Abraham's Path Initiative

The growing tension between the Western world and the Muslim world is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. In 2004 negotiating expert William Ury ventured to create a project with the scope and vision to shift the dynamics of this conflict and provide civil society with a concrete role to play in that process. There is an old saying that some conflicts are so difficult that only a story can heal them. The story of Abraham or Ibrahim, a 4,000-year-old story shared by more than 3 billion people - Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the world today - has that power. In a place often seen as one of the most divided regions in the world, there is a path pointing to our greater unity -...

Abraham's Path Initiative
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
c/o Joshua Weiss
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 495-1686
http://www.abrahampath.org

Executive Director

Stefan Szepesi

Management Team

Stefan Szepesi, Joshua Weiss, Kelsey Whiting-Jones, Liza Hester, Roberta Sotomaior

Board of Directors

William Ury, Anisa Mehdi, Paul Gray, Alexandre Chade, Raed Saadeh, Salim Schahin, Jamil Mahuad, James Sebenius, Deena Shakir, Stefan Szepesi, Joshua Weiss, Kelsey Whiting-Jones, Liza Hester, Roberta Sotomaior

Project Leaders

Cate Malek

Mission

The growing tension between the Western world and the Muslim world is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. In 2004 negotiating expert William Ury ventured to create a project with the scope and vision to shift the dynamics of this conflict and provide civil society with a concrete role to play in that process. There is an old saying that some conflicts are so difficult that only a story can heal them. The story of Abraham or Ibrahim, a 4,000-year-old story shared by more than 3 billion people - Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the world today - has that power. In a place often seen as one of the most divided regions in the world, there is a path pointing to our greater unity - Abraham's Path, a cultural walking route following the footsteps and memory of Abraham across ten countries in the Middle East. Abraham's Path transforms this ancient story into a platform for cross cultural exchange and mutual understanding, a catalyst for community-based economic development and sustainable, responsible tourism, and a beacon for pilgrims and peace builders. Abraham's Path is a place of meeting and connection for people of all faiths and cultures, inviting us to remember our common origins, to respect our cultural differences, and to recognize our shared humanity.

Programs

The Abraham's Path Initiative seeks to inspire and support the opening of the Path across ten counties in the Middle East, including Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Over 400 km of Path are now open and active across four countries stretching from Harran to Hebron, threading together many of the world's most fabled historic sites, most beautiful landscapes, and most revered holy places. Since the inaugural walk in 2008 over 3,500 people - from interfaith groups to students on exchanges, local walking groups to international leaders - have traveled the Path. Villagers in rural areas, which have traditionally been overlooked by the tourism industry, now see new opportunities for economic growth- whether it is selling food or handicrafts, providing accommodation in home stays, or tour guide services, etc. The Initiative is devoted to strengthening its relationships with local partners, in the hopes of not only improving social conditions and economic livelihoods, but also empowering individuals to take an active role in the revitalization of their own communities and to take pride in their cultural heritage.

Statistics on Abraham's Path Initiative