Thursday, November 29, 2012

Interfaith Dialog Dinner and Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to Hon. Judge Patty Larson for the life Time Achievement award, and Commissioner Maureen Dickey for the community service Award. The awards were bestowed at the 10th Annual friendship and awards dinner at Renaissance hotel, organized by the Institute of Interfaith Dialog.

Kamil Celik, president of the organization shared the genesis of the institute of interfaith dialogue. He said he was a teen when he participated in an interfaith dinner organized by the Turkish Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen. The attendees were the Chief Rabbi of the Turkish Jewish community, heads of Catholic, Greek Orthodox and other religious groups. He was inspired by the event and has become the torch bearer in Texas carrying the tradition for the 10th year. The Gulen movement has attracted a large number of supporters in Turkey and across the globe for his teachings of common good that all faiths can deliver together. He injected good humor in his talk, and I really liked the lightness of his speech. 

Dr. Mike Miles, superintendent of Dallas Independent School District was the key note speaker, and shared how each one of us can function as multiple spokes in a wheel, learning and functioning different aspect of knowledge. He has an impressive resume and the good news is he is considering cross cultural education which will help the kids as they would live in a multi-cultural societies; the real America. He is open to teaching cultural pluralism in schools.  We need to pull 10 years worth of pictures and videos of the Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations, 7 years of Unity Day events and 6 years of reflections on Holocaust and Genocides as examples of cultural and religious pluralism. 

Dr. Miles talked about the entrepreneurial spirit to be included in the curriculum and there is a model program at Richardson School District’s on the topic. They do it for children across the school district and kids come out understanding the concepts of how businesses are run.

Congratulations to Commissioner Maureen Dickey for the community service Award and the life Time Achievement award to Hon. Judge Patty Larson.

Judge Larson is an amazing person and I see her from time to time. I was a neighborhood commissioner at the City of Carrollton a few years ago and have known her for nearly a decade. I am pleased that she is recognized for her life time service to the community. She talked about mock courts with school going children as a part of education. She also performs interfaith weddings as a service to the community.

At my table, besides Isabel,  we had Turkish and Iranian American scholars and students. Dr. Mahmoud Sadri teaches interfaith, and Ali is working on his PhD on Corruption and its effects on economy, Jobin is going to Medical School and Bilal heads the Dallas Islamic Center, Dr. Korca and his wife were equally interested in interfaith dialogue. I was amazed; rather continue to be amazed that even Muslims don’t put their finger on the first interfaith dialoguer in the world. I have tested this in several groups and failed. I have to write more and speak more about it. Then we had a nice conversation about Prophet Muhammad the pluralist,  and talked about Food Pluralism as the food was being served.

Nature is simply amazing, how deficiency in one sensory organ is compensated by powerful sense in the other. Rhanda Hasley does not have the sight and she simply goes by the voice, and it is powerful. She heard me ask a question, a very short one to Dr. Miles if the School district has plans to teach Cultural Pluralism. She knew,  it was me, she had heard my two year long Radio program “Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful religions” almost 9 years ago. She made a point to find and talk with me. I was completely floored. Then she wanted to stay in touch and I paused before offering her my business card, she said, just tell me the name of the site… I was simply admiring her ability to register and remember the name. God, I wish I had that ability.

Closing remarks were delivered by a Rabbi, Pastor and and an Imam.

I am pleased to have attended this event, as it is my cup of tea. Many including Dr. Jacqueline Romano indicated an interest in learning about Pluralism. Here is my CV and the tentative Curriculum for teaching Pluralism. Pluralism in its simplest form is respecting the otherness of others and accepting the genetic uniqueness (God Given) of each one of us. 

--------- Comments from facebookKathy Runkel The longer you are "out there" as the world's first interfaith dialoguer, the more your concepts and efforts will be noticed and appreciated, Mike. I am one of your cheerleaders, and applaud your vision and devotion to building a better world. Thank you!

Thank you Kathy, you made my day!

MikeGhouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace making, foreign policy, Islam, interfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes everything you want to know about him.

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