The George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland is an endowed academic program that strengthens understanding between Eastern and Western cultures, and in particular the common ground among cultures.
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On Tuesday, November 7th, at the residence of the Lebanese Ambassador in Washington D.C., over 100 guests gathered for a cultural event to celebrate the author and poet, Kahlil Gibran. This event was a collaboration between Ambassador Carla Jazzar, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington D.C. and the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace, and was crystallized out of a deep love for Lebanon and respect for Gibran and his work.
The Gibran Chair has won an award to promote women’s leadership and gender inclusive policies in the Middle East and North Africa.Women as Partners in Progress (WPP) works with women leaders— both established and emerging—to help them amplify their voice on issues important to them. The U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at the U.S. State Department funds this two-year project that began in October 2017.
Recently, Sotheby’s International contacted May Rihani, the Director of the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace, at BSOS, to ask if she would interpret to them the significance of a set of letters from Kahlil Gibran that had suddenly seen the light of day. Once Sotheby’s received May Rihani’s report, they invited her to London to give a talk about Gibran and this new discovery.
A New Narrative of Peace: The Vision and Programs of the Gibran Chair is the first publication produced under the auspices of the new Gibran Chair Director May Rihani. This book highlights strategic and pragmatic approaches which make Peace more attainable by detailing the Chair’s vision that Peace is based on three principles: Social Justice, Valuing Diversity, and Ensuring Inclusivity in processes and decision making. The book also emphasizes the importance of deepening the understanding between Eastern and Western cultures in general, and the Arab ethos and American values in particular.
On Dec. 7, 2016 the George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace presented a groundbreaking symposium, “The Contributions of Arab Women toward a Lasting Peace,” in collaboration with the University of California, Davis. Held in the Juan Ramon Jiménez Room of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, the symposium was organized by Gibran Chair Director May Rihani.
“May Rihani's Inaugural Lecture is inspirational reading for all those working for peace, both within the academy and across society. Her theme—that the oneness of humanity is the path to peace—shines like a light on a restless sea.”
— Wallace D. Loh, President of the University of Maryland
Author of Islam in Retrospect: Recovering the Message
Dr. Maher Mahmassani has over 40 years of experience in providing and managing the provision of comprehensive legal services to leading corporations and international organizations in the US and the Middle East.