Category Archives: Arab Women

SDi Training for Palestinian Women

SDi Training for Palestinian Women from Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah,Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Khalil Jan 25-26, 2008

Dr. Don Beck and Elza Maalouf, CEO of the Center for Human Emergence – Middle East presented a 2-day Spiral Dynamics Integral training for Palestinian women January 25 and 26, 2008. Participant came from Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Khalil and many other areas of the West Bank. They were all taking part in what is now becoming known as The Future Movement of Palestine 21.

The group was invited by Dr. Nehma Assad, a gynecologist from Bethlehem who introduced the training as a ‘true’ empowerment for women’s roles and capacities in the Palestinian society. The attendees were educators, students, directors of NGOs and mothers who are working on the development of their communities in Palestine.

After learning the colors/codes of the Spiral, the participants used the memetic language to explain how organizations like USAID, UN or EU NGOs who operate from the orange/Green value-systems try to impose unrealistic conditions on programs they fund in Palestine, that do not fit the culture or the value-systems in their communities. Butheina who is leading a local organization said, “We are tired of them pushing their women empowerment training on us without providing opportunities to create sustainable jobs and solid careers. The abstract concepts are fine, but they are not helping us create businesses, or helping our children learn computer skills. They force us to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on restaurants, hotels and seminars and refuse to give us part of the money to build a small center to train women and children on how to use the computer!”

Two young girls who hold degrees in education and computer science have been looking for a job for the last 7 months to no avail. They just want to work and make a living… Not learn about Democracy and Governance in seminars while not having a job or a place to exercise ‘Governance’. (Most seminars offered by Western organizations focus on Democracy, Governance and Empowerment of Women….) .

From Syria To Singapore: Our Center’s Activities for July

Dr. Beck and I had a busy schedule in July. While Dr Beck’s presentations and meetings in many countries had a wider scope and focus on Global Change ” From Clash to Confluence of Civilizations,” with an emphasis on the most pressing issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the model we are co-designing with our Palestinian partners for Build Palestine Initiative. My presentations and meetings focused on the Emergence of Arab women and their vital role in solving Middle East problems, as well as the role of the affluent Arab community in London, and a starting project with the European Union in Syria.

Dr. Beck’s Presentations/Meetings:

July 9th in Aspen, Colorado: “Beliefs, Cultures and Values:How Spiral Dynamics Transforms Conflict and Finds Innovative Solutions in a Split World.” Dr Beck presented to a well informed crowd after attending the Festival of Ideas at the Aspen Institute. He was invited back to Aspen and to speak at the Aspen Institute’s Festival of Ideas next year. The integral group in Aspen set up brief meetings for Dr. Beck with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and many US leaders and world renowned philanthropists. They all showed great interest in the work we are doing in Palestine and in the fresh approach that the Spiral Dynamics’ framework can offer to solving the Middle East conundrum.

July 15th in Toronto, Canada: “Spiral Dynamics integral Application to Global Organizations.” Dr Beck met with business leaders in Toronto after the workshop and discussed with them Social Entrepreneurship. They expressed their genuine interest in supporting our Middle East initiatives.

July 17th in Singapore: Dr. Beck was invited by top leaders in the Government of Singapore to present his model and help with the design of an integral center to study the Singapore culture.

July 29-31 st in Minneapolis-Annual World Future Society Conference. “A Spiral Dynamics Perspective on Global Integration and Human Emergence.”

August 1st Ashland-Oregon, with Dr Jean Houston: Social Artistry Summer Leadership Institute

Elza Maalouf’s Presentations/Meetings:

July 14th, Dallas: Third International Women Peace Conference: Empowering Peacemakers.

Emergence of Arab Women in the Age of Fragmentation” In this international conference many Nobel Peace Laureates spoke about active peacemaking. Our presentation was attended by women from various backgrounds and cultures: Leaders from the Muslim communities in the US, from Africa, from different countries in the Middle East and peacemakers from all over the world. Dr. Hind Jarah, president of Texas Muslim Women Foundation, gave us the most touching feedback saying “Thank you. You spoke about us with dignity and a rare clarity that was missed in this conference. Most speakers tiptoed around the subject of Islam and the Arab world, but did not address it.” She added that that Spiral Dynamics integral gave a framework that respects the sensitivities in cultures while addressing the deeper issues beneath the surface beyond the “us and them” polarization. While many American women were well informed about Islam and the Arab world, and agreed that the issues the Middle East and the West are facing are not about religion, or ethnicity; some in the audience asked basic questions about why Muslim and Arab women wear the hijab. My answer to them was that ” we come in all shapes and dress in all kinds of garments. What matters is our value-systems and what we can offer to our culture and to the world.” And I had to repeat what a friend from the United Arab Emirates told me to convey to the West, saying “This is not a hijab over our Brain, it is just what we wear. We are educators, business women, doctors and mothers trying our best to provide a better world for our children.”

July 17-23rd London: Meetings with Leaders from the Arab Community in London where I presented the application of the SDi framework in Palestine and in Kuwait. They were all fascinated by this ‘fresh approach’ and wanted to know more about the theory and its application. More meetings and a fundraiser for our projects in the Middle East are scheduled for October as well as a presentation at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).

July 23-27th Bosra-Syria : a Partnership with the EU on a project in Bosra-Syria. The EU is sponsoring sustainability and development projects of many municipalities in Syria. The representative of the Municipalities of Rome and Belgium asked me to co-lead with them training and town meetings to further their projects with their Syrian partners in the city of Bosra. A more detailed account of the project and an assessment of the value-systems in Syria will be posted soon on the MeshWORKS in Syria page.

July 28th Kuwait: Integral Leadership and Application of Spiral Dynamics integral in Business.

July 29th London: Meeting with Young Arab Leaders to plan and fund a 10 day SDi and Natural Design training for young leaders from Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.

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