Upcoming Exchanges

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In 2009, the National Peace Foundation (NPF) will once again partner with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to host two citizen exchange study tours. Please see the information below if you are interested in applying for one of these delegations.
 
Dates:  The dates of this Study Tour are July 1 – 15, 2009
 
Program: The NPF/ISNA program, entitled "Islam in America: New Dimensions in Activism, Pluralism and Thought," is a citizen exchange program focusing on building a dialogue between Muslim thinkers, practitioners, writers, and activists from Arab countries with Muslims in America who are active in religious and cultural Islamic work in the US. These dialogues also engage with representatives of other major religions, fostering an environment of multi-faith exchange.
 
Goals of the program include: 

  • To create and sustain a mutually beneficial relationship where both groups learn from each about their experience and thinking in all its forms and practices
  • To discuss the compatibility of religious practice and democratic social and political values and structures
  • To discuss the benefits produced by coexistence among religious communities, and the practice of Islam in a multi-cultural, multi-religious context

 
Participants will attend workshops, meetings, seminars and experiential events related to themes such as:

  • Islam in Practice in America - Day-to-Day
  • Experience of America’s Religious Pluralism
  • Successful Experience of Women: Muslims and Others
  • Building Religious and Social Communities
  • Scholarship of Religious Study

 
Examples of these events might include:

  1. a meeting with leaders in an American mosque or Islamic center such as the board of directors, the Imam, and members to discuss topics such as elections, discuss use of facilities and approaches to resolving disputes
  2. interfaith discussions held at a church, a meeting with representatives of the Jewish community or intra-religious discussions such as between Sunnis and Shia
  3. observe American Muslims involvement in local and national politics, and many Muslim political affairs organizations who work to address the positive public image of Islam
  4. visit Muslim schools in the US to observe their challenges in
  5. participate in seminars related to ideas of Islam and Democracy

 
Itinerary:
The tour is approximately 14 days. The group will be composed of 12 individuals who will travel by air from their countries to Washington, DC.  They will continue their study tour in Chicago and nearby towns and return to Washington, DC before returning home.  All expenses including air travel, hotels, meals and J-1 visa fees are paid by the National Peace Foundation, USA.
 
We are looking for candidates who:
We are looking for individuals with an interest in the discussion of Islam who are engaged in important leadership roles in the countries they live in. They should be involved in scholarship, writing, oration, administration of religious institutes, political discourse, activism, civil society building, and other areas related which reflect on Islamic life.
 
Applicants can be individuals who have backgrounds related to Islam, the Quran, Islamic Law, Islamic History, Islam and Democracy or are engaged in the dialogue of religion and civil society. They can be Muslim Imams, university professors, high school teachers, teachers of Arabic, writers and thinkers, activists or members of organizations involved in civil society building, and others who are independent thinkers.
 
Interested individuals who reside or hold citizenship in The United Arab Emirates or Qatar are invited to apply for the trip. Knowledge of the English language is not a requirement, however it is helpful. Applications will be accepted from self nominations as well as nominations from organizations.
 
Application Instructions and Requirements:
To apply, please download and complete the application below (either in English or Arabic) and send to: Yasmin Shafiq at yshafiq@isna.net AND Sahar Taman at SaharTaman@yahoo.com. You may also fax applications to: +1-202-403-3031.
 
Application deadline: March 1, 2009
Study Tour Application (English)
Study Tour Application (Arabic)
 
In addition, please submit at least one letter of reference from a person who can attest to your character and background. This can be a colleague from your work or study or a manager or someone who can write about your experience and expertise. Please note, your passport must be valid through December 2009.

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