A Study from Salam Institute for Peace and Justice

May 06, 2011

In the fields of Conflict Transformation and Peace Education there is a slowly emerging trend in the area of forgiveness and Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer is at the forefront of this essential work. His team at the Salam Institute for Peace and Justice have been conducting a revelatory study on the act of forgiveness amongst teachers in four Middle Eastern countries.

Historically, forgiveness has been an integrated part of many peace processes. However, in current academia and peace movements this essential step in the process of reconciliation, transformation and education has been overlooked. Abu-Nimer’s work is paving the way for forgiveness to be included and regarded as a fundamental step in these fields and we are at once impressed and humbled by his work.

Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Below is a short write-up about the work Abu-Nimer and his team are doing. Keep checking back in the coming months for our more in depth look at the Institute’s work and it’s impact and application in the field. Many thanks to the Salam Institute team.

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The field of reconciliation, empathy, and forgiveness has been an emerging one in peace education and conflict resolution. A new research study focusing on examining attitudes and perceptions held by teachers about forgiveness in Middle Eastern cultures is conducted by Director of SI Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer and Dr. Ilham from George Mason University.

The study, which is funded by the Kindle Project, aims to shed light on the understanding of forgiveness by examining responses to situations requiring forgiving amongst teachers in four countries in the Middle East, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. The research study addresses the questions regarding the conditions that support attitudes of forgiveness, the major cultural values and beliefs that encourage or obstruct the act of forgiveness, and finally, the role educators play in teaching and promoting forgiveness in Arab culture.

By collecting data from Palestinian, Egyptian, Lebanese and Jordanian teachers through surveys and interviews, the study will increase the working knowledge in the field of peace and conflict resolution and more specifically the idea of forgiving in the Arab culture. It will also shed light on factors and variables influencing our understanding and willingness to forgive within specific social and cultural contexts . The research outcomes will have implications for conflict interventions in the Arab context and among educators. Moreover, the results of the study can guide professionals in peace education and curriculum design to construct a research based comprehensive curriculum teaching for forgiveness in Arab classrooms.

For more information please visit the Salam Institute website here.