And let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 24:22).
In Holy Quran “forgiveness” and “mercy “are mentioned around 100 and 200 times respectively. An entire chapter of the Quran is devoted to the quality of mercy that is (Surah Rahman).
Of the 99 names, Allah chose Merciful to be repeated before each chapter. The emphasis on the importance of forgiveness could not be stronger. Yet as many of us who harbor legitimate grievances, it is not an easy endeavor. In the age of spiritual bypass, it may be tempting to try and skip the hard work of conflict management and resolution, and jump straight to convincing yourself you are in a state of forgiveness. Or for some, they may avoid all together. Ramadan is an opportunity to press the pause button, and turn inward to look at the grievances you may be holding on to – consciously and unconsciously. Addressing the roots of conflict is the only way to reach true peace and reconciliation. And sometimes, conflict can be solely from within.
Manal Omar, a conflict negotiator in war zones for over 20 years, will share some tools to conflict management and resolution. She comes from the perspective that conflict is not negative – it can lead to key areas of accountability and growth. Its only when conflict turns of violence and harm that it is negative. And often times, are desire to avoid confrontation is what makes conflict turn towards harm. During this talk, Manal will share strategies, including learning your own conflict style. Are you an avoider? Confronter? Appeaser? This self-awareness is the first step to understanding how to address the conflict in your life. It is also the first step to turning conflict into learning opportunities, and occasions for personal evolution.
Ramadan is one of the most sacred months of the year in Islamic religion. Muslims observe the month of Ramadan, to mark that Allah, or God, where the Holy Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad During Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasure and pray to become closer to God. It is also a time for families to gather and celebrate in remembrance of the divine. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon. The Quran and Islamic tradition emphasize that fasting is an ancient healing and spiritual tradition that has been practiced before Islam and maintained by the tradition due to the depth of its impact.
This is a free talk
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Manal Omar is the founder of Across Red Lines, dedicated to women’s leadership through accessing life force energy and deeper understanding of rights through a faith lens. She designed and led multiple development and training projects in the Middle East and Africa, and provided media and policy support on youth and gender programming on a global scale. She served as the Associate Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Center at US Institute of Peace under the Obama Administration. She set up programmatic operations in Iraq. Omar was named among “Top 500 World’s Most Influential Arabs” by Arabia Business Power in 2011 and 2012. She was also recognized among the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by Georgetown University and The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in 2009. In 2007, Islamic Magazine named Omar one of the ten young visionaries shaping Islam in America. She was honored by her alma mater as one of the top 50 Exemplars in 2018.
Omar holds a master's degree in Arab studies with a concentration in Economics and Development from Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree in International Relations from George Mason University. Manal has a certification in Global Mental Health – Trauma and Recovery from Harvard Medical school and is currently a student at Sex Coach University in California. She is a Truman National Security Fellow and an inaugural Foreign Policy Interrupted fellow dedicated to including women in foreign policy and peacebuilding.