International Educator - May/June 2013 - 36

"I believe that through positive interactions
such as study abroad programs and interfaith dialogues,

different groups of people can learn about one another
and realize that we’re all just people,

From London to Amman

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E . 13

Raised in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Stephanie
Sobek had never associated with many people beyond
the white, middle-class Christians who populated her
hometown of Brunswick. It took a 2006 education
abroad program to Seville, Spain—and a new friendship with a Muslim girl named Selma—to make her
realize how little she understood about Islam, the
Middle East, and the conflicts there.

36  

Student Stephanie
Sobek with the Sheikh
Abu Jibraayil of the
al-Amareen tribe in
the South of Jordan.
"We met with the
al-Amareen tribe to
discuss how conflicts
are resolved between
tribes which are so far
removed, geographically and at times
culturally, from the
modern city centers of
Jordan," she says.

Back home at Ohio State University, Sobek decided
to major in political science and Middle Eastern studies with a minor in Arabic, and in 2011 participated
in the London/Amman Peace and Conflict Resolution
in the Middle East program offered through the London-based Foundation for International Education, a
nonprofit educational organization, and the America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc.
(AMIDEAST), a nonprofit that offers international
abroad programs in the Middle East and North Africa.
“I recognized that I, like many Americans, associated Muslims with terrorists after September 11,” says
Sobek, now a master’s student at Harvard University’s
Center for Middle Eastern Studies. “It wasn’t until I
met Selma that I realized my ignorance of the Middle

East. She taught me the very basics of Islam and catalyzed my fascination with the Arab World.”
Students start their studies in London, focusing
for three weeks on theories of conflict resolution
and using as a case study the resolution to the Irish
Troubles. They travel to Derry and Belfast to meet
with academics and leaders who negotiated the
Northern Ireland/UK Good Friday agreement. Sobek,
who participated in the program the summer before
her senior college year, met with Jonathan Powell,
the former chief of staff to then-UK Prime Minister
Tony Blair, and Lord John Thomas Alderdice, former
Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and leader
of the politically moderate, Unionist-leaning Alliance
Party of Northern Ireland.
Armed with the conflict resolution theories they
studied in London, students traveled to Amman,
Jordan, where they lived with Jordanian families and
spent three weeks studying—not just the Israel-Palestine conflict—but most of the other conflicts in the
region, including the Lebanese civil war, the war in
Iraq, the conflict in Yemen, border conflicts in Iran
and Syria, and inter-tribal conflicts.
Sobek and her colleagues traveled to Petra, Wadi
Rum, and the Dead Sea. As in London, they met with
political, tribal, and cultural leaders.
The goal?
“One goal is to get past popular beliefs and definitions about a conflict and to learn ways to look at
what is actually happening,” says Joan E. Gore, senior
academic development director for the Foundation
for International Education. “We want them to examine conflict that gives them a perspective about
every player in the conflict so that they have a more
in-depth understanding of what’s going on before
they begin to prescribe how to resolve it.”
Gore says that after their London studies, students
go to Amman “with something of a framework for
understanding the opportunities, but also the limitations, of conflict theories.” They come to understand
the complexity of a conflict, she says, as well as the
tools required to resolve or manage the conflict.

COURTESY OF STEPHANIE SOBEK

”
and often our commonalities are greater than our differences .



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2013

International Educator - May/June 2013
Contents
From the Editors
Front Lines
In Brief
Voices: Kofi Annan
Peace Pathways
Shared Solutions
San Francisco State Shines in Long-Term Study Abroad
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2013 - International Educator - May/June 2013
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Contents
International Educator - May/June 2013 - From the Editors
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Front Lines
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2013 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Voices: Kofi Annan
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Peace Pathways
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Shared Solutions
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2013 - San Francisco State Shines in Long-Term Study Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 66
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 80
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 84
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 85
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 86
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 87
International Educator - May/June 2013 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover4
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