Ambassadors for Peace

Beginning December 15, 2010, the American Islamic Congress, in collaboration with CeaseFire, launched the Ambassadors for Peace (A4P) campaign in Basrah and Sadr City, Baghdad.  CeaseFire is a Chicago-based organization specializing in violence prevention, viewing violence as a public health issue.  The confluence of AIC’s personal relationships, presence in Iraq and cultural familiarity and CeaseFire’s innovative methods of reducing urban violence provided an ideal impetus from which to build an effective network of individuals dedicated to peace-building and non-violence in Iraq.

The approach to interceding in violence involves using “Credible Messengers,” i.e., individuals that are not representatives of the authorities but are respected in their neighborhoods and have clout with potentially violent elements, to physically step in between belligerents and use their influence, experience and A4P-taught skills to deescalate and settle conflicts.  CeaseFire often uses reformed convicts to intercede in gang violence in the US.  In Iraq, A4P employs people with the right connections in the religious, tribal and ethnic communities as the violence facing Iraqi communities is largely inter-tribal, inter-militial, sectarian or domestic.

A4P also has a robust public education campaign.  Our objectives are: increase awareness among residents regarding their civic roles, empower them to create a safer Iraq through training in conflict mediation and violence reduction, create networks of local people to mediate and mitigate violence, and challenge the social norms that allow violence and raise awareness of peace.



AIC’s Executive Director speaks with NPR Berlin and America Abroad on Countering Violent Extremism

AIC’s Executive Director, Zainab Al-Suwaij spoke at a live town hall event in Philadelphia with Jacki Lyden and NPR’s Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley from Berlin. America Abroad Media and NPR Berlin […]

AIC’s Executive Director speaks on Public Radio International about Radical Recruiters

AIC’s Executive Director Zainab Al-Suwaij spoke with Joyce Hackel of Public Radio International concerning the Counter Violent Extremism Summit held by the White House. Zainab spoke about methods by recruiters […]

02/20/2015 | News | Zainab Al-Suwaij

AIC’s Executive Director speaks on PBS News Hour

AIC’s Executive Director Zainab Al-Suwaij spoke to PBS News Hour’s Judy Woodruff about countering violent extremism and AIC’s program, Project Nur and their campaign “Voices Against Radicalism.” Click below to […]

02/19/2015 | Domestic news | News
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