Mr. Mazen Badra, a Palestinian, was co-moderator with Dr. Sapir Handelman, an Israeli and visiting professor at UMSL, in a Mind of Peace Experiment (MOPE; www.mindofpeaceexperiment.blogspot.com) conducted this past year. MOPE is a series of unique exercises in peacemaking and conflict resolution. It proposes simulations of a potential Palestinian-Israeli public assembly – a multi-party negotiating congress. The assembly is designed to involve the people in the peace process through provoking a public debate over central issues.

MOPE brought five Palestinians and five Israelis together to discuss and propose resolutions to critical points of conflict that divide the two communities. MOPE is based on the belief that civilians are at the center of the conflict and need to be at the center of the solution. Mr. Badra will discuss MOPE, and offer his perspectives on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Mazen Badr has been a university lecturer for more than 22 years. He has taught business management, accounting, economics, and marketing courses. Of the 22 years as a lecturer, 16 were at Birzeit and Bethlehem Universities in the Holy Land. He relocated to the US in August of 2002, and in October of the same year joined Sanford-Brown College, the Fenton-Missouri Campus, and currently chairs two Bachelor Programs – Business Administration, and Health-care Management.

As a peace activist who believes in non-violence, Mr. Madra started promoting dialogue and understanding between Palestinians and Jews in 1988. When he moved to the United States, he reached out to two Jewish Rabbis in St. Louis resulting in the formation of an organization called ‘The Children of Abraham.’ He is a frequent guest speaker at universities, churches, Jewish congregations, and schools.