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Women leaders bring together Jews and Arabs to re-ignite the Abraham Accords

2 Apr, 2024

By Loureen Ayyoub

As war wages from Ukraine to the Middle East, Shirin Taber,  Iranian-American woman, refuses to allow the inevitable strife of conflict stop her from building bridges of peace.

Shirin Taber, founder of Empower Women Media and Abraham Women’s Alliance, coordinated an executive forum at the United Nations Plaza in New York, bringing together interfaith leaders of Arab, Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds to share their stories and peace building solutions.

Taber was raised by Muslim and Christian parents, and is a longtime advocate for women led reconciliation. “As we know, women are often the first responders to conflict, and we knew that if we could get women in the room together, mothers, sisters, daughters, that we could actually activate peace and re-ignite the Abraham Accords,” Taber explained.

From the painful dialogue around the Israel-Gaza conflict, to the ongoing hate crimes affecting nearly every people group in the United States, the gathering included panels, short films and experiential presentations. One such presentation included a spoken word poem written and presented by CBS reporter and poet Loureen Ayyoub, entitled “What If:” a rhythmic reminder of the sacred value every human equally carries, regardless of one’s cultural background.

One of the several films featured included a Jewish woman and a Palestinian woman openly sharing their pain from the conflict with one another. Taber believes having the uncomfortable conversations is the critical step needed for peace-building.

“I believe women have to keep contending for peace and multi-faith societies, because if women don’t, who else will do it? As Michelle Obama said it could take 300 years to empower women. We think it could happen sooner. And we think where the world is at today, where there is so much division, that women could actually drive that change,” she explained.

A study from the International Peace Institute found that peace agreements are 35% more likely to last at least 15 years when women are involved in the negotiation process.

Abraham Women’s Alliance plans to host an executive forum for Arab and Jewish leaders in Dubai in November 2024. The two-day leadership event will include workshops, practical tools, women’s films and an excursion to the Abraham Family Center in Abu Dhabi.

“Unity is possible; it’s getting people in the room together, who are normally perhaps back to back, getting them face to face, having those conversations, building trust, and creating a path forward.”

And forward is the only direction, Taber hopes, such efforts, will take the world.

For more details about the Abraham Women’s Alliance and upcoming events, contact: Shirin  at Empower Women Media