Tag: Uncategorized

Boren graduate fellowships

Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellowships support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.  For a complete list of countries, click here.

Boren Fellows represent a variety of academic and professional disciplines, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here.

Boren Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their projects, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined.  NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

To view the Program Basics of the Boren Fellowships, click here.

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Eid Mubarak!

Tomorrow evening begins Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of the sacrifice, commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, as commanded by God. So I’ve spent a bit of time refreshing my familiarity with this tale in the Bible and the Qur’an.

Abraham is where Judaism, Christianity and Islam intersect. The “Abrahamic” religions all share a commitment to monotheism and this (to me horrifying) story of supreme faith.

But the story is not identical in all three religions.  The five books of Moses (Torah, Old Testament to Christians) say Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, son of Sarah.  The Qur’an says it was Ishmael, son of Hagar, whom Abraham was prepared to sacrifice.  The Christians follow the Old Testament version, which has an obvious parallel in the story of Christ–son of God–and his death on the cross.

There is a seldom remembered coda as well, according to the Torah:  Abraham’s “sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah,” which today is in Hebron (Tomb of the Patriarchs to Jews and the Sanctuary of Abraham to Muslims).  In the Qur’an, too, Ishmael and Isaac are mentioned repeatedly in the same breath.

I like to think there is nothing that would get me to sacrifice one of my two sons, and certainly not some voice inside my head. Apologies to the devout among us, but Abraham would be a nut case in the modern world.

This coda is worth remembering though:  it implies reconciliation of Isaac and Ishmael, with obvious parallels in modern times between Jews and Arabs, who regard themselves as descendants of the two sons of Abraham by different mothers.  Unlikely as it seems, that is something worth having faith in.

Eid Mubarak!




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Porcelain unicorn

Winner of the 3-minute, six-line film competition, Tell It Your Way, and worth every second:

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Healthier and wealthier, maybe not wiser

This may seem off the topic of war and peace to some, but it really isn’t.  It demonstrates phenomenal progress, and the Swedish optimist who presents it does a fine job.

The question is whether we are wise enough to keep it up. Or will we suffer another one of those big dips associated with war?

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The Brits are coming: DFID at Carnegie

Security and Development in Fragile States

UK Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan


Charita Law

202 939 2241

Upcoming Events

The Euro Crisis, Currency Tensions, and Recovery
(December 10, 12:30-2:00 p.m.)

Economic and Political Outlook for the Middle East and North Africa
(December 15, 12:30-2:00 p.m.)


DATE Tuesday, December 14, 2010
TIME 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
LOCATION Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
SPEAKER The Right Honorable Alan Duncan MP
MODERATOR Marwan Muasher

Security concerns emanating from fragile states like Yemen and Somalia have dominated headlines recently. Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development for the United Kingdom, will discuss the challenges facing the international community in assisting fragile states. Marwan Muasher will moderate.

Register Add to Calendar


The Right Honorable Alan Duncan MP was appointed as Minister of State for International Development on May 13, 2010. Duncan joined Parliament in 1992 as the Conservative Member for Rutland and Melton. In 1997, he was appointed vice-chairman of the Conservative Party and Parliamentary Political Secretary to the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP. He held a number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet, most recently as Shadow Secretary for Trade, Industry and Energy (2005). In 2009, Duncan was appointed Shadow Leader of the House and shortly after, he became Shadow Minister for Prisons and Probation. Duncan’s Ministerial portfolio at the Department for International Development includes: Asia, Middle East, Caribbean and Overseas Territories; international finance, international relations; and trade policy.


Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, where he oversees the Endowment’s research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Muasher served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan, and his career has spanned the areas of diplomacy, development, civil society, and communications. He is also a senior fellow at Yale University.

If anyone is interested in writing this event up for peacefare.net, please contact daniel@peacefare.net

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Thank you!

When I count my blessings on Thanksgiving, high among them are those of you who serve abroad, in military and civilian roles, to protect those of us who remain at home and to bring some order into a cruel world. Your courage and commitment make this world a better place.

I am not only thankful for the Americans.  Afghans, Iraqis, Sudanese, Pakistanis and many others are also trying to do the right thing.  And let’s not forget the Iranians, North Koreans, Yemenis, Somalis and others struggling to maintain dignity and free themselves from violence and oppression.  My thanks to you all.  May your struggles be fruitful!

And last but not least:  thank you readers for your kind attention, which I will try to reward with interesting perspectives and readings.  This has been a challenging and enjoyable first month of going public with what had once been quiet and private thoughts.  Your site visits and encouraging notes have spurred me on, and I thank you for the privilege of offering a few thoughts on the events of our day.

It is too much to hope that peace will always prevail, but I hope not too much to imagine that we can come to understand better why it sometimes does and sometimes does not.  That will help us better the odds, and improve the ways in which we deal with conflict.  Even the opportunity to imagine such things is worth being thankful for!

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