Reflection: International Day of Peace 2017

“We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace.”

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General

 

Today is the International Day of Peace, a day designated by the United Nations General Assembly as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” The day is focused on the TOGETHER campaign launched by the United Nations in September 2016 to promote respect, safety and dignity for refugees and migrants and to counter the rise in xenophobia and discrimination. Continue reading

About ‘In-Depth’

“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one’s reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the development of humility, objectivity and reason.” – Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland is an endowed academic program that advances interdisciplinary examination and discourse on global peace. Viewing humanity as a collective and organic whole, the Chair’s incumbent, Professor Hoda Mahmoudi, explores the role that social actors and structures play in removing obstacles and creating paths to peace. The Chair’s explanation focuses on a number of thematic issues including, structural racism, climate change, human nature, women’s inequality, and leadership and global governance. Continue reading

About ‘Book reviews’

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

The book reviews on the blog will feature important books related to the Chair’s research themes, both academic and non-academic texts. The reviews will focus on what the reader found inspiring, what questions the book raised and how it has influenced their approach. Continue reading

About ‘Reflections’

“Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” ~ Confucius

The reflections on the blog will be in a number of formats. Reflections by Professor Mahmoudi will include the Chair’s thoughts and approaches to current events. Students will write reflective pieces on events they have attended, those organized by the Chair and other events across campus. Every event arranged by the Chair will be reflected upon in the blog, these reflections will highlight what the author found interesting and any questions the event made them think about. We will also feature reflections by guest authors related to the research themes of the Chair. Continue reading

About ‘Interviews’

“Everybody talks, nobody listens. Good listeners are as rare as white crows.” ~ Helen Keller, “The Beauty of Silence,” in The Home Magazine (1935)

As part of the conversations series the blog will also feature interviews with upcoming guest speakers and other notable figures. These interviews will be carried out by students who will select the interviewee, do the background research and then conduct the interview. Continue reading

About ‘Conversations’

“If one talks to more than four people, it is an audience; and one cannot really think or exchange thoughts with an audience.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, North to the Orient (1935)

The conversations series will feature audio recordings of discussions between the Chair and a small group of students. These conversations will focus on topics of importance and relevance and are designed to spark new ideas and approaches to challenges to world peace. Continue reading