CRDC HOLDS UNPRECEDENTED INTERFAITH DINNER AT THE RESIDENCE OF MOROCCAN AMBASSADOR AZIZ MEKOUAR
November 17, 2009
On Tuesday night, November 17, CRDC sponsored a unique event at the residence of the Moroccan Ambassador, his Excellency Aziz Mekouar. The group of 50 people came together for a special presentation and dinner. The invitation read:
We at CRDC would like to send a warm and personal invitation to you to participate in a special interfaith Abrahamic evening at the residence of His Excellency Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States.
CRDC staff Scott Cooper, Becca Grimm, and Fadwa Barzinji worked tirelessly to create this special gathering. CRDC’s newly recruited Jennifer Aldridge helped weave together the atmosphere, as did ICAR’s Ph.D. students Roi Ben Yehuda and Marci Moberg. ICAR’s Paul Snodgrass played a crucial role in the seamless presentation of two films, one from Marc Gopin’s Unusual Pairs videos, created by David Vyorst and funded by the Fetzer Foundation, on Palestinian/Jewish peace work in Jerusalem, and a film on the Parliament of World Religions, introduced by Ruth Broyde Sharone, director of the successful film, God and Allah Need to Talk.
Also in attendance was CRDC Chair Joseph Montville, and Board Members Dr. Robert Eisen and Leo Kramer. Marc Gopin mc’d the evening, introducing the Ambassador to this gathering of Muslims, Christians and Jews, with a special emphasis on those with Middle Eastern origins. Also in attendance were clerics, professionals from the State Department, AID, USIP, George Washington University, and a variety of corporations.
After the films, the crowd was graced by a breathtaking blessing by Imam Yahya Hendi, chaplain at Georgetown University, together with Rabbi Gerald Serrotta, who are the two founders of Clergy Beyond Borders, and one of the most amazing Palestinian/Jewish teams for peacemaking.
The magnificent dinner and the friendly and warm ambiance were all made possible by the incredible professional staff of the Embassy. Peace in the region was a central theme of the evening, and considering the difficulty of the topic, CRDC wishes to express its gratitude to all 50 attendees for the grace, generosity and good will that they all showed to each other. Marc Gopin said of the evening:
“The atmosphere was captivating in its peacefulness, the conversations profound, all created by the quality of CRDC’s staff and volunteers, the charm and professionalism of the Embassy staff, and the character of the pro-peace and justice people who came. We wanted good but isolated people to know each other at a more profound level. We wanted to model a different Middle East, what it could be. And we did just that.”