Eremos Heights, Sea of Galilee

First Annual Festival of

Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace

Edinburgh, Scotland

Friday 27 February - Sunday 7 March 20

 

From Friday 27 February - Sunday 7 March 2004 a series of events will be held on the subject of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace. These events are being organized and coordinated by the Edinburgh International Centre for World Spiritualities, EICWS, and the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning, EIAL, and other associated organizations who will be hosting events. Partial funding for the Festival and associated Conference has been received from the Oneness Project and the International Network for the Dances of Universal Peace.

 

This series of events will be developed around three major public events on the evenings of Wednesday 3, Thursday 4, and Friday 5, an International Conference on Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace on Thursday 4, a day Workshop on Friday 5, an Interfaith Spiritual Retreat from Friday 5 – Sunday 7, and a Middle Eastern themed One World Peace and Justice Concert on Saturday 6.

 

Festival Pre Event: Talk by Diana Basterfield on the Ministry of Peace, 4th February 2004, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, 7-9pm. Jointly organised by the EICWS and the EIFA. Admission is free. Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com

 

Festival Pre Event: The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey with the Suleyman Erguner Ensemble, Edinburgh Queen's Hall, Tuesday 10th February 2004, 8pm, Tickets - £16, Box office - 0131 668 2019/ boxoffice@queenshalledinburgh.org . Presented by MultiCulti, in association with the Edinburgh International Centre for World Spiritualities, EICWS. This event will be preceded by a pre-concert talk by Suleyman Erguner on ‘The Spiritual Side of Sufism', from 7pm. Contact: Kola Adefope, multicultiuk@yahoo.co.uk , or 0131 668 2019

 

1. Public Discussion: 'To the Leaders of the World's Religions'.

Thursday 26 February, 7pm, Baha'i Centre, 26 North Fort Street, Leith. Admission is free. Contact: David and Maureen Hunter-Merrick, 0131 333 2170, meteorquake@hotmail.com , or mospleen@hotmail.com

At the start of the current millennium the Universal House of Justice (the governing body of the Baha'i Faith) issued a Message to the leaders of the world's religions calling for a concerted effort to remove bigotry and prejudice from the world. This evening presents the key points of this message in the hope of stimulating useful discussion. Refreshments will be served. As space is limited please book your seat in advance;

 

Western Wall, Jerusalem

2. Middle Eastern Films at the Filmhouse Cinema.

This brief look at differing life perspectives within the Middle East has been developed in conjunction with the Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace, with the purpose of creating a deeper awareness of the diversity of Middle Eastern traditions, lifestyles, and communities. The three Arabic films in the season, along with Ford Transit which is being shown outwith the season, have been curated in collaboration with The Bologna Film Archive and the Lincoln Film Centre. Osama (Fri 20 to Thu 26 Feb) (Afghanistan/Japan/Ireland 2003) will be shown prior to the Festival itself.

For details of the program, click here.

Filmhouse Cinemas: 0131-228-2688 or www.filmhousecinema.com

 

3. Dialogue between Rev Prof Frank Whaling and Rev Paul King.

Rev Prof Frank Whaling in dialogue with Rev Paul King on the ‘Seven Modes of Inter-Faith Dialogue', Sunday February 29th at 6.30pm, at Nicolson Square Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh. Admission is free. Contact: Paul King, 0131 662 0417 / 0131 667 1465, paul.king7@virgin.net ;

 

4. Heart Rhythm Meditation. Sunday 29th February, 7.30pm - 9.30pm, Salisbury Centre, 2 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh. Heart Rhythm Meditation has its origins in the works of Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan. This practical meditation brings the Heart to the centre of one's life by coordinating the body's internal rhythms, resulting in the ability to act naturally and easily with Compassion, Cooperation, Courage, Compelling Vision, Creativity and Confidence. Admission is free. Contact Ayaz Walker at 0131 667 0656 (evenings) or email at hrm@ayazwalker.plus.com 

5. Dances of Universal Peace events. These meditative movements, accompanied by chanting sacred phrases, are inspired by spiritual traditions across the world and engender feelings of love, joy, and harmony. During the Festival we will be focussing on Dances of Universal Peace inspired by religions of the Middle East. Sunday 29 February, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, 3-5pm, £5/£3.50; Monday 1 March, Creative Space, St George's West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, 1-2pm, by donation; Friday March 5, Holy Trinity Church Hall, Dumbarton Road, Stirling, 7-8.45pm, £5/£3.50. Contact: 0131-664-6206 for 29/2, 1/3, and 5/3 events; 01786-461-173 for 5/3 event;

Website: www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org.uk

 

6. Public Talk on Islam and Medicine by Professor Aziz Sheikh, Professor of Primary Care Research and Development, University of Edinburgh, Chair of the Research and Documentation Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain. The Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre hosts a public talk with Professor Aziz Sheikh who will speak on Islam and Medicine on Monday 1 March, 7.30pm, Annandale Street Mosque, Edinburgh. Admission is free. Contact: Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, 0131 229 0993, peace-justice@btconnect.com , or, Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ;  

 

7. Book Launch Event: The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace for Jews, Christians and Muslims , with Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz, Cornerstone Bookshop, St. John's Church, Princes Street, Tuesday 2nd March, 5:30-6:30pm. Contact: Nikki Macdonald; 0131 229 3776, or edinburgh@cornerstonebooks.org.uk. Free event, but please book your place as seats are limited; Website: www.genesismeditations.com 

8. Scientific and Medical Network Edinburgh event: Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz will talk on Creation: Old Story, New Story, 2nd March, 8.00pm, c/o Jane Ridder-Patrick, 29 East London St, Edinburgh. Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz is well known as a scholar in religious studies and psychology, as well as a leader in the Federation for the Sufi Message. His most recent book is The Genesis Meditations, which sets out meditations on creation from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Admission is free. Please let Jane know you are coming: 0131 556 2161;  

9. Public Talks: Meetings at the Borders: Spiritual Approaches to Middle East Peace.

Wednesday 3 at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, 6.30pm for 7pm-9.30pm: Meetings at the Borders: Spiritual Approaches to Middle East Peace, with Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, and Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz:

Eliyahu McLean is the Coordinator of the Jerusalem Circle, a network of spiritual peace activists. Eliyahu studied Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley and in Orthodox Jewish yeshivas in Brooklyn, New York and Jerusalem. Eliyahu has initiated projects that integrate spirituality and peacebuilding in the Middle East. Eliyahu was recently ordained as a 'Rodef Shalom', 'Peace Pursuer' by Reb Zalman Schachter. Eliyahu's work for peace is described in the book 'At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land' by Yossi Klein Halevi;  

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 400 years ago, 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;  

Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D., internationally-known scholar of religious studies and psychology, is author of Prayers of the Cosmos, Desert Wisdom, The Hidden Gospel, and The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace for Jews, Christians and Muslims. A former departmental head of comparative spirituality at Holy Names College in California, he now lectures worldwide. He is co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion and currently lives in Edinburgh, where he codirects the Institute for Advanced Learning. He founded the International Network for Dances of Universal Peace in 1982 and is a senior teacher of the Sufi Ruhaniat International through which he has led spiritually rooted peace-seeking journeys to Russia, Eastern Europe, Syria, Jordan, and Israel.

First come, first served. Admission is free, donations appreciated towards costs. Everyone welcome to attend. Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ;

 

Egyptian Western Desert 

10. International Conference on Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace

An international conference on the subject of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace on Thursday 4 at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh. Registration 9am-9.30am. Conference runs from 9.30am-5.30pm. Lunch will be available from 1pm-2pm. Conference registration £20/£10. This conference will include participation from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sufi, Ismaili, Baha‚i, Zoroastrian, and Druze as well and other faith and spiritual traditions. Chair, Rev Prof Frank Whaling. Speakers, Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz, The Very Reverend Dr Finlay Macdonald, Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Rabbi Nancy Morris, Dr. Moojan Momen, Malcolm Deboo, Dr Arzina Lalani, Prof Samy Swayd, Dr. Seyed G. Safavi.  Jointly organised by EICWS and EIAL. Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com, for enquiries and a conference registration form.

Full Conference Program

 

11. Public Multi Faith Forum on the Spiritual Foundations for Peace.
Thursday 4 at St George‚s West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, refreshments from 6.45pm-7.15pm. Multi Faith Forum on the Spiritual Foundations for Peace, 7.15pm-9.30pm. First come, first served. Admission is free, donations appreciated towards costs. Everyone welcome to attend. Chair, Fiona Bennett. Speakers, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Margaret Clark, Malcolm Deboo, Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz, Dr Arzina Lalani, Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean, Dr Moojan Momen, Rabbi David Rose. Jointly organised by Creative
Space, EICWS and EIAL. Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com; Fiona Bennett, 0131 225 7001.

 

12. March 5-7: Wiston Lodge, nr Edinburgh, Scotland: “Genesis Now! A Shared Practice of Peace for Jews, Christians and Muslims.” Interfaith spiritual retreat led by Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz. Meditation, chant, Dances of Universal Peace, body prayer, based on his recent book The Genesis Meditations. Contact: Narada Ian Ramsey: Tel. 44 (0)1290 661 082. narada@abwoon.com . Click here for Retreat details.

 

13. Workshop ‘Where's the Power!' facilitated by Lee Gershuny, Ph.D..

The purpose of this workshop is to explore different ways of dealing with obstacles to peace. It is based upon the belief that practicing peace locally in our daily lives not only empowers us individually and collectively, but also promotes peace and justice in the world. The workshop aims to enable participants to: 1. Become more aware of attitudes and actions that help create peace and justice with each other in the present; 2. Develop skills to work creatively among diverse participants; 3. Build a sense of community among diverse participants. Demonstrations, interactive exercises and role play in small and large groups will enable us to practice three principles of peacemaking, namely, Not Knowing; Bearing Witness; Loving Action/Compassion. Lunch will be purchased from caterers at the venue. This workshop will be facilitated by Lee Gershuny of The Elements, and will be held at St George's West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, on Friday 5. Tea 9.30am-10am. Workshop from 10am-4.30pm. Lunch will be available from 1pm-2pm. The cost for coffee, teas, etc. is £1 per participant for the whole day. Registration fee is £5, first come, first served, and registration forms are available from: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ;

 

   Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

14. Public Talks: Science and Spirituality.
A Crisis of Faith in Science and the Need for a New Enlightenment?
Friday 5 at Martin Hall, New College, The Mound, Edinburgh University,
jointly organised and hosted by the Helsinki Citizens Assembly and the
EICWS. 7pm-9.30pm. Chair: Dr Andrew Morton. Speakers: Prof David Fergusson,
Head of the School of Divinity, Edinburgh University; Professor Aziz Sheikh,
Professor of Primary Care Research and Development, University of Edinburgh,
Chair of the Research and Documentation Committee of the Muslim Council of
Britain; Prof Wilson Poon, Prof of Physics and Astronomy, Edinburgh
University. Admission is free, everyone welcome to attend. Contact: Neill Walker -
0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com, or Dr Andrew Morton, 0131 332 6592,
armorton@btopenworld.com

 

15. Storytelling Workshop. Wise Fools and Spiritual Quests in Middle Eastern Stories.

Saturday March 6th, 12.30-4.30, St George's West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh. Much of Middle Eastern literature has been shaped by oral traditions of storytelling. In this relaxed workshop participants can explore different kinds of storytelling in small groups and then share stories informally. The session begins with a keynote introduction and light lunch. Please book in advance, since places are limited. Workshop led by Angela Knowles, storyteller, and Dr Donald Smith of the Scottish Storytelling Centre. £7.50/£5.00. To book contact the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR. Tel 0131 557 5724, Fax 0131 557 5224. Email: scottishstorytellingcentre@uk.uumail.com . This event is jointly hosted by Creative Space and the Scottish Storytelling Centre;

 

16. Middle Eastern themed One World Peace and Justice Concert.

A major Middle Eastern themed One World Peace and Justice Concert on
Saturday 6. Doors open at 5.45pm, first come, first served. 5.45pm-6.30pm:
refreshments by Suruchi Indian Restaurant. Concert from 6.30pm-10pm, at St
Marys Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, near Haymarket, Edinburgh. No
tickets in advance. £4.50/£3.50, family ticket price of £2.50 per person.
CANTY: Anne Lewis, Lorna Stephens, Rebecca Tavener, with William Taylor
(medieval clarsach). 'The Mother and the Magdelene': A sequence of medieval
music celebrating the two Marys of the New Testament including antiphons by
Hildegard von Bingen, an Italian 'lauda', an English 'carol', polyphony from
the Llibre Vermell and the St Andrews Music Book, plus the Scottish premiere
of 'The Troparion of Kassiani' by Ivan Moody; "Where's the Power?"
Dance/Drama, devised and presented by The Elements; 'The Beauty of Islam' by
Hassen Rasool and Sarah Joseph, on behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain;
Egyptian Dance with Hilary Thacker: Improvisation with veil and cymbals, and
Middle Eastern percussion with Javier Villar Morales; 'Hevenu Shalom
Aleichem' led by Rebekah Gronowski; African Music and Dance with Waa Sylla;
Jewish Chants led by Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean; Sufi Chants led by Sheikh
Abdul Aziz Bukhari; 'Shalom Chaverim' led by Rebekah Gronowski. Concert
jointly organised and sponsored by the EICWS and the UNA Edinburgh. Contact:
Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com; Paul Boast -
0131-2299594, pboast@onetel.com;

 

17. Services.

Services and events at Cathedrals and Churches across Edinburgh on Sunday 7 March 2004. Edinburgh Churches Together have communicated with churches across Edinburgh to consider linking services on Sunday 7 to the Festival theme:

St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, Sunday 7 March 2004, 3.30pm. Choral Evensong, J.S.Bach Cantata BWV 54 ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde'. Special prayers for Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace Festival;

St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, Sunday 7 March 2004, special bidding prayers/prayers of intercession for peace and greater community in the Middle East during 7.30pm Mass;

Old St Paul's Episcopal Church (enter from Jeffrey St, disabled access available - phone ahead 0131 556 3332), Mass for Justice and Peace at which all are welmcome, Friday 27 February and Friday 5 March 2004, 12.20pm. This is a reflective service of prayer and communion, celebrated in a chapel built to remember those killed in wars. Churches across Edinburgh are encouraged to be mindful of the Festival theme on Sunday 7 March 2004.

There will be a service at the Edinburgh Synagogue, 4 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh, on Saturday 28 February. To attend contact: Rabbi David Rose, 0131 668 1279, Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ;

 

18. Exhibitions and Displays linked to the theme of the Festival. Admission is free.

18.1. 'Overcoming Violence Against Women: a Middle East Initiative' in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, 27 Feb to 7 March, Mon. Tues. Wed. Fri.: 8am - 1pm., 1.30 - 5.30pm; Thurs.: 8 - 11.30am, 12 noon - 1pm, 1.30 - 5.30pm; Sat.: 8am - 4pm; Sundays 8.30 - 10.30am, 11.45am - 3.30pm. Contact Helen Hood, email: wcc.dov-women@ecosse.net ;

18.2. Schools Art Exhibition 1st March - 5th March: City of Edinburgh schools are invited to submit pupils artwork to be included in an exhibition. Artwork should reflect the themes of the Festival celebrating diversity of belief, multi culturalism, and shared understanding. The exhibition will run from Monday 1st March until Friday 5th March. Dance Base is hosting this exhibition and we are having a small launch on Monday 1st at 9.45am. Further details from: Stevi Manning, Arts Development Officer, City of Edinburgh Council, Department of Education, Arts Unit. Tel.No. 469 3359;

18.3. a display and an exhibition at the Edinburgh Central Library
(including a display of calligraphy books, provided by Moshen Hemmati): Sounds of the Spirit, 7 February - 6 March, Central Music Library, George IV Bridge. Contact: 0131 242 8500; Middle Eastern Perspectives, 21 January - 6 March, Central Library Stair Display, George IV Bridge. Contact: 0131 242 8000;

18.4. a selection from the World Peace Prayer Society International Children's Peace Pals Art Exhibition, at the new Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Contact: wppsallanton@btinternet.com , 44 (138) 774-0642;

18.5. a display based upon the work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment
Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
, provided by the Quaker Peace and
Social Witness, and, a display provided by the World Peace Prayer Society,
27 February - 7 March, at the Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge,
Edinburgh, 0131 220 1677;

18.6. an exhibition based upon the work of Living Values Education in the Middle East, provided by Living Values: an education programme, at St George's West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, 27 February – 7 March. Contact: britishisles@livingvalues.net , 01865 408124;

18.7. Interfaith dialogue: an international perspective , Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, 27 February - 7 March 2004, Monday – Saturday, 10am-4pm. Contact: 0131 229 0993, peace-justice@btconnect.com ;

18.8. The National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, 0131 226 4531, will put on a display for the period 27 February - 7 March, opening hours will be:- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9.30 - 20.30, Wednesday: 10 - 20.30, Saturday: 9.30 - 13.00, Sunday closed;

18.9. Hadeel, St George's West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, Tuesday-Saturday, 10.30-4pm. Contact: palcrafts@fish.co.uk, 0131 225 1922;

18.10. Exhibition at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow: Mapping the Unseen – The Art of Ahmed Moustafa , Fri 12 December 2003 - Sunday 18 April 2004. Contact: 0141 553 2557;

18.11. a display by the London Academy of Iranian Studies, with a
documentary film, at the conference on Thursday 4 March at the Quaker
Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace;

19. Women in Black Silent Vigil.

Women in Black hold a silent vigil on every Saturday, 1-2pm at the East End of Princes Street, and all women of all ages are welcome to join the silent vigil. Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ;

 

20. National Library of Scotland event.

Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ; Fiona Morrison Graham, 0131 226 4531;

 

21. Napier University Chaplaincy student focused event.

A student focused event is being planned at the Napier University Chaplaincy. For information contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com ; Jenny Williams, butterfly.greenleaf@gmx.net;

 

22. Media coverage associated with the Festival.
Discussions are ongoing about specific media input to the Festival. Radio
Scotland plan to do a programme in early April linked to the Festival as
will STV. For interviews, photo opportunities, or a press release contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com;

23. The Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament will be given by
Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean on Wednesday 3. Contact: Neill Walker -
0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com;

Time for Reflection remarks by Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean.

24. Labyrinth Peace Walk.
People are welcome to drop into the Edinburgh University Chaplaincy to walk the Labyrinth Peace Walk anytime between 11am-6.15pm on Monday 1 March. Edinburgh University Chaplaincy Centre, 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AL chaplain: chaplain@ed.ac.uk secretary: chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk, phone: (0131) 650 2595

 

25. School Visit. It is planned to take Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean and
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari to the Steiner School in Edinburgh to meet staff
and students. Contact: Neill Walker - 0131-3314469, njwalk1300@hotmail.com.

We plan for this festival and conference to be an annual event and so would like to receive expressions of interest from individuals, organizations, spiritual and faith traditions, civic organisations, arts and cultural organisations, among others, about possible participation in the future. In addition, we would like to be put in contact with potentially interested parties.

 

Yours sincerely,

Neill Walker and Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz,

Conference and Festival Coordinators.

 

Neill Walker, The Edinburgh International Centre for World Spiritualities, EICWS, Scottish Charity, SC030155, 4 William Black Place, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9PZ. Scotland. Ph: +44 (0)131 331 4469, email: njwalk1300@hotmail.com

 

Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz, The Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning, EIAL, 7 East Champanyie, Edinburgh, EH9 3EL, Scotland, UK. Ph: +44 (0)131 466 1506, email: ndk@eial.org .

 

This Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace conference is part of the EICWS series of conferences: Baha'i Spirituality (Saturday 26 January 2002), Hindu Spirituality (Saturday 21 December 2002), Sikh Spirituality (Saturday 24 May 2003). Partial funding for the Festival and associated Conference has been received from the Oneness Project and the International Network for the Dances of Universal Peace.

photos by Neil Douglas-Klotz