For the past decade, when anger, extremism and misunderstanding strained the relationship between the Muslim world and the West, the NYU Center for Dialogues sought to bridge the divide through dialogue based on mutual respect.
Today, the Center’s mission has shifted in response to the “Arab Spring” and the Islamist movements taking part in the political life of various countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The NYU Center for Dialogues is working to ensure that the values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are upheld by these new democracies and lay the foundation for a more comprehensive and lasting peace both domestically and with the West.
After more than ten years of activities around the world, the Center for Dialogues has established a reputation as a serious and important institution, grounded in solid scholarship and objective analysis. The Center’s programs are making a tangible impact: its conferences are widely discussed in international policy circles, its publications are used as educational material in university classrooms, its network of peacemakers is expanding, and its staff is sought after to contribute the institution’s perspective at conferences, on advisory panels, and in the media.
The Center is unique among similar institutions at American universities for combining public outreach, international conferences, academic study, and policy review and recommendations. Government leaders and other civil authorities and organizations, including media decision–makers, attend the Center’s meetings in order to help effect policy change and alter public perceptions. The Center’s findings are published as policy papers, as well as in book form, and are disseminated to educational institutions worldwide for use by students, faculty, and researchers. Moreover, the Center for Dialogues is creating a network of leaders who will continue to communicate with and consult one another for years to come —a valuable network for negotiating peace in times of crisis, and for encouraging new Islamist regimes to uphold universal human values.
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