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How We Make Peace: A Muslim and a Jew Demonstrate Radical Empathy

    When: Sunday, January 7 at 10:30am PST / 11:30am MST / 12:30pm CST / 1:30pm EST / 8:30pm EET
    Duration: 100 minutes
    Where: On Zoom (capacity 500 people)

    As violence escalates in the Middle East, so too does the vitriol around us. The news is impossible to digest. Social media is unbearable. Workplaces are breaking into factions. Friends are feuding and falling out. Many of us are cowed into silence. It’s an ungodly mess.

    In this context we invite you to an extraordinary online event on January 7, the three month anniversary of October 7. Kawtar El Alaoui, a Muslim Arab woman born in Morocco, and David Sauvage, an Ashkenazi Jewish man born in the US, will model radical empathy across the Muslim-Jewish divide. Come witness a spontaneous, unpredictable, healing and enlightening conversation about what is tearing us apart—so that we may find a way to come together.

    Radical empathy means listening deeply and compassionately to the other person’s experience, especially when it’s hard. We believe that radical empathy is how we make peace—lasting and true peace—between each other and, ultimately, between any two groups. It’s extremely hard and it takes a lot of skill. It’s also something we rarely experience in our lives. Here’s an opportunity to watch two teachers of emotional intelligence, who each hold a part of this conflict in their identities, model it for us.

    We offered an initial version of this event with Kawtar and David on December 10. More than 100 people joined and were very deeply moved by it. This time, we’re going deeper and sharing how we do this. The fault lines of the conflict will be laid bare and met with open hearts.

    What will you experience?

    First, we will explain the principles of radical empathy and set the ground rules for the conversation. Kawtar and David will then enter into their deep dialogue.

    Finally we’ll end with a Q&A. We encourage specific questions about the skills they used together and the conflicts through which they learned in their own lives. (Judgments, commentary or arguments about the war won’t be allowed during the Q&A. Our focus is how we can create a culture of healing even in these turbulent times—not to feed division.)

    Note: we will lock the Zoom room after five minutes and will not allow any late entries.

    Agreements

    We expect participants to agree to the following:

    • By participating, you agree that you have sufficient emotional capacity to challenge your perceptions and self-regulate as needed.
    • We will record the session, but we will be very selective about what we share outside of this container. You won’t record the session yourself or quote Kawtar, David or any other participant in social media in any way, shape or form without their explicit permission.
    • You will be removed if you make any statements that are threatening, argumentative or generally in bad-faith.

    Who Is Hosting This And Why?

    We are a collective of Spaceholders who believe in the power of modeling the world we want to live in—one in which we move through the surface layers of conflict in order to heal our roots and come together. We believe the current social and political climate calls for us to rise collectively and meet this moment with a radically different approach that is proven to work.

    Kawtar El Alaoui is a non-traditional peace-builder who wears multiple hats. In all her roles, Kawtar facilitates cultural transformation with the purpose of co-creating a world where everyone lives in dignity and peace. She is the author of the book Unfolding Peace, 9 Leadership Principles for Creating Cultures of Well-being and Peace. You can find out more about Kawtar’s work and her organization, Conscious Togetherness.

    David Sauvage is a teacher of emotional intelligence, a facilitator of healing experiences, a performance artist and a writer. He loves modeling empathy, deep listening and healthy communication with the hope that it finds its way into mainstream culture. He founded a non-profit, Culture of Healing. You can learn more about him on his website

    Produced by: Andy Swindler & Rachel Zargo, Co-founders of FeelReal and Heal Together Coalition. Rachel and Andy are artivists, community builders and storytellers.