Category Archives: Book Reviews

An Introspective Journey into Negotiation Skills on ICERM Radio

An Introspective Journey into Negotiation Skills on ICERM Radio will air Saturday, May 7, 2016 @ 2 PM Eastern Time (New York).

Join the ICERM Radio talk show, “Lets Talk About It,” for an inspiring interview with Dr. Dorothy Balancio, Executive Director of the Louis Balancio Organization for Conflict Resolution, and Full Professor and Program Director, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

Listen to the interview here. You can also dial +1- (323) 642-1236 on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 2:00 PM in Eastern Time (New York Time) to listen to the show and add your voice to the conversation.

In this episode, our esteemed guest, Dr. Dorothy Balancio, will talk about her mediation, negotiation, and other conflict resolution programs at Mercy College andat the Louis Balancio Organization for Conflict Resolution. Dr. Balancio will also talk about her new conflict resolution book, “Managing Conflict: An Introspective Journey to Negotiation Skills,” a book that reminds us of the importance of introspection in the learning and practice of conflict resolution, especially in “the development of negotiation” and mediation skills.

We are thrilled to have Dr. Dorothy Balancio on the ICERM Radio program, “Lets Talk About It.” Tune in by calling +1- (323) 642-1236 on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 2 PM in Eastern Time (New York time, U.S.A.) to listen to the show and add your voice to the conversation.

Advertisements

ICERM Radio Live Broadcast Is Coming Back Soon!

ICERM Radio live broadcast is coming back soon!

Listen to live broadcast every Saturday at 2 pm in Eastern Time (New York, U.S.A.) starting from Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Call in to speak with the host and make your views known to the world +1- (323) 642-1236.

ICERM Radio

As part of the ICERM Radio “Let’s Talk About It” program, this episode will explore and discuss how to live together in peace and harmony, especially in Nigeria. The episode will primarily focus on how to constructively and positively transform tribal, ethnic, religious, sectarian and faith based conflicts in order to create a path for peace, harmony, unity, development and security. Drawing on relevant conflict resolution theories, research findings, and lessons learned in different countries, the host and contributors to this show will analyze ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria, and propose conflict resolution methods and processes that could be applied to contain violence and restore peace and harmony.

Tune in by calling +1- (323) 642-1236 on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2 pm in Eastern Time (New York time, U.S.A.) to listen to the show and add your voice to the discussion.

The Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Contemporary Conflict: Related Emerging Tactics, Strategies and Methodologies of Mediation and Resolution

With much gratitude to our sponsors, authors, contributors, editor-in-chief, peer review panel member, and the entire publishing team, it is our sincere honor to announce the publication of the maiden edition of the Journal of Living Together.

"The Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Contemporary Conflict: Related Emerging Tactics, Strategies and Methodologies of Mediation and Resolution" Journal of Living Together, Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2014. ISSN 2373-6615 (Print) ISSN 2373-6631 (Online)

“The Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Contemporary Conflict: Related Emerging Tactics, Strategies and
Methodologies of Mediation and Resolution”
Journal of Living Together,
Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2014.
ISSN 2373-6615 (Print)
ISSN 2373-6631 (Online)

Welcome to the first edition of the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation’s Journal of Living Together. We were surprised and delighted to receive so many outstanding submissions, and see the resounding response to our very first call for papers as an appreciable indication of the connection people feel to our mission and our community.

Through this journal it is our intention to inform, inspire, reveal and explore the intricate and complex nature of human interaction in the context of ethno-religious identity and the roles it plays in war and peace. By sharing theories, observations and valuable experiences we mean to open a broader, more inclusive dialogue between policymakers, academics, researchers, religious leaders, representatives of ethnic groups and indigenous peoples, and field practitioners around the world.
 
To read the online version of the Journal of Living Together’s Volume 1, Issue 1, “The Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Contemporary Conflict: Related Emerging Tactics, Strategies and Methodologies of Mediation and Resolution”, or to subscribe to receive the printed copy of the Journal, please visit  http://icermediation.org/Mediation/Daf/JournalofLivingTogether.php
 
If you encounter difficulty loading the link to the Journal page, click on the link below.
We look forward to receiving your feedback and possibly new papers for upcoming issues. 

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie's new memoir.

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie’s new memoir.

Click here to listen to the review of “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations”.

ICERM Radio Book Review Program, March 13, 2014.

Host: Chavie Brumer.

Guest and Author: Ambassador Shola Omoregie.

We are happy to announce the review of “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations”, a candid and illuminating memoir written by Ambassador Shola Omoregie, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Peace Support, and Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Guinea- Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).

In this detailed, candid and illuminating memoir, Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie sheds light on a personal journey from childhood in Nigeria, through professional transition in the Nigerian Foreign Service to his eventual elevation as a top United Nations official. Ambassador Omoregie recounts the story of his youth with verve, sharing anecdotes of his birth in a polygamous home and of growing up in the homes of his maternal grandfather and uncle. He offers personal and direct accounts of the influence of the Nigerian civil war on his life, including many dangerous encounters when he was mistaken for a rebel soldier.

Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) from 2006 - 2008

Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) from 2006 – 2008

Ambassador Omoregie highlights his transition from service in the Nigerian Foreign Service to the United Nations where he served for more than three decades. As the Resident Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia in Botswana and later in Angola, culminating in his appointment as the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peace Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau, where he was entrusted with the responsibility of managing critical United Nations peace-building efforts. He boldly addresses the many peculiar challenges and limitations of working in a multinational setting and navigating the many associated ordeals, including leading the international community efforts to stabilize the volatile situation in Guinea-Bissau. He examines the extraordinary powers exerted by certain major countries within the Organization and deftly examines the practical implications of the structure of the international system on the internal workings of the United Nations Security Council.

The memoir provides glimpses from the vantage point of someone who had seen action in the Front Line States in Southern Africa; of being at the heart of the United Nations Secretariat in New York at a critical time, including personally witnessing the inner dynamics of the Security Council; and of leading critical field assignments in Angola, Botswana and Guinea-Bissau, while also undertaking United Nations Ad Hoc assignments. It also offers lessons learned from his direct experiences as a United Nations expert and as a consultant for the African Union, to which he provided technical and political expertise during the establishment of its Peace and Security Council. This contribution, therefore, comes from someone who has observed developments at close quarters at the international level, including the transformation in the Security Council following the end of the Cold War.

This fascinating multi-disciplinary memoir will be of special interest to policy makers, students on a broad range of academic disciplines and others with interest in, and committed to multilateral diplomacy in a multifaceted international system.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amb. Omoregie with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonSHOLA JONATHAN OMOREGIE is founder and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Peace Support, LLC, an international political and security consulting firm with headquarters in New York. A retired career diplomat, Ambassador Omoregie had extensive experience spanning over three decades at the United Nations where he was an expert in Security Council affairs and peace operations. He retired from the United Nations after serving as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea Bissau. Ambassador Omoregie was also a long-serving member of the Nigerian Foreign Service where he rose to the rank of ambassador. He served at various Nigerian diplomatic missions, including Beijing in China and London and Liverpool in the United Kingdom, where he was the Area Officer. He was educated at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, where he earned a B.SC (Honors) in psychology. Born on 12 December 1946 in Benin City, Nigeria, he is married and has six children.

More information about Ambassador Shola Omoregie and his book, “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations” is found on this website: http://www.africapeacesupport.com/.

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker “, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker “, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.

Click here to listen to the review of “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker”.

ICERM Radio Book Review Program, March 9, 2014.

Host: Maurice Q. Robinson, Esq., PHR.

Guest and Author: Jen Marlowe.

We are thrilled to announce the review of “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker”, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.

Synopsis of The Hour of Sunlight:

As a teenager, Sami Al Jundi had one ambition: overthrowing Israeli occupation. With two friends he formed a militant cell and began building a bomb to use against the Israeli police. But their plans were derailed when the bomb exploded prematurely, killing one of his friends. Sami was sentenced to ten years in prison.

The Hour of Sunlight describes Sami’s extraordinary metamorphosis from a militant to a passionate advocate of nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation. Born to a family of Palestinian refugees in the Old City of Jerusalem, Sami was only five years old when Israeli soldiers took over his home after the 1967 war. His family began life again as refugees in another part of the Old City. In moving detail Sami describes how these and other realities (and indignities) of his early years caused his radicalization.

Following his arrest, Sami was bound and tortured for weeks by the Israeli General Security Service before beginning his ten-year prison sentence. Ironically, it was in an Israeli jail that his personal transformation began: Sami was welcomed into a highly organized, democratic community of political prisoners who required that members of their cell read, engage in political discourse on topics ranging from global revolutions to Russian literature.

In the prison library, Sami found a book on Mahatma Gandhi. He was struck by one story in particular—a Hindu man who had murdered a Muslim baby came to Gandhi seeking repentance. Gandhi told him that there was one way that he could find peace again; he must raise a Muslim orphan for twenty years. It took two decades to build a life, Sami reflected, but only seconds to destroy one.

Sami left prison still determined to fight for his people’s rights—but with a very different notion of how to undertake that struggle. He discovered the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, and later became supervisor of an Israeli-Palestinian coexistence center in Jerusalem. He kept his faith in reconciliation alive through the most difficult times, remaining determined to inspire a new generation to follow the path of peace and nonviolence.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist.

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist.

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist. Jen began her professional life working at Seattle Children’s Theatre; from 1994-2000, she did youth theatre work in Seattle, using theatre as a platform for students to tell their stories. Jen lived and worked in Jerusalem from 2000-2004, using some of these same techniques to engage in dialogue-based conflict resolution with Palestinian and Israeli teenagers. Jen also did conflict resolution work with youth in Afghanistan, Cyprus, India, Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was while working with youth in conflict areas that she first picked up a video camera—at that time, in order to record messages being exchanged between Israeli and Palestinian youth. As the youth themselves pushed the video dialogue project to more complex realms, Jen began to explore the idea of how film can be used, not only as a tool of dialogue, but also as a tool of activism. In 2004, with colleagues Adam Shapiro and Aisha Bain, Jen traveled to Northern Darfur and Eastern Chad to make the award-winning documentary film Darfur Diaries: Message from Home and wrote the accompanying book Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival (Nation

Books, 2006). Darfur Diaries was included in the 2007 edition of the Best American Non-Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers.

Jen Marlowe

Jen Marlowe

Jen’s second feature-length award-winning documentary is called Rebuilding Hope: Sudan’s Lost Boys Return HomeRebuilding Hope follows three Sudanese-American young men on their first homecoming trip back to Sudan, to discover whether their homes and families survived the civil war and to build a school, drill wells and bring medical supplies to their villages in Sudan. Jen’s second book, calledThe Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker (Nation Books, 2011), is co-authored with and tells the story of Sami Al Jundi, a Palestinian man who spent ten years in Israeli prison for being involved in militant anti-occupation activities as a youth and who has spent the last two decades of his life working towards nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.The Hour of Sunlight was the winner of the London-based Middle East Monitor’s Palestine Book Award in 2012. Jen is also the playwright of There is a Field. The play, which addresses issues faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, launched globally in October 2010, marking the ten-year anniversary of Black October. Jen’s third award-winning documentary film, One Family in Gaza profiles one family’s experience during and after the 2009 assault on the Gaza Strip. Jen’s most recent book is I Am Troy Davis (Haymarket Books, 2013), written with Martina Davis-Correia, the sister of innocent death row prisoner Troy Davis whose execution in 2011 stirred world-wide protest and condemnation due to his strong case of innocence. Jen is currently working on a documentary fllm about the pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain. She has also recently filmed in Honduras and Brazil for the human rights organization Frontline Defenders. Jen’s articles about Palestine/Israel, Sudan, Bahrain and the death penalty can be found at The Nation,ProgressiveWorldfocus.orgTomdispatch.comYes!, Colorlines and Massachusetts Review. Jen has been the recipient of grants, residencies and fellowships from the Pultizer Center on Crisis Reportingthe Nation Institute Investigative Fund,the Dorot FoundationSeattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural AffairsHedgebrook, and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice.

More information about “The Hour of Sunlight” and Jen Marlowe is found on this website: http://www.donkeysaddle.org/.

Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition

Misunderstood Myanmar – A Review of Dr Koh Kim Seng’s Book

Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition Publisher: Dr Koh Kim Seng,  February 2011, 284 pages

Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition
Publisher: Dr Koh Kim Seng,
February 2011, 284 pages

Click here to listen to the review of “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition”

ICERM Radio Book Review Program, February 13, 2014.

Host: Chavie Brumer.

Guest and Author: Dr Koh Kim Seng.

We are happy to announce the review of “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition”. Listen to the untold stories about Myanmar as Dr. Koh Seng talks about his extensive field work in Myanmar, and reports on his close encounters with the military Junta, and with business and bureaucratic elites.

From the Book Reviewer:

The book, “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition,” written by Dr. Koh Kim Seng, is a multi-dimensional exploration of Myanmar’s fundamental issues underlying the world’s negative view of the country and is based on the author’s interviews with key governmental and military leaders, as well as on his first-hand knowledge of the country.  Dr. Koh clearly highlights the deep impact of British colonization on the current social, economic and political problems, as well as the effects of Myanmar’s entrenched ethnocentricity, Theravada Buddhist religion and culture on its problematic governmental structure.  Also discussed are the roles of the military, as well as the conflicts that the ethnic minorities face, allowing for more clarity on the difficulties the country has in finding both internal and external resolution. This book is a kaleidoscope of Myanmar’s past and present, shedding more light on its mysteries and enables the world to see its future possibilities.

From the Publisher:

The story of Myanmar revealed here is most unusual and runs counter to received wisdom and orthodoxy. The book is the product of the author’s extensive field work in Myanmar, and reports on his close encounters with the military Junta, and with business and bureaucratic elites. The work is an ‘introspective’ study because it reveals and respects the opinions, beliefs and strategies of these elites in an open minded approach that gives full scope to their alternative version of history.

Those who have even a passing familiarity with Myanmar will know that the Myanmar Government is exceedingly wary of letting any information out and that it guards its sovereignty and independence most jealously refusing to let any outside parties into its decision making processes. It is this very cloistered nature of the regime that has led to a dearth of ‘inside information’ which has stumped many a student of Myanmar whether academic scholar or correspondent or political analyst. The result has been a failure to understand Myanmar’s exceptional and intransigent response to the protests, exhortations and impositions of the US led ‘international community’ more particularly the latter’s ‘democracy and human rights’ agenda. Thus for example, there has come about a wide spread perception that the Junta elites are ‘corrupt and repressive’, that the Myanmar state is a pariah state, and that whatever development is taking place is merely ‘cosmetic’. The Myanmar generals are often made out to be uneducated and stupid, as in the comment (recently repeated by Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK) that ‘putting four generals together will not add up to a standard three education’, and that for decision making one has to go to the astrologers, etc, ignoring that many of the top brass have been schooled and trained in some of the leading institutions in the UK, the US and elsewhere.

This book argues that to understand the vicissitudes of Myanmar’s recent history and the behavior of its generals one has to grasp the dynamic interaction (struggle even) between, on one hand, its external environment (milieu exterieur), including the disgruntled diaspora alongside the US led international community, and on the other, the internal environment (milieu interieur) consisting of the generals’ ideological orientation in politics and economics which, the author argues, exceptionally, still draws from a well of adverse colonial experiences and betrayals, as well as from religion and culture. ‘Exceptionally’ because unlike other developing states Myanmar has been isolated from the international world  for so long that those same internal factors have crystallized and come to take on a significance which, arguably,  exceeds the role played by history, culture and religion in other parts of the world.

Dr Koh Kim Seng Author, "Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition"

Dr Koh Kim Seng
Author, “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition”

Thanks to his very extended quanxi networks amongst the Myanmar junta, the author has succeeded in teasing out the causes of the Myanmar Government’s reluctance to rapid developmental change and democratization, its philosophical and buddhistic take on the country’s postwar slide from pre-eminence to ignominy in the developmental world, and its post ‒ 1988 “conflagration-resolve” to gradually take steps to regain its “Paradise Lost”, taking advantage of  present forces of regionalization  and geo-strategic hegemonic shifts. Whether this strategy succeeds thereby improving the lives of 53 million people depends much on how the clash between the international community’s “Prejudice” and the Junta’s “Pride” will be handled. Will there be “constructive engagement” rather than “obstructive dismissal”? It is to foster “constructive engagement” for the benefit of the protagonists in the drama that this book has been written.

The book is available at leading book distributors – http://www.marymartin.com or directly from the following address:

Marplan Pte Ltd, 51 Thomson Road, 181B Goldhill Centre, Singapore 307627.                                     Email: marplan(at)singnet.com.sg.