Fighting Talk: Reflections on facilitating the ‘Olive Tree’ Programme
Date: Wednesday 30 March 2016
Time: 6pm to 7.30pm
Location: A130, College Building, 280 St John's Street, London EC1V 4PD
Cross-conflict dialogue is not necessarily about conflict resolution or peace building. ‘Talking to the enemy’ can serve other purposes, such as to debunk myths, empower the participants; challenge authority or identify new potential futures. In this the last Middle East Forum of the Olive Tree Programme (which closes this summer) Rosemary Hollis and Damian Gorman will discuss what they have learned from their work facilitating cross-conflict dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian students at City University.
Rosemary Hollis is a Professor of International Politics at City and has been Director of the Olive Tree Programme since 2008. Prior to that, while working at Chatham House, she facilitated dialogue between various groups of protagonists, including Iranians and Americans, Jordanians and Palestinians, Libyans, Americans and British, as well as Palestinian refugees, Arab host-country nationals and representatives of the international ‘donor’ community.
Damian Gormanis a Northern Irish writer who, in the mid-1990s, established 'An Crann/The Tree', a project to "help people tell, and hear, the stories of the Northern Irish Troubles". His work then is credited with setting the agenda "of what might be possible in terms of creating space in which the 'splintered stories' of the conflict might sit alongside each other". He has been intimately involved with the Olive Tree Programme for ten years - for the past three years as co-facilitator of the weekly sessions.The forum will be facilitated by Olive Tree Alumni: Ahmed Ziat, Elizabeth Jadon and Lior Amihai.