Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Pakistani Americans Travel to Israel for a Second Peacemaking Trip

Washington, DC – After the groundbreaking success of a historic trip by Pakistani Americans to Israel and the United Arab Emirates in May 2022, another group of prominent Pakistanis left for Israel for a peacemaking trip.

“This group includes prominent Muslim-Americans and South-Asian Americans, American Muslim and Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council (AMMWEC) and SHARAKA,” AMMWEC said in a press statement.

“The goal of this delegation is to continue the peacemaking efforts started by the delegation of interfaith leaders led by Pakistani American president of AMMWEC and Sharaka Board Member, Anila Ali, and to build positive understanding and to help encourage Pakistan-Israel relations and Pakistan’s connection to the Abraham Accords.” The group includes prominent Pakistani American leaders, including Dr. Nasim Ashraf, and several leading Pakistani journalists and religious figures.

“The floodgates are wide open; the initial shock has turned into a realization that Muslims and Jews are both the children of Prophet Ibrahim PBUH. Therefore, we must continue our work to build peace on a people-to-people connection to promote the Abraham Accords in Muslim countries. If we are to build a better future for our children, we must let go of the grievances of the past,” explained Anila Ali.

SHARAKA is a non-governmental, region-wide project that brings together Arabs and Israelis to build mutual understanding and promote peace in the Middle East through people-to-people engagement and citizen diplomacy. It has branches in the Arab Gulf, Israel, and Morocco, and members from around the region and the US, Europe, and Pakistan.

The trip aims to allow the participants to see and explore Israel for themselves and to transmit what they learn and experience to audiences in Pakistan to help provide information for the important debate on whether Pakistan should join the Abraham Accords. Moreover, due to the tragic flooding in Pakistan, much of the visit will focus on life-saving technologies developed in Israel relating to water and food security and mitigating climate and environmental disasters.

The trip includes a meeting with the President of Israel, senior foreign policy figures, and well-known intellectual, cultural, religious, and political figures. The trip will have a special focus on the Israeli hi-tech ecosystem. It will feature meetings with leading innovators in the water, agro, and climate tech spaces and Israel’s world-leading water management systems. They will also meet an internationally recognized expert on crisis preparedness. The team will also pay a visit to the holy sites sacred to Abrahamic faiths and the Holocaust Museum. The delegation consists of high-profile Pakistani Americans, interfaith leaders, and media giants.

One of the leading members of the delegation is the renowned Pakistani American Dr. Nasim Ashraf. “I am delighted and honored to be invited by AMMWEC and SHARAKA to be part of the delegation to visit Israel to promote peace and interfaith dialogue. Such people-to-people contacts are very important to develop understanding and harmony between Abrahamic Faiths to which we belong,” said Dr. Ashraf.

SHARAKA co-founder Amit Deri said, “We are thrilled to be welcoming this delegation to Israel as a part of our efforts to expand the peace camp. This is truly historic, and we hope [it] can lead to additional countries, like Pakistan, joining the peace camp. Only by working together and building roads of dialogue can we work to solve our differences and take on common challenges and threats – from climate and water-related challenges to extremists in the region who only want to promote hatred.

American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council, AMMWEC, is a non-profit organization built to provide diverse Muslim American women the tools and opportunities to lead and empower them to live better lives.

Author profile
Jahanzaib Ali

The writer is a Washington-based journalist and author. He has been covering international politics and foreign policy issues for the last 15 years. He can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]

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