Anisa Mehdi: Walking the Middle East

Event Date: January 12th, 2020 at 11:00am - 12:00pm
Address : 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood, NJ, USA

The simple act of walking is an age-old method for people from around the world to connect with one another. Since 2007, the Abraham Path Initiative (API) has seeded walking trails in the part of Southwest Asia we call “the Middle East” to introduce people to an ancient land and its hospitable residents. For API, walking is a tool to deepen understanding, experience cultures, and foster friendships across challenging divides. API shines a light on the ages-old traditions of hospitality in the region, emphasizing how people welcome strangers in honor of Abraham/Ibrahim, the spiritual ancestor of over half of humanity. API Executive Director Anisa Mehdi will share stories and life lessons from walking and meeting people along trails in the Sinai, Jordan, and most recently, the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

A lifetime of interest in and concern for the Middle East is at the foundation of Anisa Mehdi’s passion for Abraham Path Initiative. An Iraqi-American of mixed religious heritage, Anisa deeply appreciates the variety and nuance of regional cultures and tensions. For more than 20 years she was a broadcast journalist, winning two Emmys, a CINE Golden Eagle, and numerous prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists for her work in religion and the arts. Anisa is an alumna of Wellesley College and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She lived in Jordan as a Fulbright Scholar, mentoring professional broadcasters and teaching aspiring filmmakers. She affirms the experience of walking as an effective way to create stronger links between people at this vital time for our world.

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