Empathy: The Opposite from Shame

Building a Culture of Empathy



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in Northern Ireland

    "To disarm an enemy, build a bridge," says British Joanna Berry.

     Hear their story.

     Dignify them.



     "There is no 'other;" there is no 'enemy," Jo says.

     "Humanity heals together."

Disarming with Empathy

Jo Berry TEDxTalk -- 03 June 2013 -- 10 min video


     Jo Berry has worked for over 10 years to resolve conflict around the world.

     Sixteen years after her father was killed by an IRA bomb, Jo first met with the man responsible, Pat Magee.

     Her preparedness to try to understand him opened a path to empathy that continues to develop.


     Their unusual relationship has been told in the BBC documentary "Facing the Enemy", and was featured in the film "Soldiers of Peace."

     She founded Building Bridges for Peace and advocates that empathy is the biggest weapon we have to end conflict.

     One citizen, Jo has spoken over 100 times with Pat Magee and reaches out to areas of conflict including Lebanon and Rwanda.


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in Palestine and Israel

     The Sulha Leadership Conference -- http://www.sulha.com --  gathered young adults, ages 18-22,  from different religions and nations where so many people's fear of each other leads to hatred, racism, and violence.

     In a safe place, the young women and men overcame pre-conceptions and reached out to each other as human beings, emerging with determination to continue expanding their face-to-face work.

     These 21st century citizen-leaders then created plans for bringing more people together to see each other as equal human beings -- Step #1 for creating a true Middle East community of familiarity and cooperation.


    Then on May 23-24 a follow-up core group of 20 met for two days in The Pluralistic Spiritual Center at Wahat al-Salam~Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace) -- http://www.nswas.com -- near Jerusalem.

     They re-united and planned the next, big Sulha Tribal Fire for inviting a larger circle of families, friends, and guests for a one day event of sharing stories, hopes, and fears.

     MORE INFORMATION contact the inspired creator and facilitator trainer, Elad Vazana -- EladVazana@gmail.com

     SEE inspiring photos:

Young Leadership Seminar for Peace:

Humanizing the "other"



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in Palestine and Israel

     The Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa hosts bilingual plays -- in Hebrew and Arabic -- that increase understanding between people and bind the audiences and the actors in a common, fun experience.

     The theatre is compiled of two theatre ensembles -- The Local Theatre, which is Jewish, and the Arab Al-Saraya Theatre. 

     They operate independently but also perform as one ensemble. 


     It was established 13 years ago to bring Jaffa back to its golden era of living together. 

     The theatre is like a home for Jaffa society  and also for Lod, Ramla, and the south. 

     Actors and audiences say they love this theatre as if it were their own home. 

     And theatre plays an important role in constructing culture among all ages because it tackles various social issues. 

Creative Coexistence at Arab-Jewish Theatre

May 16, 2013 -- 6 min video (Arabic, Hebrew, English)


    "Theatre engages with these issues in a positive manner.

     "It makes one think in a different way and be more attentive to others," says Arab Omar Saksak, who heads the Saraya Associaiton


     Jewish director Hanoch Ra'am described the play with two girls, one Arab and one Jewish, who repeat each other's lines -- Arabic then Hebrew -- and the other way around. 

     "It deepens one's understanding of each other," Ra'am says.


     Actress Anat Hadid adds: "Theatre creates a way of knowing the 'other,' who is quite similar to 'me.'"

     "During our work here, I discovered we're quite similar in our aspirations, in our perspective, in the things we want. 

     "We want peace and common language regardless of religion and specific language." 


     "We all have the same soul here and this is what characterizes this place."

     Hadid seems to be describing us family family and our "place" -- Earth.



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in West Africa

     The Middle East and all humankind would do well to pay attention to Africa.

     There are already new Mandela-like African champions alive and effective, with largely-untold stories, even as Nelson Mandela is fading,

     Increasingly, there is so much to illustrate and learn from West Africans.


     In Cote d'Ivoire is a brave, determined citizen, Offuh James Offuh, who receives e-mail at ufpaci@gmail.com

     Notice how Offuh and a few inspired, courageous, effective citizens are doing what no government, U.N. agency, or other institution has imagined or felt able to begin.

     SEE their June, 2013, Step #4 -- PHOTOS of the people, as they moved from fear to confidence:

Confronting Fear:

First Dozos-Guerre Reconciliation in Duekoue

June 2013 -- Ivory Coast, West Africa



These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm