I am a peacebuilder. I am living in Khartoum, Sudan, and working to expand the programs of my organization, Peace X Peace, across North Africa and the Middle East.
Peace X Peace feels like the place I was preparing myself to work in with all the years, degrees, and experiences that lead up to this present moment. Peace X Peace's Global Network connects individuals and Circles of women everywhere in the world, through the Internet, for spirited conversation and mutual support. Strangers become friends, friends become as dear as family, and peace grows. We offer blogs, a hotline, an e-newsletter, and other e-education tools to spark and strengthen these vital connections.
Before I started this work, I was living in Fes, Morocco. Trying out my textbook-Arabic on the local population and learning a lot about myself (and my husband). I had just graduated from a program with emphasis on cross-cultural counseling and was eager to see if my studies had any real life application. I was pleased to find that they did, and even more pleased to discover Peace X Peace while searching the web from our home in the Medina of Fes.
It is my passion to understand people, and to help them feel understood. For me, peace is about being honest with yourself so that you can connect honestly and openly with others. Peace is about joy, love, commitment, activism, and honesty.
I have always loved learning about other cultures, and was first exposed to other worldviews in the church of my childhood. My parents were very instrumental in my cross-cultural awareness (mom was a teacher, dad, the pastor) from a very young age. We didn't have as many material things as many of my peers in the affluent town where I grew up, but we did value travel, and culture, and questioning. These things are still most valuable to me.
In college I delved further into the mysteries of world religions and ancient philosophies. I found that studying foreign languages can be a magical way to enter into the culture and worldview of another civilization. In graduate school, I continued to explore communication and meaning-making around the world.
At this time in my life I feel that I am learning more than ever. Professionally, personally, culturally. It's incredible. I am grateful and I am excited that technologies now exist to bring people together around the world to be able to learn directly from each other about their own unique experiences. Here's to building international peace, one mind, one person, one relationship at a time.