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

    When: Sunday, April 7 @ 12pm PDT / 1pm MDT / 2pm CDT / 3pm EDT // 9pm EET
    Duration: 90 minutes
    Where: On Zoom Meetings (capacity 500 people)

    How We Make Peace: A Muslim and a Jew Demonstrate Radical Empathy with Kawtar El Alaoui & David Sauvage

    How do we get out of this cycle, for real? How do we make peace, for real? The day will come, we pray soon, when the bombs stop dropping. But as they drop now, how can we bear witness? And when they stop, how do we prevent this all from happening again, and again, and again? 

    David Sauvage, an American Jew, and Kawtar El Alaoui, a Canadian Muslim, have been modeling answers to these questions together. April 7 marks six months since October 7. Join us as they go ever deeper in their third experiment of radical empathy.

    Radical empathy means listening deeply and compassionately to the other person’s experience—especially when it’s hard. We believe that radical empathy is the way, and ultimately the only way, to peace. 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, demonstrate it for us. 

    We offered previous versions of this event on December 10 and January 7. More than 200 people joined and were very deeply moved by it. This will be the third and final installment of this work. 

    What will you experience?

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

    We’ll end with a Q&A. We encourage specific questions about how they did what they did and what meaning they make of it. Judgments, commentary or arguments about the war won’t be allowed.

    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. 
    • You will be removed if you make any statements that are threatening, argumentative or in bad-faith. 
    • We will record the session, but we will be 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 without their explicit permission.

    What have people been saying?

    “This program was extraordinary and so glad I attended. The courage I witnessed during this session is unparalleled in my experience.”
    —Tina Gehres

    “The conversation between Kawtar, a Muslim, and David, a Jew, was one of the most emotionally powerful and thought-provoking talks I have ever experienced. Instead of judging each side and its motivations, Kawtar and David explored the conflicting emotions that the Middle East situation has surfaced in them. I left with heightened compassion and understanding. I left wanting to find a way for Palestinians and Israelis to have these open-hearted and honest conversations that show the shared humanity underneath the history and pain. Just seeing this format could help any of us to use it for healing in our communities. I highly recommend attending this session.”
    —Michael Skoler

    “I am very grateful for the heart and care and respect you both hold for each other Kawtar and David . . . and for how you create the ideal for our larger world. I am deeply moved by your emotions, your vulnerability and willingness to lead all of us in this. I am of Jewish heritage and have long-time friends and colleagues who are Muslim. I yearn for this kind of healing and coming together rather than amplifying hostility and pain and difference.”
    —with gratitude, Jacki Davidoff

    “Thank you David and Kawtar for allowing me (and all of us) to witness this beautiful conversation. They say that hurt people hurt people. True. And, healed people heal people. And people who are in the continuous pursuit of healing allow other people to be in the continuous pursuit of healing. Which is what we all need. I appreciate you both.”
    —Jared Karol

    “Thank you for modeling an appropriate, kind, healing way for folks to speak with each other. I have yet to see anything like this type of conversation in my community, state, personal life. Please keep modeling. Students do not get taught these techniques in school. Is so necessary.”

    Who is doing 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 at the root and come together. We believe the current climate calls for us to rise and meet this moment with a radical heart-centered approach.  

    Kawtar El Alaoui is a conscious leadership consultant who wears many 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

    Producers Andy Swindler & Rachel Zargo are co-founders of FeelReal and Heal Together Coalition. Rachel and Andy are a wife and husband team who launch projects for healing, intimate dialogues and creative action. They have deep experience in agency management, creative direction, emotional facilitation and technology implementation. Andy is committed to scaling empathy, compassion & care through cultures of love, healing & belonging. Rachel is passionate about creating safe spaces for collective liberation and creativity.