Middle Eastern Spirituality

and Peace

 
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FESTIVAL 2008 FULL SCHEDULE

(Download Text File of full schedule for printing or use on PDAs)

(Download PDF File of Festival Brochure interior for printing, 1.4 Mb)

 

Festival Pre-events

 

Thursday 21 February 2008 - Thursday 28 February 2008

Event: Reel Afghanistan - Afghan Film Festival, and the Middle East Film Season.

Venue: Filmhouse Cinema, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh.

Dates: 21-28 February 2008: Reel Afghanistan; February/March 2008: the Middle East Film Season.

Event Description: The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is sometimes seen as a bridge between the Middle East and Asia. Indeed, its strategic position between the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent along the ancient "Silk Route" has resulted in a culturally mixed nation, a crossroads between the East and the West. The films shown in this Afghan Film Festival will reflect this situation. For final details on the films included see www.reelafghanistan.org and  http://www.filmhousecinema.com/,  and for the Middle East Film Season see http://www.filmhousecinema.com/

Contact: Filmhouse Box Office, 0131 228 2688.

Download Reel Afghanistan brochure in PDF format

 

Tuesday 2 February - Monday 25 February

Event: "Tongue of the Hidden"

Tongue of the Hidden is a short animation film made for C4 entirely of Persian calligraphy from Jila Peacock’s award winning book, Ten Poems from Hafez, published by sylpheditions.com

Dundee

Contemporary Arts

Box Office: 01382 909900

Fri 15th & Sat 16th Feb

www.dca.org.uk

Edinburgh

Filmhouse

Box Office: 0131 228 2688

Sun 24th & Mon 25th Feb

www.filmhousecinema.com

Glasgow

Glasgow Film Theatre

Box Office: 0141 332 8128

Sun 10th & Mon 11th Feb

www.gft.org.uk

Inverness

Eden Court

Box Office: 01463 234 234

Sat 2nd Feb

www.eden-court.co.uk

 

Monday 4 February 2008

Event: Hip and Zen: Fashion, Culture and Spirituality Photographic Exhibition Launch.
Facilitator: WIFIE.
Venue: The Old Bakehouse Cafˇ Gallery, 125 Dalry Road, Edinburgh.
Time: 6pm-8pm.
Event Description: The Launch for Hip and Zen: A photographic exhibition by WIFIE (Women in Focus in Edinburgh) on the theme of Fashion, Culture and Spirituality.
Cost: Admission Free. Everyone welcome.
Contact: No need to book. For further information contact Margaret Drysdale, 0794 135 2163, margaret.d59@btinternet.com
 
Wednesday 6 February 2008
 
Event: School Assembly and Middle East themed World Peace Flag Ceremony.
Facilitator: Drummond Community High School and the World Peace Prayer Society.
Venue: Drummond Community High School, 41 Bellevue Place, Edinburgh.
Time: 8am.
Event Description: Drummond Community High School Assembly will include a Middle East themed World Peace Flag Ceremony, with information on the 2008 Middle East Festival.

Cost: Admission Free. Invitation Only.
Contact: Susan Lambert email

 

Saturday 23 February

Event: McDonald Road Library Belly Dancing Classes.

Venue: McDonald Road Library, 2 McDonald Road, Edinburgh.

Time: 10am-4pm.

Event Description: Come and try something new! Belly dancing for all ages.

Cost: Free entry. NOW FULLY BOOKED.

Contact: For more information contact the McDonald Road Library:

0131 529 5637, mcdonaldrd.library@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

Event: Go to the Middle East for a Night.

Venue: Next Generation Club, Newhaven Place, Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh, EH6 4LX.

Time: 7pm-Midnight.

Event Description:

* Spend an evening touring the Middle East and learning about their music, songs and dances.

* Discover the musical traditions of: Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, the Gulf States and Turkey.

* Your host will be Mohammed Nafee on Oud and Vocals, with the Babylon Band led by Nadhum Ali, the famous Iraqi Ney player, and with contributions by other professional musicians and dancers.

* Including Arabic, Turkish and Kurdish songs, solo dances and different types of group dances (debkas). You will also have the opportunity to learn and join in with the dancing.

* A selection of Arabic Food.

* Feel free to wear traditional dress. This is an adults only event!

For information on the Babylon Band: http://www.rhiannongalleries.com/mo/

Cost: £20.

Contact and Booking: Hilary’s Bazaar, 27 George IV Bridge, 0131 225 7103. Mohammed, 07989330763.                         

Sunday 24 February

Event: Moroccan Hafla or Celebration.

Venue: McDonald Road Library, 2 McDonald Road, Edinburgh.

Time: 1pm-4.30pm.

Event Description: Come and enjoy a taste of traditional Moroccan culture in our third annual Hafla. Sample some traditional food and drink. Have a look at traditional Moroccan handicrafts and furniture. Enjoy Moroccan music. A great afternoon for everyone!

Cost: Free entry.

Contact: For more information contact the McDonald Road Library:

0131 529 5637, mcdonaldrd.library@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

Event: Bellydance Banquet.

Venue: Morocco Restaurant, 3A1 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QG.

Time: 7pm. Doors Open at 6.30pm.

Event Description: We are proud to announce the return of the fabulous Dinner Dance show that is Bellydance Banquet. Usually a sell-out show in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this will be a one-night only occasion not to be missed. Fabulous, mouth-watering Moroccan food will served in the sumptuous, authentic setting of Morocco Restaurant.

An evening of culture, where Cairo meets Casablanca, as seen through the eyes of Edinburgh's own Lorna Gow. As the only Scot currently performing in Cairo, Egypt, and the first Scot to have ever gotten to that level, Lorna, with the help of some friends, will regale you with 2 years worth of personal stories all about becoming a Scottish bellydancer in the land where the dance originates, including, the trials and tribulations, and the laughs and experiences of living in a different culture, learning a new language and trying to fit in.

Lorna will also be performing modern Egyptian style bellydance throughout the evening, in a variety of beautiful bedlas (costumes) so it will be a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds!

Not many people get the opportunity to 'live their dream.' Come along to our Bellydance Banquet and meet someone who is living their dream! All questions are encouraged and welcomed. Prepare to have fun!

If learning to dance is your thing, then Lorna will also be teaching workshops on Saturday 23rd February (McDonald Road Library, 2 McDonald Road, Edinburgh) and on Sunday 24th February (Morocco Restaurant, 3A1 Dundas Street, Edinburgh). Info: re levels and times will be on Lorna's blog nearer the date.

If all this has whetted your appetite, then why not dip into Lorna's blog to read about many of her experiences in Cairo before the show and prime yourself with questions to ask her on the night!! WWW.BELLYLORNA.BLOGSPOT.COM

Cost: £25 (include 3 course meal).

Contact: Morocco Restaurant, 3A1 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QG.

0131 652 3764, moroccorestaurant@hotmail.co.uk, bellylorna@hotmail.com

 

Event: Public Talk: Is it too Late for Justice? The Strange History of Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals.

Speaker: Rabbi Nancy Morris.

Venue: Marian Oppenheim Hall, Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, 4 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh.

Time: 8pm (doors open 7.30pm). 

Event Description: Currently the Rabbi of the Reform Glasgow New Synagogue, Rabbi Morris first trained as a lawyer, receiving her MA and LLB at McGill University. After working as a lawyer in Toronto, she then carried out her rabbinical training at Leo Baeck College. She has recently done research on the problems involved, and history of, prosecuting war criminals, looking also at recent developments in the light of Yugoslavia and other contemporary conflicts.

Cost: £3/£2 (Concessions), on the door, on the night. 

Contact: Steve Engleman, 0131 447 0911, steve.engleman@blueyonder.co.uk

 

Friday 29 February

Event: Edinburgh University Persian Society and the Middle Eastern Society presents in concert Ertebat/Connection: Dunya Ensemble and friends.

Venue: Pleasance Theatre, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh.

Time: 8pm.

Event Description: Dunya Ensemble are an Edinburgh/UK-based ensemble who bring together vocal and instrumental repertoire from a variety of musical traditions including Arabic, Persian and Turkish. They bridge classical, folk and popular registers in their performances, which mix well-known and beloved pieces alongside original compositions.  This special evening will see Dunya performing a range of their own repertoire, both classics and original songs, as well as including special guests from other global musical traditions.

Cost: Entry is £3 for our society members and £4 for others.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/dunyaensemble

edinburgh_persian_society@yahoo.co.uk, middleeasternsoc@gmail.com

 

 

Main Festival Schedule
Saturday 1 March

 

Event: Day Workshop: The Lesson of Divine Harmony:

A Sufi Approach to the Repetition of the Names of the Divine,

to the Purification of the Heart, and to the Liberation of the Soul.

Facilitator: Khidmatul Khadim, the International Sufi School.

Venue: Shandwick Room, St George’s West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 10.30am-11am. Day Workshop: 11am-2pm.

Event Description: This experiential workshop will provide opportunities to learn about the spirit of Sufi music. Zikrullah, the repetition of the names of the Lord, is a central practice in all Sufi traditions since it purifies the heart and liberates the soul.

The repetition of the beautiful attributes of the Divine on enchanting mystical tunes has the same effect on the heart as the waves constantly crashing on the cliff. Just like the cliff, the heart is purified and polished by the waves of Zikrullah. The ultimate purpose of Zikrullah is to find peace and harmony within ourselves by connecting with the Divine. Through the practice of Zikrullah, the Sufi is able to experience that he himself is a musical instrument in the Divine orchestra. Through the practice of Zikrullah, the musical instrument and the musician become one, in complete harmony. As Rumi said, music is an invitation to lift the veil which covers our hearts to rediscover, through the experience of the senses, He who is within us and in whom we are. This participative workshop will enable participants to get in touch with the music within before experiencing the repetition of the names of the Divine on enchanting West African mystical tunes.

Khidmatul Khadim, the International Sufi School (ISS), is the school of peace and service of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba. Sheikh Bamba was a Sufi mystic and peacemaker born in Senegal in 1853, where he founded the International Sufi School. This Sufi path focuses on the personal development of its members and their awakening to a new level of consciousness: to be a peacemaker and a servant of humanity according to the prophetic model.

Cost: £10/£8 (Concessions). £5 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Event: Taster Class Day Workshop: Make a Precious Book.
Venue: Edinburgh Printmakers, 23 Union Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3LR. http://www.edinburgh-printmakers.co.uk
Time: 11am-4pm.
Event Description: Make your own beautiful, precious and unique hand-made book using a mixture of simple book binding and folding techniques.

Try something new! Our taster classes give you the chance to explore, creating wonderful images in new ways with the help of Edinburgh PrintmakerÕs professionals. Low tech and no jargon, these classes are a good opportunity for everyone to get their hands dirty and make something to take home that day. WeÕll even provide all the materials you need. 8 places available.
Cost: £45/£35 (Concession).
Contact: 0044 131 557 2479, studio@edinburgh-printmakers.co.uk

 

 

Event: Love, Lover and Beloved: An Evening of Sufi Devotions and Ecstatic Music.

Facilitators: Khidmatul Khadim, the International Sufi School, Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz), David Bellak and Jila Peacock.

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 7pm onwards. Doors open from 6.30pm.

Event Description: The Sufi Way has been called the "Path of Love" and one of the most famous Sufi chants reminds the listener that "God is Love, Lover and Beloved." In many different ways, Sufi music and chant worldwide celebrates the sacred as an evolving relationship rather than a static set of concepts or theologies. The Sufi musicians and teachers assembled here will share music and chant that awakens the heart and revivifies the soul, from theMiddle East, Turkey, Africa and Europe (including Scotland).

Presenters will include: Khidmatul Khadim, the International Sufi School, Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz), David Bellak and Jila Peacock. This is a participatory evening, during which the audience will have the opportunity to learn about and join in various Sufi chants and musical meditations for peace. All are welcome to participate in the Sufi devotional and ecstatic spiritual practice!

Cost: £7/£5 (Concessions), on the door, on the night.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Full Description of Sufi Evening Event

 

 

 

Sunday 2 March

 

Event: Services for Peace at Churches and Cathedrals across Scotland.
Venue: across Scotland.
Time: Throughout the day.

Event Description: Churches and Cathedrals across Scotland are asked to be mindful of the Middle East Festival during their services on this day.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Event: Day Workshop:

Living Blessing: The Aramaic Lord's Prayer and the Middle Eastern Mystical Tradition of Jesus.

Facilitator: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz).

Venue: Columcille Centre, 2 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 11am-11.30am. Day Workshop: 11.30am-4.30pm.

Event Description: This day workshop will focus on a step-by-step journey of the heart through the prayer of Jesus in his original Aramaic language. During this journey we will experience Jesus' original prayer tradition of living creation, atradition that reminds us that new beginnings happen every moment in the heart of the Divine. In this journey to our own centre, we will also use walking meditation and simple circle dances, Dances of Universal Peace. No experience is necessary and all are welcome.

 
In 1990, Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz pioneered a poetic approach to interpreting and understanding the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels from his native Aramaic language. Drawing upon the centuries-old Jewish tradition of midrash (interpretive translation), Douglas-Klotz used a traditional Syriac-Aramaic version of the Gospels to show how a non-Western listener might have heard the words of a Semitic prophet in a multi-leveled way. His first book, Prayers of the Cosmos, became an international bestseller and led to subsequent works continuing the exploration, which have raised many questions for Biblical scholars about their own methodologies. In 2006 Douglas-Klotz published a new collection of poetic renderings from the Aramaic words of Jesus entitled Blessings of the Cosmos, in which he considers anew the Beatitudes in Luke and Yeshua's farewell talk in John as the source of spiritual practice and experience. Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning and co-founded the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace. He is the past co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion and has published several books on Middle Eastern spirituality and peace, including
Prayers of the Cosmos, Desert Wisdom, The Hidden Gospel, The Genesis Meditations, The Sufi Book of Life, Blessings of the Cosmos and The Tent of Abraham. In 2005 he was awarded the Kessler-Keener Foundation Peacemaker of the Year Award for his work on Middle Eastern spirituality and peacemaking. More information on his work can be found at http://www.abwoon.com


Cost
: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full description of Aramaic Prayer Workshop

 

Event: Tour to Rosslyn Chapel: Chapel of Peace.

Facilitator: Jackie Queally, www.celtictrails.co.uk

Venue: Rosslyn Chapel.

Time: Noon-4pm. Leave at 12 from outside the Caledonian Hotel.

Event Description: Very ornately carved both inside and out, Rosslyn Chapel heralds in stone the deepest peace and highest harmony, pointing towards the Divine interconnectivity between all. The carvings refer to a wide range of belief systems spanning many times and places. Jackie has written two esoteric guides to the chapel, both of which sell well there. These refer to a universal pattern in the layout and the design of its carvings, and also to the landsape as a mystery temple. Jackie is an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will attempt to impart the spiritual significance of this sacred site. She has been leading small groups to this chapel on a regular basis since 1999 as a major part of her varied tours to sacred sites she runs, and many say her insights illuminate and very much deepen their visit. Within the chapel a matrix of symbols work in such a way that the highest spiritual intent is anchored: that of eternal peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Cost: £31, includes the transportation, talk in two parts, entrance fee of £7 and notes sent upon booking. Please book in advance in order that transport arrangements can be ensured.

Contact and Booking Arrangements: Jackie Queally, jac@celtictrails.co.uk, 0131 448 2869.

 

Event: Turkish Cultural Event.

Venue: Glasgow University Union, 32 University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LX.

Time: 6pm-9pm.

Event Description: This Anatolian cultural event will feature a concert of Turkish music and refreshments containing Turkish food and drink. There is a chance to see paintings from different parts of Turkey and there is an ebru exhibition, which is a very interesting painting. The event is in an informal setting in the company of Turkish community members.

Cost: Admission Free. Everyone Welcome. To attend:

Contact: info@dsfs.org.uk, 0141 221 4411.

             

Monday 3 March

 

Event: Day Workshop: Re-Membering the Divine Feminine.

Facilitator: Dr MaryCatherine Burgess.

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Workshop: 10am-4pm.

Event Description: This experiential workshop will provide opportunities for both female and male participants to help create a sense of community as they draw upon myth and mythological figures to re-member and call forth potent Divine Feminine qualities they consider important for healing in their own lives and in the world. The day will bring a sharing of ritual, song, dance, story and fun. Participants are welcome to bring a small object sacred to them; a drum, rattle, or other small instrument; and/or an item of clothing they find special for ceremony.

In her approach to the Divine Feminine, MaryCatherine Burgess incorporates her extensive experience in group facilitation, retreat work, feminist spirituality, psychodrama, Shamanism and Shamanic healing, music, and co-creation of rituals using expressive arts. She currently works as Associate Chaplain at the University of Edinburgh - focusing particularly on spirituality and multifaith. MaryCatherine has a PhD in Religious Studies and masters degrees in Religious Education, Human Relations, and Celtic and Scottish Studies. Her book, A New Paradigm of Spirituality and Religion, will be published by Continuum in April. 

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469. 

Full Description and Registration            

 

Event: Turkish Cultural Event.

Venue: The University of Edinburgh Union, Teviot Row House, 13 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ.

Time: 6pm-9pm.

Event Description: This Anatolian cultural event will feature a concert of Turkish music and refreshments containing Turkish food and drink. There is a chance to see paintings from different parts of Turkey and there is an ebru exhibition, which is a very interesting painting. The event is in an informal setting in the company of Turkish community members.

Cost: Admission Free. Everyone Welcome. To attend:

Contact: info@dsfs.org.uk, 0141 221 4411.

 

Event: Forum of Middle Eastern Faiths:

Wrecking God’s Creation? Faith, Stewardship and the Future of the Planet.

Speakers: Dr Ephraim Borowski, Director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities; Eleanor Todd, from Eco-Congregation; Dr Jabal Buaben, Lecturer in Islam, University of Birmingham; Professor Tim Hayward, Professor of Environmental Political Theory, University of Edinburgh.

Chair: Joyce McMillan.

Venue: The Martin Hall, The School of Divinity, The University of Edinburgh, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Time: 7pm-9.30pm. Doors open from 6.30pm.

Event Description: A forum on how the three 'Middle Eastern' faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, understand ecological responsibility and whether they can help save the planet. Jointly organised by the Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Scotland and the Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP.

Cost: Admission Free. Donations Welcome.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Full Description

 

Tuesday 4 March

 

Event: Day Workshop: A Jewish Journey - Opening the Heart through Song, Story, Psalms and Serenity.

Facilitators: Chana Sophia Yaffe and Tirtza Singer.

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 10.30am-11am. Day Workshop: 11am-3.30pm.

Event Description: Tirtza and Chana Sophia's workshop draws on Jewish music, Hasidic stories, and meditation based on Jewish sources. It is hoped that through the workshop we will come to a place of true joy. The workshop will consist of the following elements:

1) Visualization and Movement using the power of the Hebrew letters.

2) Harp playing, in the tradition of King David, using Psalms as a way to draw down healing. 

3) Drumming: elevating the physical according to Jewish sources.

4) How to access joy - secrets from the Chassidic tradition.

5) Jewish Storytelling and Niggun (Melody): The power of Stories and Music from the Hasidic Masters.

 

This workshop will help us move towards accessing and connecting the Divine blessing into our lives enabling us to see each other with loving eyes and hearts, and reach a place of menuchat hanefesh, peace of mind, enabling us to move towards peace within ourselves, with our families, and our communities, and, of course, for all mankind.

 

Chana Sophia Yaffe was awarded a degree in education by the elite Gateshead Jewish Training College, and moved to Israel in 1975. After marrying she taught in Horeb High School. As her first album, she produced an anthology of lullabies drawn from Israel's various ethnic and religious communities. "Lullabies from Jerusalem" was selected by the Martha Stewart Home Magazine for its highly coveted recommendation. The Abraham Foundation is one of many charitable organizations to enlist Chana's talents and recordings for their public relations endeavours. Chana Sophia regularly tours in the USA and Europe, participating in programmes of Sufi/Jewish dialogue. She is currently teaching a course "The Power of Hasidic Stories and Melody" at Yakar, in Jerusalem. Chana Sophia's poetry has been published by "Voices." She was featured in the Mishpacha Magazine for their series on outstanding Jewish women today. She lives in Jerusalem with her two children. Her website is http://www.batkol.com

 

Tirtza Singer was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from the High School of Music and Art in NYC, and subsequently obtained a BA in early childhood education and an MA in arts and education from Lesley University MA. She also studied piano improvisation and voice at the New England Conservatory in Boston and received Dalcroze certification from the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  She pursued advanced studies in music at the Manhattan School of Music.In the early 1970's, Tirtza performed as a folk singer in Boston and was active on the folk music circuit. Subsequently, she was head of the early childhood music program at the JCC in Stamford CT and at Queensborough Community College in New York City. After becoming a baal teshuvah, she made aliyah to Israel in 1993 and currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two daughters. There she has turned her home into an organic holistic healing centre, and a gathering place for women to receive spiritual nourishment, and she teaches women's classes based on the teachings of Dr Alexander Lowen. Her home is also a venue for concerts, and music and religious workshops. Tirtza plays the piano, is a singer and composer, and in recent years has taken up the harp, darbuka (a Middle Eastern drum), and the mandolin. Tirtza regularly performs in Israel, the United States, and Europe. She has released three albums, two based on Jewish themes, and one for children.

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description and Registration

 

Event: Mindfulness@Lunchtime.             

Venue: St Marks Unitarian Church, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 12.15pm-2pm.

Event Description: The Community of Interbeing and Unitarians in Edinburgh are jointly organising Mindfulness@Lunchtime every Tuesday from 12.15pm to 2pm. Take a break, come and find mindfulness@lunchtime - guided sitting meditation, walking meditation, enjoying our food together in silence and ending with a short silent meditation, returning to the world refreshed! ‘Mindfulness is gently bringing our attention to the present moment, invoking our inherent capacity for healing and renewal.’ Please bring your own lunch.

Cost: Admission Free. Everyone Welcome.

Contact: Jon Bagust, bagust.chang@virgin.net

 

Event: Churches in Turkey and Iran: an Illustrated Talk by Rufus Reade.

Speaker: Rufus Reade.

Venue: The Nomads Tent, 21 St Leonards Lane, Edinburgh.

Time: 12.30pm for one hour.

Event Description: Christianity flourished in the early centuries of its history in areas within the Roman Empire, as well as on its margins. This includes the area we now call Turkey and North West Iran. Paul was of course a Roman citizen of Tarsus, and Thekla came from Iconium (modern Konya). The New Testament is full of references to churches within Turkey (Ephesus for example). Less is made though of the churches in the east of Turkey and
Iran, since many of these were established after the New Testament was completed. The very strong tradition of men like St Thaddeus travelling in Georgia, Armenia and Iran is still celebrated, where churches still survive among the local communities. This illustrated talk tells the story of some of these surviving churches, and celebrates the lives of those missionary travellers in the early centuries of Christianity.

Cost: £4 (in aid of Mercy Corps).

Contact: 0131 662 1612, booking advised due to limited seating.

 

Event: Talk: Mystical Poetry and the Middle Eastern Mind: Experiments in Multi-leveled Poetic Translation.

Facilitator: Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz.

Venue: Sanctuary, St George’s West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.

Time: 7pm onwards. Doors open at 6.30pm.

Event Description: In 1990, Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz pioneered a poetic approach to interpreting and understanding the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels from his native Aramaic language. Drawing upon the centuries-old Jewish tradition of midrash (interpretive translation), Douglas-Klotz used a traditional Syriac-Aramaic version of the Gospels to show how a non-Western listener might have heard the words of a Semitic prophet in a multi-leveled way. His first book, Prayers of the Cosmos, became an international bestseller and led to subsequent works continuing the exploration, which have raised many questions for Biblical and Quranic scholars about their own methodologies. During this evening he will discuss the use of multi-leveled poetic verse to translate and interpret ancient Semitic languages in a way that fits the worldview and ways of knowing inherent in these cultures. He will also read from a number of his translations from the Aramaic of the words attributed to Jesus, from translations of mythic poetry from the Hebrew bible and from verses of the Quran.

Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (http://www.eial.org) and co-founded the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace. He was the co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion and has published several books on Middle Eastern spirituality and peace, including Prayers of the Cosmos, Desert Wisdom, The Hidden Gospel, The Genesis Meditations, The Sufi Book of Life, Blessings of the Cosmos and The Tent of Abraham. In 2005 he was awarded the Kessler-Keener Foundation Peacemaker of the Year award for his work in Middle Eastern peacemaking.

Cost: £5/£3 (Concessions), on the door, on the night.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description

 

Event: Mother, May I?

An Evening of Dance, Theatre, Music and Song.

Presented by: Gilmore Dance Theatre and Maryhill Integration Network.

Venue: St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh, EH11 2DY. www.stbrides.edin.org

Time: 8pm. Doors open at 7.45pm.

Event Description: Professional dance artists and musicians, together with an international cast including asylum seekers and refugees to perform: Mother, May I? Childhood memories of adults and children from Glasgow, and countries from which asylum seekers and refugees have fled, are relived. ‘Mother, May I?’ refers to a children’s game and raises issues of safety, parental permission and freedom. The many voices of this international and inter-generational cast find a shared language through games, songs and dance.

Choreographed by: Natasha Gilmore; Guitarist: Anna Chaurand; Lighting Design by: Sergey Jakovsky; Producer:  Remzije Sherifi; Photography: Chantal Riekel. This will be presented alongside a comic dance theatre piece from Gilmore Dance Theatre's repertoire.

Cost: £7/£4 (Concessions), Free to unwaged.

Tickets are sold on the door, on the night, or in advance from the St Brides Centre Box Office.

Contact: Natasha Gilmore, nopgilmore@yahoo.ie. St Brides Centre, 0131 346 1405.

 

Wednesday 5 March

 

Event: Day Workshop: Spirituality, Peace and Wellbeing.

Facilitator: Reverend Professor Stephen G Wright. RN RCNT RNT DipN DANS RPTT MSc FRCN MBE.

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Workshop: 10am-4pm.

Event Description: Those who work with people and in communities - therapists, healers, counsellors, social workers, teachers, health care staff and so on, are increasingly being encouraged to explore spirituality and to provide spiritual support to others. When people are fearful, in conflict and dis-eased, then many spiritual challenges arise such as the search for inner peace and recovery from trauma, finding hope and meaning amidst conflict, conflict resolution and the relief of suffering, and searching for forgiveness. This very practical and participative study day is for those who have an interest in spirituality, want to know more about what it is and what the implications are for themselves and those they work with who are in or have experienced crisis of one form or another. When we encounter suffering and sickness in the broadest sense - be it in ourselves, our relationships, our communities - the impact of these challenges is at every level; body, mind and soul. Those involved in giving help and support in such circumstances experience the difficulty of encountering the suffering of others as well as their own feelings - of sorrow, anger, fear and so on. This workshop will look at what spirituality means to those involved in caring work, how we can explore it more deeply and safely in our own lives and in support to others. Themes such as the nature of spirituality and the relationship to religion, how spirituality affects wellbeing and recent research in the field will be explored. This is an opportunity to deepen knowledge about spirituality and wellbeing, drawing particularly on Middle Eastern traditions, in an enjoyable and experiential way so that we can discover within ourselves that “peace which passes all understanding.” Finding peace within and taking care of ourselves in the face of suffering is a precursor to caring for others and bringing harmony beyond ourselves.

 

Reverend Professor Stephen G Wright. RN RCNT RNT DipN DANS RPTT MSc FRCN MBE.

University of Cumbria, Carlisle. Founding editor: Spirituality and Health International. Chairman: The Sacred Space Foundation. Stephen has a long and distinguished history in nursing. He has published widely and made numerous conference and media appearances. Currently he works as journalist and editorial adviser to Nursing Standard in which he has a twice monthly column on spirituality and health matters. He works also as a Trustee and spiritual counsellor for the Foundation (a charity dedicated to the support of those who are in spiritual crisis, are exhausted and burned out, and to the teaching of the healing arts). His books include “Therapeutic Touch” (Stephen is a registered practitioner of this therapy) and “Sacred Space - right relationship and spirituality in health care” (both co-written with Jean Sayre-Adams) and most recently (2005) “Reflections on spirituality and health” which has received outstanding reviews. He is involved in several research projects on “healing” and is an active Trustee and one of a team of Spiritual Directors at Penny Brohn Cancer Care (formerly of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre). He manages a consultancy company for the Foundation, carrying out a wide range of projects in recent years with health, social and business organisations. The projects (some of which are long-term and ongoing) include developing staff support schemes, best practice and policy development in spiritual care, training staff in spiritual counselling and spiritual care, providing leadership mentoring and conflict resolution for individuals and groups. He also works with clients on a one-to-one basis who are seeking healing and guidance on their illness or spiritual journey.  He is an ordained interfaith minister and spiritual counsellor and brings a wide range of knowledge and deep experience of many faiths to his work.  In both his academic and practice work he focuses on exploring and bringing together spirituality and health, and the journal which he founded nearly ten years ago is dedicated to this theme and is now published by Wiley. He lives in Cumbria in rather splendid isolation, where he can walk the hills, meditate, tai chi, take care of his organic garden and enjoy grandfatherhood.

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description and Registration

 

Event: The Return of the Jerusalem Peacemakers.             

Facilitators: Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari.

Chair: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz).

Venue: Sanctuary, St George’s West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.

Time: Doors Open: 7pm. Event: 7.30pm onwards.

Event Description: We are very pleased to welcome back to Scotland Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Co-Directors of the Jerusalem Peacemakers, which is a not-for-profit organisation. This evening’s event will be an opportunity to meet these two Jerusalem Peacemakers, who are also actively involved in the work of Abrahamic Reunion, to learn about their work in the Middle East and internationally, sharing insights into the tools and dynamics of interspiritual peacemaking, and to share with them and discuss with them their inspiring, hopeful and pioneering grassroots interspiritual peace work.

 

Jerusalem Peacemakers is a network of religious and spiritual leaders and grassroots peacebuilders in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari will speak about such initiatives as: 

  • The Abrahamic Reunion, a group of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Druze religious and spiritual leaders working together to re-claim religion and spirituality as a source for peace.
  • The annual 'On the Way to Sulha' event, the most recent gathering in August 2007 brought together over 3,000 people; 
  • Monthly interspiritual Israeli-Palestinian peace gatherings in East and West Jerusalem. 
  • The Big Hug of Jerusalem.

Eliyahu McLean was initiated as a 'Rodef Shalom,' 'Peace Pursuer' by Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi. Eliyahu's work with Palestinian Sufis is written about in the book 'At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with the Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land' by Yossi Klein Halevi.

Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean is engaged in interspiritual peace work between Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze Israelis and Palestinians throughout Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. His work with many organizations and on an informal basis is focused on bringing together people of different spiritual and cultural backgrounds for the sake of fostering mutual understanding and respect. Eliyahu is one of the organizers of the Sulha Project, an annual three-day event attended by thousands of Israeli, Palestinian and international participants who gather for the purpose of sharing spiritual practice, dialogue and reconciliation, offering hope and inspiration to many of the participants.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari is the head of the Naqshabandi Sufi method in the Holy Land. Sheikh Bukhari's family came to Jerusalem from Bukhara almost 400 years ago in 1616, and their home has been a centre for visiting Muslim pilgrims and visitors of all faiths since then. Sheikh Bukhari is a leading Muslim voice for peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem. Sheikh Bukhari also hosts the Uzbek Cultural Centre of the Holy Land in his home.

Cost: £7/£5 (Concessions), on the door, on the night.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description

 

Thursday 6 March

 

Event: Spirituality in Everyday Life:

An Interspiritual Retreat Day with Jewish, Christian and Islamic Peacemakers.

Led by: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz), Reverend Professor Stephen G Wright, Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari.

Assisted by: Chana Sophia Yaffe and Tirtza Singer.

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Workshop: 10am-4.30pm.

Event Description: The challenges of everyday life include dealing with stress, burn-out, discouragement, lack of energy and the inevitable disappointment of projects unfulfilled and relationships ending. At the same time, spiritual practice and meditation from the heart of the mystical traditions aim to open a door to renewal, joy, healing and what Jesus (in his Aramaic language) called "renewable life energy." The spiritual practitioners gathered here have dedicated themselves to the radical steps necessary to apply spirituality to everyday life and to working together across the lines of their own traditions to demonstrate harmony and peace. Each will share wisdom and practice from the deep resources of their own experience.

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description and Registration

Event: Concert: A Jewish Journey through Song, Music and Story,

Chana Sophia Yaffe and Tirtza Singer.

Venue: Sanctuary, St George’s West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.

Time: Doors Open: 7pm. Concert: 7.30pm onwards.

Event Description: Here is your opportunity to enjoy two internationally renowned performers from Jerusalem, who regularly perform throughout the USA and Europe. Tirtza Singer and Chana Sophia Yaffe sing, play the harp and  guitar with keyboard and percussion and tell stories that are culturally enriching, and mystically illuminating. This is a unique Jewish Musical and Storytelling experience not to be missed! Their combined talents make for a powerful performance full of humour, inspiration and unabashed joy.

Cost: £9/£7 (Concessions). £5 (Students). On the door, on the night.             

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description

 

Friday 7 March

 

Event: Day Workshop: Pathways to Peace Through Spiritual Dance.

Facilitators: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz) (Traditional Sufi Movement and Aramaic Dance); Alice Fateah Saunders (Dances of Universal Peace inspired by the Middle East); Joy Fuller (Circle Dance - with live music from Peter Bolland); Stefan Freedman (Canaan Confluence: Israeli dances with a focus on peace).

Venue: Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Dance Day: 10am-4.40pm.

Event Description:

Program:  2 parallel sessions throughout day, as below.
 

9.30am-10am: Arrival and Registration.

10am-11.15am: Meeting Room: Traditional Sufi Movement

Hall: Circle Dance - an Introduction

11.15am-11.35am: Break.

11.35am-12.50pm: Meeting Room: Canaan Confluence: Israeli dances with a focus on peace

Hall: Dances of Universal Peace inspired by the Middle East

12.50pm-1.50pm: Lunch.

1.50pm-3.05pm: Meeting Room: Circle Dance/Body Prayer with Aramaic Words of Jesus

Hall: Dances of Universal Peace inspired by the Middle East

3.05pm-3.25pm: Break.

3.25pm-4.40pm: Meeting Room: Canaan Confluence: Israeli dances with a focus on peace

Hall: Circle Dance

4.40pm: End of the Dance Day.

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description and Registration

 

Event: The World Peace Flag Ceremony.

Facilitator: The World Peace Prayer Society.

Venue: Sanctuary, St George’s West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.

Time: Doors Open: 7.30pm. The World Peace Flag Ceremony: 8pm onwards.

Event Description: The World Peace Flag Ceremony is a celebration of the oneness of humanity, inviting all people to send their heartfelt wishes for peace by naming each country of the world as its flag is raised. During the Ceremony, a prayer is recited for peace and happiness to prevail in every nation of the world.

The World Peace Flag Ceremony is a moving ritual of prayer for world peace. The Ceremony has been presented all over the world in settings ranging from small gatherings of friends to the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations. It is a moving experience of our shared commitment to peace on Earth.

The World Peace Prayer Society is a non-profit, non-sectarian, member-supported organisation. The society works to support the UN in realising its mission of world peace. The Society respects the freedom of individuals to choose among the world’s beautiful teachings, religions, spiritualities and philosophies.

Cost: £7/£5 (Concessions), on the door, on the night.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description

 

Saturday 8 March

 

Event: Day Workshop:  Pathways to Peace Through Spiritual and Musical Practice.

Facilitators: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz) (Sufi Chanting and Aramaic Song); Stefan Freedman (Participatory Voice Harmony); Preben Olsen (Awakening the Heartbeat of the Drum); Baha’i Community (Expression of the Soul in Music and Song); Davod Azad (Mantra, Zeker); Alice Fateah Saunders (Movement and Meditation using the Dances of Universal Peace).

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 9.30am-10am: Arrival and Registration.

10am-4.20pm: Day of Spiritual and Musical Practice for Peace.

Event Description:

Program:  All sessions are in the Meeting Room.
 

9.30am-10am: Arrival and Registration.

10am-10.40am: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti: ‘Sufi Chanting’

10.40am-11.20am: Stefan Freedman: ‘Participatory Voice Harmony: inspired though experience in Subud

11.20am-11.40am: Break.

11.40am-12.20pm: Preben Olsen: ‘Awakening the Heartbeat of the Drum’

12.20pm-1pm: Baha’i Community: ‘Expression of the Soul in Music and Song’

1pm-2pm: Lunch.

2pm-2.40pm: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti: ‘Aramaic Song’

2.40pm-3.20pm: Davod Azad: ‘Mantra, Zeker’

3.20pm-3.40pm: Break.

3.40pm-4.20pm: Alice Fateah Saunders: ‘Movement and Meditation using the Dances of Universal Peace’

4.20pm: End of the Practice Day.

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description and Registration

 

Event: Davod Azad in Concert: Songs for the Beloved.

Venue: Columcille Centre, 2 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 7pm: Doors Open. 7.30pm-9.30pm: Concert.

Event Description: Davod is going to sing different poems from different Sufi poets. He is going to play Taar, Setar, Tanbour and Daf.

Davod Azad was born in 1963, and raised in Azarbajan (Iran). He started initially to explore the wonderful world of Iranian classical music on his own. After his first encounters, he advanced to study music under the guidance and supervision of Persian masters on vocals and multiple instruments including Taar, Setar, Tanbour, Rabab, and Daf. His work is based on long and intensive studies of the past masters of Iranian classical music. He has many publications such as the studies of the school of Tabriz Tar and the Hormozey style of Setar. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Mastering in the Iranian Classical music, the Azeri folk music, the Ancient Persian music, and the Persian Sufi music, specifically influenced by the music of the Ghajar period in Persian history, a pure classical Persian Music form which to this date has remained undiluted by Western or other styles of Music.

The Classical Persian Music which Davod Azad plays is based on the ancient Modal system of Persian Classical Music. The Persian Classical Music is one of the oldest and purest forms of music in the world today.  Its unique style is based on 12 Modes or Dastgaahs.  The nearest Music forms to Persian Dastgaah is that of the Indian Ragas

In his latest work, ‘The Divan of Rumi and Bach,’ he joins Iranian Traditional music with Bach's famous melodies. The free and flowing form of Iranian improvisation is fused with the discipline and structure of the Western classical style, overcoming the initial apparent inconsistencies, to yield a deep and profound unity between the forms - an indication that these vastly different traditions have evolved from a single source and essence. Davod has played in well over 100 concerts in Europe, Asia and in 2004 in Australia. He has performed live for BBC, and German and the Austrian Radios. For further information regarding his past work and his upcoming concerts please see his web site at www.davodazad.com

Cost: £10/£8 (Concessions), on the door on the night.

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description
 
Sunday 9 March

 

Event: Mindful Peace Walk.

Venue: The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Time: 9.30am-10.30am, meet at the East Gate, Inverleith Row, at 9am.

Event Description: This silent walking meditation is an open event. It will be led by members of the Edinburgh Sangha of the Community of Interbeing, who follow the practice and teachings of Zen Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. The walk begins at the East Gate of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Before the walk begins there will be a brief introduction to mindful walking as a meditation practice. This is not a protest or a campaigning event, so please do not use any banners. Children are welcome when accompanied by adults. Please remember to wrap up warmly.

Cost: Admission Free. Just come along on the day. For further information:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Event: Day Workshop: A Wealth of Difference: Tapping Archetypal Sources of Wisdom and Creativity.

Facilitator: Lee Gershuny, Ph.D..

Venue: Columcille Centre, 2 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 11am-11.30am: Registration. 11.30am-5.30pm: Day Workshop.

Event Description: How do the differences that divide us contribute to a peacemaking process? In addressing this question, we will explore archetypal patterns, roles and conflicts that support or limit our actions as peacemakers. 

In interactive exercises, you will have an opportunity to become more aware of the archetypal roles you play, such as ruler, outsider, lover, trickster, hero, victim, etc. - the ones you like and identify with as well as those you may dislike and marginalize. You will also have opportunities to stop in the midst of conflict and silently reflect on your situation, tap into archetypal sources of wisdom and creativity and make choices based on what’s most important to you in the moment. Sharing your experiences and awareness in large and small groups will enable you to greatly increase the collective “wealth of difference.” Our approach highlights a “wealth of difference” as a valuable resource instead of a problem to be solved.  This experiential workshop focuses on working creatively and non-violently with conflict and obstacles to peace in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Discussion, movement, sharing and role-play exercises in large and small groups will enable you to discover new insights and actions for peacemaking in your daily life.

Lee Gershuny, Ph.D., award-winning playwright in both the USA and UK, is also an internationally published poet and founder/Artistic Director of The Elements World Theatre Company. She has developed new forms of theatre and facilitated creative development workshops with a diversity of participants in England, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Scotland and the USA including professional artists, youth, older people, primary school children, people with physical and learning difficulties, homeless people, survivors of physical and substance abuse, users of mental health services and refugees.She is a founding member of the Research Society of Process-Oriented Psychology/UK and has designed and facilitated workshops in creative conflict facilitation in local, national and international festivals and conferences, including the Alternative G8 Summit in Edinburgh, the SUBUD World Congress in Innsbruck, the World Youth Congress in Stirling and the MESP from 2004 to the present. 

Cost: £20/£15 (Concessions). £10 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full Description and Registration

 

Event: SUBUD Hosted Meal and Festival Party.

Venue: Cornerstone Cafˇ, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street.

Time: 6pm-10pm.

Event Description: SUBUD Hosted Meal and Festival Party celebrates the people participating in the Festival by providing a chance for everyone to get better acquainted in an informal, relaxed atmosphere. A light meal of vegan and vegetarian food will be served. Everyone from the Festival is welcome.

Cost: Admission Free. To attend and participate:

Contact: RSVP, to Daniel Smith, daniel@bankheadfarm.fsnet.co.uk, 0131 467 7979.

 

Monday 10 March

Event: Day Workshop: Sufism: Doctrines, Practices and Historic Manifestations.

Facilitator: Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

Venue: Meeting Room, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 9.30am-10am: Registration. 10am-2.30pm: Day Workshop.

Event Description: This workshop presents a unique opportunity to study aspects of Sufism with one of the world’s authorities in this subject area.

For further information on Prof Nasr, pleased see the biography in the 11 March 2008 entry under the 2008 Middle East Festival Lecture, and please also refer to: http://www.nasrfoundation.org/

Cost: £40/£30 (Concessions). £15 (Students). For a Registration Form:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Full Description and Registration

 

Tuesday 11 March  

 

Event: Mindfulness@Lunchtime.

Venue: St Marks Unitarian Church, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh.

Time: 12.15pm-2pm.

Event Description: The Community of Interbeing and Unitarians in Edinburgh are jointly organising Mindfulness@Lunchtime every Tuesday from 12.15pm to 2pm. Take a break, come and find mindfulness@lunchtime - guided sitting meditation, walking meditation, enjoying our food together in silence and ending with a short silent meditation, returning to the world refreshed! ‘Mindfulness is gently bringing our attention to the present moment, invoking our inherent capacity for healing and renewal.’ Please bring your own lunch.

Cost: Admission Free. Everyone Welcome.

Contact: Jon Bagust, bagust.chang@virgin.net

 

Event: The 2008 Middle East Festival Lecture.

Title: Spiritual Approaches to Peace and Ecology in the Islamic World.

Speaker: Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

Chair: Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz).

Venue: The Queen’s Hall, 87-89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh.

Time: 7.30pm-9.30pm: Talk, followed by Questions and Discussion. Doors open from 6.30pm.

Event Description: Prof Nasr was born in 1933 in Tehran, Iran in a family of educators and scholars, his father having been one of the founders of the Persian educational system. Consequently, he received the best classical Persian and Islamic education during his early years in Tehran. He later came to the West to finish his secondary education at the Peddie School in New Jersey and after graduating as the valedictorian of his class, he went to MIT where he studied physics and mathematics and graduated with honors in 1954. Meanwhile, his interest turned to an ever greater degree to philosophy and the history of science and he transferred to Harvard University to pursue graduate studies first in the field of geology and geophysics in order to acquaint himself with a descriptive as well as a mathematical science, and finally in the field of the history of science and philosophy in which he received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1958 with specialization in Islamic cosmology and science. From 1958 until 1979, he was Professor of the History of Science and Philosophy at Tehran University and for several years the Dean of the Faculty of Letters and for sometime the Vice Chancellor of the University. He also served for several years as President of Aryamehr University in Iran. In 1962 and 1965 he was Visiting Professor at Harvard University and in 1964-65 the first Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. He was also the Founder and first President of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy.

In 1979 Prof Nasr migrated to the United States where he became first the Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Utah, then from 1979 to 1984 Professor of Islamic Studies at Temple University. Since 1984 he has been University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University.Prof Nasr has lectured widely throughout the United States, Western Europe, most of the Islamic world, India, Australia and Japan. He has also given several major lectures such as the Azad Memorial Lecture in India, the Iqbal Lecture in Pakistan, the Charles Strong Memorial Lecture in Australia, the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the Cadbury Lectures at Birmingham University in England. He has also been for ten years a member of the Directing Committee of FISP (Federation Internationale des Societes Philosophiques) and a member of the Institut International de Philosophie. Prof Nasr is the author of over thirty books and over 300 articles. His works concern not only various aspects of Islamic studies but also comparative philosophy and religion, philosophy of art and the philosophical and religious dimensions of the environmental crisis. See: www.nasrfoundation.org/

Cost: £9/£7 (Concessions). £5 (Students).

Contact: Booking Hotline on 0131 668 2019, or in person at the Queen’s Hall.

Queen’s Hall Website: http://www.thequeenshall.net/index.php

Full Description

 

 

Exhibitions and Displays

Event: Exhibition: Peace and Tranquillity.

Press Release

Venue: University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy Centre, 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL.

(Next to Potterow Student Centre). General enquiries: chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk, P: (0131) 650 2595, F: (0131) 650 9111.

Dates/Times: Friday 8 February - Monday 10 March 2008. Open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm (During semester).

(Closed to Public on 25th February for Labyrinth Walk and at weekends)

Event Description: Graham Riddell is a Scottish photographer, living in the stunning Scottish Borders. His work explores the natural environment of his native Scotland and often exudes a spiritual quality of Peace and Tranquillity.There is something deep at the heart of Graham’s work, a soulful quest to capture the essence of Nature’s Spirit, whether as an awe inspiring sunrise, an amazing flower, or a stunning landscape.Self-taught, Graham has never been far from a camera. Since the age of fourteen he has been capturing precious moments and forging a personal relationship with the land he lives on - a thirty-five year sojourn which continues to this day. There is something at the core of all of us which seeks the harmony that Graham finds in his love affair with Nature, and he hopes that others will find a similar resonance in the images he exhibits, whether at exhibitions, or on his web site. In today’s complex world of pressure on resources, business deadlines and increased human conflict, there is an urgent need for humanity to seek and find the solace, peace and harmony of Nature and to be reconnected to the source which supports us all. She, above everything, is the canvas on which spiritual harmony is illustrated and it is our connection with Nature which can bring troubled minds into simple understanding and cooperation. Of his work Graham says, “There is a process at work whenever I look through the lens. This is difficult to define but is none the less real. It is an exchange between Mind, Consciousness and Reality, as if the atoms of each try to align themselves and harmonise in a fusion of empathy. The result is a photograph, an image, a captured moment, which has the hallmark of something remarkable - a distillation of engaged emotion.” Graham provides a wide range of stock images for sale on his web site, ranging from abstract Land, Sky, Water, and Nature themes and can be contacted through his website, by email, or by phone at the contact below.

Cost: Admission Free. Everyone Welcome.

Contact: Graham Riddell, 01896 830915, graham@grphotography.co.uk, http://www.grphotography.co.uk

 

Event: Exhibition: Hip and Zen: Fashion, Culture and Spirituality.

Press Release

Venue: The Old Bakehouse Cafˇ Gallery, 125 Dalry Road, Edinburgh.

For further information on locating the Gallery contact: 0131 623 6464.

Dates/Times: Monday 4 February - Friday 14 March 2008, 8am-7pm.

NB: The exhibition will continue at the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy Centre, 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL, from the 14th-30th April 2008.

Event Description: Hip and Zen: A photographic exhibition by WIFIE (Women in Focus in Edinburgh) on the theme of Fashion, Culture and Spirituality.

Hip: 1. body part; 2. aware of, or following the latest trends, fashionable.

Zen: 1. contemplation; 2. a total state of focus that incorporates a complete togetherness of body and mind; 3. complete and absolute peace.WIFIE is an independent photography group for women living in and around Edinburgh. Members meet regularly to participate in workshops (camera and darkroom skills) and visit exhibitions. They also discuss ideas and explore the issues raised by the work of other artists as well as exhibiting their own work.

Cost: Admission Free. Everyone welcome.

Contact: No need to book. For further information contact Margaret Drysdale, 0794 135 2163, margaret.d59@btinternet.com

 

Future Events

Event: Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning Interspiritual Leadership Program

Dates: April 3-6 and November 13-16 at Wiston Lodge, nr Biggar, Scotland

Event Description: A program to develop leaders in interspiritual practices, for peacemaking and service, in ministries of spiritual direction, counseling, teaching, and ritual.

Full Information and Contact: www.eial.org

 

 

Event: Krishna Das Visit to Edinburgh, as part of the "Flow of Grace Tour."

Organiser: Neill Walker and Krishna Das Music, supported by EICSP.
Venue: The QueenÕs Hall, 87-89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh.
Date: Change of date! Tuesday 27 May 2008.
Time: 7pm-9.30pm. Doors open to the public from 6pm.
Event: Description: Krishna Das will present a Kirtan Concert on Tuesday 27 May 2008.

***The visit of Krishna Das to Edinburgh (and wider Europe) has been rescheduled at the request of Krishna Das.There will now be a concert at the Queen's Hall on Tuesday 27 May 2008 - tickets will go on sale later this week. There will now NOT be a workshop. Those who had booked for the previously announced workshop will be reimbursed this week.Those who had bought a ticket for the previously announced concert through Crystal Clear, should return it to Crystal Clear to be reimbursed. New publicity materials for the rescheduled visit are being produced, and will be out very soon.***

Musician and chanter Krishna Das shares his spiritual message through music and call and response chanting. Sharing his heart through music and chanting is the basis of the spiritual work of Krishna Das; his way of serving the Divine within himself and others. Krishna Das has produced numerous internationally acclaimed recordings; his CDs include Live on Earth, Pilgrim Heart, One Track Heart, and Breath of the Heart. He presents chanting concerts and workshops around the world that include musical accompaniment; meditation instruction; readings from different spiritual traditions; and teachings and discussions about the spiritual path. Krishna Das "the chant master of American Yoga" New York Times. For further information on Krishna Das see: http://www.krishnadas.com/

To receive further information on the visit of Krishna Das to Edinburgh in June 2008 please contact:

Neill Walker, njwalk5300@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

Full information and registration form for Krishna Das visit

 

Festival Essay

As part of the 2008 Middle East Festival process we invite the submission of essays of up to 2,000 words in two categories, each under an associated theme:

1. School Students. Essay Theme: ‘Spirituality and Global Citizenship.’

2. University Students and Adults. Essay Theme: ‘Spirituality and Peace.’

Essays submitted by school students should be submitted through their school on their behalf. The essays should be submitted by 11 March 2008 to the following:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, 0131 331 4469.

 

Festival Brochure

Further copies of this Festival Brochure can be sent on request.

 

Festival Web Site

The Festival web site is as follows: www.eicsp.org

 

Festival Media Opportunities

For media opportunities, interviews, photo opportunities, articles, and press releases please contact the Festival organisers.

 

Festival Volunteers

Please get in contact if you would like to volunteer during some Festival events.

 

Festival Internships

Please get in contact if you would like to be an intern during the Festival.

 

Festival Sponsorship Opportunities

Please get in contact if you would like to discuss Festival sponsorship.

 

Access

If you have specific access needs, then please contact the Festival organisers.

 

Festival Bursaries

A limited number of bursaries are available for those on very low income to support their attendance at some Festival events. Please contact the Festival organisers to discuss whether you qualify for a Festival bursary.

 

Festival Updates and Additions

Please consult the Festival website for any changes and updates to the schedule.

 

The 2009 Middle East Festival

Individuals, communities and organisations who would like to consider becoming involved in the 2009 Middle East Festival are very welcome to contact: Neill Walker, mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, Tel. +44 (0)131 331 4469.