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January 2010, Issue 2

Dear Friend,

I would like to state at the outset that we were deeply saddened by the human loss, suffering and devastation that took place in the recent earthquake in Haiti. The earthquake and its aftermath demonstrate the continued need and importance of human solidarity and support. We encourage all those who can to support national and international relief agencies to help the survivors.
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It gives me great pleasure to keep you updated on the work and events taking place at the Dialogue Society. As ever, we are busy keeping up with ongoing events whilst also working on new and exciting projects.

Highlights of January include a roundtable discussion with the German Ambassador to the UK on Muslim life in Germany and a panel discussion with two eminent scholars on Human Rights and Islam. This month also saw the launch of our new ongoing weekly course, aptly named 'The Dialogue School'. Further information on these are provided below.

You may also like to take a moment to look at confirmed speakers for forthcoming events at the Dialogue Society. These include Rt. Hon. Michael Howard MP, former leader of the Conservative Party; Lord Falconer QC, former Attorney General and Dame Anne Fyfe Pringle, the British Ambassador to Russia. The right column of this newsletter provides a full list of forthcoming events.

I am also happy to announce that from March onwards we hope to host an equal number of open and closed door events at the Dialogue Society in any given month, allowing maximum interaction and an equal share of events.

Finally, we have now begun to upload transcripts of past events to our website allowing wider access to talks and lectures at the Dialogue Society.

I wish you all a pleasant month ahead and look forward to keeping you updated on events and developments at the Dialogue Society next month.

Warmest Regards
Ozcan Keles
Executive Director

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Roundtable with the German Ambassador to the UK

Roundtable with the German Ambassador to the UK, 14/01/10

14/01/10 - The Dialogue Society was proud to host HE Georg Boomgaarden, the German Ambassador to the UK, as its guest of honour at a roundtable event entitled 'Muslim Life in Germany'. The event was attended by politicians, academics and community leaders. The Ambassador spoke about German Muslims, the Islam conference and social cohesion. The main presentation was followed by an open and interactive discussion lasting over an hour. The transcript of the Ambassador's speech is available at the link below.

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Panel Discussion - Human Rights and Islam: Muslim and Non-Muslim Perspectives

Panel Discussion- Human Rights and Islam: Muslim and Non-Muslim Perspectives, 19/01/2010

19/01/10 - The Dialogue Society saw a full house of over fifty guests attend a panel discussion of the above title with two eminent scholars in their field, namely Prof Steven Greer of Bristol University and Prof Mashood Baderin of SOAS, University London. Prof Greer set the scene of the discussion by explaining the underlying challenges. Prof Baderin responded by exploring those challenges and the opportunities for harmonisation. This was followed by a lively exchange of Q&A for forty-five minutes.

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Launch of 'The Dialogue School'

Launch of 'The Dialogue School', 11/01/2010

11/01/10 - The Dialogue Society successfully launched 'The Dialogue School' this month which will run as a weekly interactive course. The school has already been running for three weeks with participants, between the ages of 17 - 27, attending weekly.

The school aims to (i) stimulate interest in the theory and practice of intercultural dialogue (ii) provide a safe and vibrant environment for open and critical dialogue on sensitive societal issues, and (iii) instil and equip participants with key dialogue and interpersonal skills. It is expected that such a school will also help reduce the tendency to become susceptible to extreme and rejectionist views.

Among other things, participants are exposed to ongoing contemporary debates in the media and expected to formulate their own ideas and opinions in response. So far, the school has proved to be immensely popular with a diverse mix of participants.

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Meeting with Revd Canon Guy Wilkinson, Adviser to Archbishop of Canterbury

Meeting with Revd Canon Guy Wilkinson, Adviser to Archbishop of CanterburyIlknur Kahraman and Dr Cem Erbil, Co-Directors of the Dialogue Society, paid a goodwill visit to Revd Canon Guy Wilkinson, Secretary & Adviser for Inter-Religious Relations to Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace, Westminster. Following a short guided tour of the Palace, Revd Wilkinson introduced his brief and work in developing inter-religious relations between other faith and dialogue groups. Ilknur introduced the work of the Dialogue Society and gave brief updates on future plans and projects. Revd Wilkinson expressed a keen interest in the work of the Dialogue Society and the potential for working in joint partnership and the possibility of collaborating on future projects.

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Meeting with Lord Hameed

Meeting with Lord HameedIlknur Kahraman and Dr Cem Erbil, Co-Directors of the Dialogue Society, paid a goodwill visit to Lord Hameed at his offices in Harley Street. Lord Hameed, a champion for inter-religious dialogue was impressed with the scope of work conducted by the Dialogue Society and expressed his willingness to support future projects. Dr Hameed is member on a number of Boards and supports various charities. He was awarded the Sternberg Award for 2005 for his contribution to further Christian - Muslim - Jewish Relations. He is also Chairman of The Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, and is a Board member of the British Muslim Research Centre, and also the Ethnic Minorities Foundation.

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Operation Nicole

Operation Nicole, 6-7/02/10

6-7/02/10 - The Dialogue Society attended a weekend exercise named Operation Nicole, an initiative that allows community members to take on the role of a senior police officer investigating a terrorist incident. Dialogue Society volunteers Amir Sabanovic and Mahide Altun were among leading community representatives and senior police staff who took part in the two day event, conducted in Hertfordshire.

The aim of the tabletop exercise was to give the police an insight into the community impact of counter terrorist policing, and provide community members an insight into the decision-making process that the police undertake during investigations. The Police Force organising the event expressed their deepest gratitude for the contributions of the Dialogue Society.

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Neighbourhood Cohesion through Noah's Pudding

Neighbourhood Cohesion through Noah's Pudding, January 2010January 2010 - The Dialogue Society is proud to have facilitated once again the distribution of approximately 10,000 bowls of Noah's Pudding throughout Greater London in January 2010. Now in its fifth year running, this annual project has been immensely successful in establishing thousands of neighbourly interactions and contributing to neighbourhood cohesion. The Department for Communities and Local Government have recently commissioned the Dialogue Society to implement this project on a national scale for 2010/11

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In this issue


New Video

Interviews about Dialogue Society

Interviews about Dialogue Society

FORTHCOMING


Other news

Past & Forthcoming Events

Visit our Events page to see the number and range of work carried out by the Dialogue Society. Users can view the events in categorical or chronological order.

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Internship at the Dialogue Society

The Dialogue Society is currently offering volunteering placement opportunities for candidates from all backgrounds and interests. We provide a unique, dynamic and stimulating work experience where volunteers are encouraged to plan, build and deliver their own projects whilst contributing to other ongoing projects and tasks.

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Support the Dialogue Society

Regardless of your means and time, there are a number of ways you can support the Dialogue Society. Click below for some practical suggestions.

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Feedback

The Dialogue Society would appreciate any feedback or ideas you can provide on its work. Please visit the website to send us any comments you would like to make.

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Dialogue Society - 402 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PZ. Ph: +(44) 20 7619 0361