By an immigrant for everyone






The Alien Chronicles Podcast Episode 20 Preview


The recent terrorist attack in NZ is a grim reminder of how bigoted  political rhetoric is creating fear of the other, which in this case culminated in a  massacre of innocent people in their place of worship.However this otherness comes in many forms, it even exists between different immigrant communities and impacts us in different ways. It is therefore extremely crucial that during these crazy times, we talk about our  similarities, we show empathy and care and resist the hateful rhetoric. But at the same time, we must address issues that divide us.

I know it’s not easy and most of us try to avoid topics that stir emotions. I will give you an example, I have never discussed  Kashmir issue with any of my Indian friends. I know what will happen if I do, and I am sure those of you who are familiar with the issue can guess what will happen!

But I also believe it is extremely crucial given the amount of hatred and bigotry we see around us, to get out of our comfort zones and have a productive dialogue about difficult topics. Why does it matter? Because I don’t think we can resolve anything unless we reach out across the aisle and understand others point of view.  And therefore today I will attempt to address one of the most controversial issues of our times, the Israeli Palestinian conflict. We have heard both sides of the conflict many times and I am sure most of us have our own narratives. And believe me!! prepping for this interview was not easy. Because I know that today’s discussion will offend some of you on both sides of the conflict. But if we are to understand each others perspectives, we have to have these very difficult conversations.

And to that end, I have invited two guests, who I think can help us better understand this conflict. Beth Schuman and Nizar Farsakh are part of an organization called Combatants for Peace.In 2006, Israeli and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict, laid down their weapons and established Combatants for Peace. The egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots organization was founded on the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces. Committed to joint nonviolence since its foundation, CFP works to both transform and resolve the conflict by ending Israeli occupation and all forms of violence between the two sides and building a peaceful future for both peoples. Nizar Farsakh is a Palestinian immigrant, he is a trainer, private consultant, and public speaker who focuses his work around leadership, negotiation and advocacy. He used to work at the Project On Middle East Democracy in Washington D.C. where he focused on building the advocacy capacity of Arab civil society. Before that he served as the General Director of the PLO Delegation in Washington DC for two years. Between 2003 and 2008 Farsakh served as an adviser to senior Palestinian leaders including President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and various ministries. He is currently involved in several non-violence initiatives in Palestine and the U.S.




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Sanjana Bhatnagar and Stephanie Munn are the Students for Refugees (SFR) representatives. S.F.R. is working to raise funds to support educational facilities and individual student programs in affected countries as well as supporting local refugees. There are a broad range of things that SFR engages in, but their primary goal is to get students involved in helping refugees. SFR works in three areas: resettlement, advocacy/education, and fundraising

 In addition to SFR, they are advocating for refugees by supporting other initiatives as well.  Sanjana is associated with Syria fund and Stephanie is planning a Walk A Mile in My Shoes refugee experience. We will talk about all these in our interview.

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