Yet, interreligious dialogue has not stopped in the pandemic. Instead, it has become more vital than ever, helping to build back intercommunity trust and cooperation within sectors such as development, humanitarian aid, environmental protection and peacebuilding. Faith communities have found creative and imaginative ways to keep the conversation going, whether online or outdoors, through the written word or through digital means.
In honour of the launch of KAICIID’s latest guide titled, Interfaith Dialogue in Action: A Guide for Dealing with COVID-19, experts will share how they have used interreligious dialogue to address the challenges of the pandemic – from rising hate speech and misinformation to xenophobia and violent conflict. Join us to learn what initiatives have been effective in different parts of the world and to share your own challenges and concerns.
Dr. Kezevino Aram has been part of interfaith dialogue efforts for the past twenty years. She has led critical child development initiatives globally and across rural India. Together with Shanti Ashram’s partnership platform encompassing 215 partners she is deeply committed to integrated human development initiatives. She founded the International Center of Child and public health in 2016 and through its multiple public health initiatives are currently being implemented for vulnerable children. Deeply committed to the Gandhian spirit, she has received several awards for her work and authored a variety of publications. She serves as a CoModerator and Executive Committee Member of Religions for Peace. She is a chairperson of the International Ethics Education Council for Children at Arigatou International. She is a trustee at M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and alumnus, Distinguished Member, Board of Management of the Gandhigram Rural University and visiting Professor of the Harvard School of Public Health & PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.
Rev. Dr Martin Junge is the general secretary of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) since the year 2010. He led the historic joint Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the reformation in Lund and Malmö, Sweden. With the direct participation of Pope Francis and under the theme “From Conflict to Communion”, the commemoration set the ground for deepened relations and cooperation with the Catholic Church. He led the development of a gender justice policy guiding the world of the LWF and promoted active participation of youth in the life of the federation. During his tenure, the LWF increased its response to refugees serving 3 million people. He contributed to the UNHCR’s dialogue process on “Faith and Protection”, which led to the interfaith statement “Welcoming the Stranger” (2013). Rev. Junge was awarded the Augsburg Peace Prize in October 2017 for his commitment to the peaceful character of religions and opposition to any instrumentalization of faith.
Prof. Mohammed Abu-Nimer is a Senior Adviser at the KAICIID Dialogue Centre and Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution at the American University. He served as the Founder and Director of Salam Institute for peace and Justice, and co-founder of Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. He has worked for over three decades in number of conflict areas, including: Middle East, Chad, Niger, Mindanao, Sri Lanka, etc., on issues related to conflict resolution; Islamic models of peacebuilding; inter-religious dialogue; civic education; forgiveness and reconciliation; and evaluation of peacebuilding programs. He has published many scholarly books and articles, and his most recent is: Making Peace with Faith (2018).
Ms. Bani Dugal is the Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Steering Committee of the NGO Working Group on the Security Council, and Co-Chair of the Multi Faith Advisory Council to the UN Inter Agency Task Force for Religion and Development and is a co-president and member of the World Council of Religions for Peace. She previously served as President of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, Co-Facilitator of the UN Gender Equality Architecture Reform Campaign (GEAR), Co-Facilitator of the Faith and Feminism Working Group, Chair of the Global Forum of the NGO Committee on UNICEF, amongst many positions she has held at the UN in NY. Ms.
Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail DL is a prominent British Muslim scholar from Sheffield. He is presently the Muslim chaplain at The University of Sheffield and a member of Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. After studying Islamic theology, Arabic and Eastern languages, he joined Sheffield Hallam (Polytechnic) and Sheffield University to study and conduct research in education. On 1 of September 2017, Imam Ismail was appointed By Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant as Deputy Lieutenant for The County of South Yorkshire. He is very actively involved in multi-faith work and with different Muslim theological groups nationally, internationally and locally for more than 40 years. Through his position as a Lead Imam, and through his work in education, he is effectively promoting community cohesion. At present, he is the executive board member of Sheffield Federation of Mosques. He is a patron of St Luke's Hospice and other charities in Sheffield. He is an active member of Muslim Jewish Leaders Council MJLC in Vienna.
Prof. Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She leads the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD). Her wide-ranging work aims squarely at advancing human welfare, bridging divides and building partnerships among religious and non-religious institutions and policies. Marshall, who worked at the World Bank from 1971 to 2006, has five decades of experience on development issues in Africa, Latin America, Southeast and South Asia, and the Middle East, focusing on the world’s poorest countries and most vulnerable groups. She led the World Bank’s faith and ethics initiative between 2000 and 2006. She is a pioneering operational leader who has mentored countless younger staff and works from numerous perspectives to strengthen partnerships with countries and communities. Marshall’s most recent book, co-edited with Susan Hayward, is Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen (United States Institute of Peace, 2015). Marshall has a B.A. from Wellesley College and an MPA from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.
Ms. Saydoon Nisa Sayed is a human rights peace activist. She is Secretary of KwaZulu-Natal Inter Religious Council (KZN IRC) and South African Co-Ordinator Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) - The Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), a global-scale interfaith network of organizations and individuals specifically dedicated to securing the rights and well-being of children everywhere. GNRC members come together to work for and with children across the globe, implementing a wide variety of interfaith cooperation projects with each contributing their unique experience with children's issues as well as passion for the well-being of children, together building a worldwide platform for addressing the urgent challenges children face today. Ms. Sayed is co-chair of the African Women of Faith Network (AWFN) and a steering committee member of the African Union -Interfaith Dialogue Forum (AU-IFDF).
Elder Justina Mike Ngwobia is a peacebuilding practitioner and the ED of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Movement (JPRM), Founder and co- chair, Women peace builders Network in Nigeria (WOPEN), and also the co-chair women Peace mentors and Mediators Forum (WPMaMF), an initiative of UN Women Mentors Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor Degree in social work and Administration, MSC. Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Jos, a certificate in peace and conflict studies with the West Africa Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI), Ghana, and also a fellow with the International dialogue Centre (KAICIID) Austria and a Member Women Mediators across the Commonwealth with its headquarters in London. Currently, she is a PhD researcher in peace and conflict studies at the University of Jos, Nigeria, with a particular interest and focus on women Peace and Security. She is also a Ruling Elder of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria
Dr. Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović is the Project Manager of the Network for Dialogue, where she coordinates and manages a Network of European grassroots dialogue organizations who work in the field of social inclusion and integration. She is also a senior research fellow at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Aleksandra holds a master’s degree in political sciences (2008) as well as a PhD in Ethnology and Anthropology (2012) from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her academic research has been primarily focused on the anthropology of religion, Church history, religion and migration, ethnic and religious minorities. She has published academic papers in various languages, edited volumes, and participated in numerous workshops and conferences worldwide. Aleksandra has extensive experience working and researching in multiethnic, multiconfessional, and multilingual religious communities in the Balkans.