The Dialogue Project: Environmental Cooperation in the Middle East


Location: Hesburgh Center for International Studies


Work at the Arava Institute focuses on Middle East political ecology and peace policy engagement, arid-landscape agriculture, arid ecosystem ecology, trans boundary water management, and renewable energy. The Institute’s Dialogue Project shares the vision of environmental peace-building with American audiences. The two alumni featured in the program are Shira Fisch and Mohammed Jarrad:Deep in the Negev desert, students from Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and around the world come together to study and practice peace-building through environmental cooperation. Hear from two alumni of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies about their personal journeys toward finding common ground in a land of deep and abiding conflict.

  • Shira Fisch attended the Arava Institute as a student in the Spring 2019 semester and as a Program Associate during the Fall 2019 semester. She was born in California and raised in a small village in the Galilee. After her IDF service, she worked on sustainable farms, raising goats and harvesting organic vegetables, in Central and South America. Shira plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Cultural Anthropology. She has a great passion for music and is a professional DJ.
  • Mohammed Jarrad was born and raised in the West Bank. He attended the Arava Institute in the Spring of 2017, during the second year of his bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Construction Engineering from Palestine Technical University. Outside of academia, Mohammad is a volunteer English tutor at a local orphanage. Moved by his passion for human rights, he founded a women’s empowerment initiative called “Ladies First” and he coordinates the annual Freedom Marathon in his city. He enjoys cooking, hiking, and reading.

A light reception will take place from 4:30 to 5pm. The panel discussion will run from 5 to 5:45pm, followed by Q&A. Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Minor in Sustainability, the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, the John J. Reilly Center for Science Technology and Values, the Ford Program in Human Development and Solidarity, and Notre Dame International.


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