Creative Strategies for Improving Communication and Handling Conflict in the Workplace
Aziz Abu Sarah is originator of the MEJDI Method which brings those from both sides of a conflict together as travel guides each presenting their viewpoints. This multi-narrative approach to travel was originated by Abu Sarah in Israel and reaps remarkable results throughout the world. The fundamentals of this same method of reconciliation can be taught and applied in the corporate workplace.
Aziz Abu Sarah helps people break down cultural and historical barriers through tourism.
When Aziz Abu Sarah was a boy, his older brother was arrested on charges of throwing stones. He was taken to prison and beaten — and died of his injuries. Sarah grew up angry, bitter and wanting revenge. But when later in life he met, for the first time, Jews who were not soldiers, Sarah had an epiphany: Not only did they share his love of small things, namely country music, but coming face to face with the “enemy” compelled him to find ways to overcome hatred, anger and fear.
Sarah founded MEJDI Tours to send tourists to Jerusalem with two guides, one Jewish and one Palestinian, each offering a different history and narrative of the city. Sarah tells success stories of tourists from the US visiting a Palestinian refugee camp and listening to joint Arab and Jewish bands play music, and of a Muslim family from the UK sharing Sabbath dinner with a Jewish family and realizing that 100 years ago, their people came from the same town in Northern Africa.
MEJDI is expanding its service to Iran, Turkey, Ireland and other regions suffering from cultural conflict. If more of the world’s 1 billion tourists were to engage with real people living real lives, argues Sarah, it would be a powerful force for shattering stereotypes and promoting understanding, friendship and peace.
He is a National Geographic Explorer and a TED Fellow.