The Arab Peace Corps – Why Now?

February 3, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Sami Jamil Jadallah

It is in times of wars, conflicts, chaos, terrorism and despair; investments in peace and development become more urgent.

Anyone with a nominal understanding of international politics can see the Arab World is in deep, deep trouble, with failing states or in a spate of civil wars; Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan are but a few.

Tens of thousands of “Jihadists” recruits are joining Al-Qaeda, Daesh and Jabhat Al-Nusra. They are coming from Europe, the US, North Africa and certainly the Arab Peninsula. Even Non-Arabs from Chechnya, Maldives and Indonesia are joining the fight. They are joining “Islamist” militias to kill and get killed, to destroy but never build.

The New Arab Foundation, a Not for Profit 501-C-3 Tax exempt organization, a think tank (with a mission) and management consulting organization wants to change all of that and introduce a road map of achievable goals toward a New Renaissance for the Arab World.

 

 

The Issues and Causes

 

The Arabs are experiencing turmoil and conflicts not witnessed since colonial times, with nation states threatened from within and without.

The rise of military dictatorship in the 50’s, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (the birthplace of the “jihadist” movement), the Iran-Iraq War and First and Second Gulf War, these combined events formed a watershed in the Arab World. Trillions in fortunes and livelihoods were diverted from society building to regional and “sectarian” wars, destroying nations and threatening the existence of others.

Military, nationalistic “secular dictatorship” and “jihadist ideology”, combined with corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, looting of people’s assets and state wealth, nepotism, lack of transparency and accountability, lack of fairness and equal opportunity, lack of mentoring and inept bloated abusive humiliating bureaucracy — all are responsible for the failure of many of the Arab States, with investment in “winless” wars and conflict have produced the dire results we see today.

In the Arab World the majority of the young population, who for the most part are marginalized, unemployed, humiliated at home and by governing institutions and living in poverty with no hope to escape the miserable life, join “Jihadist” as a way out of this hell hole they find themselves in, putting the entire society and nations at risk.

 

 

The Opportunity

 

The Arab Peace Corps’ vision and mission is to break the negative, self-reinforcing spiral of vulnerable youth being mobilized by “religious actors” or “terrorists” to go fight against what they are told is the cause of their suffering (secular, sectarian opponents and “infidels”). And as a result, they are often killed in the fight, a situation that is advertised in order to reinvigorate the negative spiral and to recruit.

The Arab Peace Corps’ mission is to work toward implementing development programs for marginalized communities not only in the Arab World but in Europe, the US and Canada. Transforming the power and innocence of youths into positive, self-reinforcing contributions for the better good for themselves and their society, increasing their sense of belonging to their community, society and nation.

Inspired by President John F Kennedy’s Peace Corps, the Arab Peace Corps is a voluntary two year service utilizing commitments, skills and dynamism of college graduates and retirees from within the Arab World, from the US, Europe, Canada and Australia among others, to help build and rebuild shattered or marginalized communities in education, health care, agriculture, artisan and small industries, community development and participation, tutorial and mentoring programs among many others.

This community service not only makes a positive difference to those communities, but also provides valuable skills and life experiences to the individuals who volunteer and serve as members of the Arab Peace Corps.

The New Arab Foundation, through its first initiative the Arab Peace Corps, intends to turn around the current negative dynamic, by challenging young minds and talents to contribute to life not death, to contribute to building not destroying.

In the next few months we will be seeking the support of nations, private and governmental institutions, private sector and individual donors to raise a $100 million “trust fund” specifically for the Arab Peace Corps.

We will also seek the partnership of corporations to commit to give priority of employment to our alumnis, airlines to provide free tickets, universities to provide full or reduced tuitions for graduate schools, in part to give recognition to all those who sacrificed and made the commitment to serve others.

 

 

 

 

 

Sami Jamil Jadallah

Sami is a Palestinian-American immigrated to the US while in high school. He was drafted in the US Army during Vietnam War earning the leadership award from the US Sixth Army Non-Commission Officer Academy.

After honorable discharge, Sami enrolled at Indiana University where he was active in student politics, elected class president, student president and chairman of the Indiana Student Association representing students from all colleges and universities in the State of Indiana.

Sami earned his Bachelor Degree (economics and politics), Master of Public and Environmental Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence. After a 2 years stint with a major Wall Street law firm Sami took on the job as general counsel of a major international construction company in Saudi Arabia. As an international legal and business consultant, Sami served as owner representative on major projects such as hotels, conservation foundation, defense, and technology.

In the area of public service, Sami was the founding member of the United Palestinian Appeal, a well known not for profit organization serving the needs of Palestinians refugees with over $100 millions in projects and donations serving 16 years as a trustee.

Sami as founding member and executive director of the New Arab Foundation, a US based Not for Profit Tax Exemp, a think tank (with a mission) and management consulting organization, and is working now on the launching of the Arab Peace Crops inspired by President John F Kennedy’s American Peace Corps.

Sami lives in Fairfax, VA and is married to Dr. Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah an international expert in mediations and conflict resolution, they have three children all living and working in Washington DC.

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