by Yakir Englander, Kids4Peace International Vice-President
I was working with Tahera Ahmad during the years 2012 – 2014 when I taught at Northwestern University. Tahera represents for me and for many students the possibility to be a believer, a scholar, a feminist, and a person who doesn’t stop working towards social justice and healthy relationships among people.
In November 2012, in the midst of the Israeli-Gaza war, Tahera was the only person at Northwestern University who gathered a group of students – Jews, Muslims, Christians and others – in a safe place, where they could share their pain, fear and hope to end the conflict. I had the gift to be there and to see how, by her unique personality and sensitivity, she succeed to gather Pro-Israelis and Pro-Palestinians to help and support each other.
During my two years at Northwestern university, I found a spiritual family in the Islamic community. As an Israeli who grew up in an Ultra-Orthodox family, I was amazed by the hospitality that I received by the Islamic community at Northwestern under the directorship of Tahera Ahmad.
For these reasons I invited Tahera to come, meet and teach at the Board meeting of Kids4Peace this past weekend in Washington, DC. I believe that all of us: Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, from the three Abrahamic traditions, can benefit from her unique personality, her teachings, the open hearts and mind to the differences among us. I was amazed how focus she was with the members of Kids4Peace, how vivid and open, as if she hadn’t just come from a traumatic event on the airplane.
During the years, Tahera became not only a colleague of mine, but also a family member and a spiritual partner.
As a Jew (and for sure as a friend) I must support my dear sister Tahera. I pray Allah and Hashem to send you the powers to keep working for a better America for all of American citizens and mostly for the minorities.
For additional information:
Fr. Josh Thomas, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | (202) 796-7047