ICAR Student Extends Theory to Practice

Posted: November 19, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Zoe Rose

Jana El Horr
Jana El Horr

The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) Alumni Chapter has named PhD student Jana El Horr as this year’s recipient of the Mary Lynn Boland award for outstanding student service. She is also a Fulbright scholar and founding member of the Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding.

When asked what else she would like to accomplish, her response was simple: “My next big goal is to finish my dissertation, in addition to learning five new languages.” This is one full plate, and there is still more.

Horr is the International Peacebuilding Fellow at the American Islamic Congress and is spearheading efforts to strengthen Arab-Muslim participation in the Darfur movement. Horr has worked extensively with issues of conflict resolution in the Middle East and organized youth training seminars on issues of leadership, youth empowerment and human rights.

Recently, she met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss Lebanon and what steps are necessary to promote an indigenous movement for democracy promotion in the country.

On youth issues more generally, Horr acknowledges that peacebuilding approaches are ever-changing, especially in the face of new technology.

“Facebook has proved to be a more efficient way to rally youth around issues than e-mails or ads, and we need to keep up with it,” says Horr. Methods of outreach are constantly changing, and she is at the forefront in using new technology.

Of her time at ICAR, Horr says she hopes the institute “will broaden the scope of issues they are involved with in the Middle East.” She emphasizes that Middle East research at ICAR often focuses on the Arab-Israeli conflict, while there are other conflicts in the region that need to be addressed, including sub-Saharan conflicts, Syrian-Lebanese relations and human rights abuses in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Horr’s efforts in resolving conflict reflect the core of ICAR’s goals. As an example, Horr recently published a training kit with the Council of Europe that addresses issues of cultural diversity and minority rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Students like Horr, who are involved in both the theory and practice of conflict resolution, exemplify the knowledge and experience that breathes life into ICAR.

This article originally appeared in a slightly different format in ICAR News. Rose is an ICAR graduate admissions assistant and MS student.

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