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Bridges Foundation: Peace making through Education

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Religion has always been taken as a ground to initiate wars throughout the history of humanity, so why Allaah Almighty (God) created us in different races?

Fadel Soliman [Faa’dil Sulaymaan], the former Imaam of the American University at Washington DC, the former host of “the Islaamic Show” in Channel 30 at the American TV, and the former host of “let the ’Qur a~n speak” at the American radio, explains this diversity from the Holy ’Qura~n which states:
“Oh, mankind! We created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other.”

Diversity, then, is a blessing that people are abusing by attacking the home and land of each other.

Goals and Objectives
Bridges Foundation was established to bridge people from different religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds throughout inter-faith and inter-cultural activities.

We believe that educating each other about our differences is the best way to interconnect people, increase their tolerance towards each other and facilitate peace making process all over the world.

Logo and Slogan
The logo clearly refers to the goals and objectives of the foundation. It consists of five persons joining hands; the black headed is an African, the blue is European, the green is an Australian, the red is an American and the yellow is an Asian. These are the colours of the Olympic rings.
Furthermore it reflects our slogan: “Peace Making through Education”.

Bridges Team
It is composed of several working groups that are linked dynamically to each other. Those groups are subdivided into the following:

  1. Board of Trustees: Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Murad Wilfried Hofmann, Abdul Wahid Pedersen, Waleed K. Basyouni and Dr. Zaghlool Elnaggar.
  2. Director: Fadel Soliman is a member of the “Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research of the ’Qura~n and Sunnah”. He is an expert presenter of Islaam, having lectured about Islaam in the U.S.A. and other countries throughout the world.
  3. Presenters: Ahmed Saad, Rasha Yusuf, Iman Taher, Mazyad Al-Khadledy (English), Mohammed Gad-ALLAH (German), Khadijah Machadow (Portuguese), abd Issa Chao (Chinese)


Methodology
Bridges Foundation has the following two divisions:

  • Public Presenters for Peace (PPP): a group of certified presenters who are specialised in presenting the true values of Islaam to non-Muslims, in all languages, through several power point presentations that deal with many sensitive issues like Jihaad, the Status of Women in Islaam, Human Rights, and the Veil (Muslim women’s outfit). These presentations were presented to thousands of people in the United States and Europe correcting many misconceptions about these topics.
  • International Institute for Training Presenters (IITP): an institute that trains Muslims on how to present Islaam to non-Muslims appropriately, answer the questions raised, and handle the misconceptions they have about Islaam, all with honesty and professionalism. The training is acquired through a 15-hour workshop after which each attendant receives an attendance certificate.


Our programs have had strong impact in the past in different places, such as the Department of Defence, the Department of Correction, many universities, high schools and churches in USA, the book fair of Frankfurt during the Arab league, and many other events.

Bridges Workshops
Bridges Foundation organises workshops - categorised under the IITP programme - which help you to give presentations with strong impact, increase your confidence in your own ability to make presentations, and use your specific abilities to make great presentations about Islaam, answer difficult questions and refute misconceptions.

The syllabus is divided into three main levels:

Level 1: Presentation Skills, Islaamic Beliefs, Rituals and Concepts

  • a. Presentation skills and Public speaking skills;
  • b. Presenting Islaamic Beliefs;
  • c. Presenting Islaamic Rituals;
  • d. Introducing Islaamic concepts.


Level 2: How to answer, How to refute

  • a. Basics of answering questions of non Muslims;
  • b. Refuting misconceptions Prophet Mu’hammad;
  • c. Refuting misconceptions Women;
  • d. Refuting general misconceptions.


Level 3: Practical Training and Coaching in the field
A two sessions’ practical training:

  • a. Practice presenting Islaam;
  • b. Coaching in the field.


Being organised in Cairo, Alexandria and Dubai with more than 3,500 trainers, those workshops fulfil the needs for majority of Muslims; either being tour guide in Islaamic countries, workers in international companies, students in international universities and others who interacts with non-Muslims.

The Danish Cartoons Controversy
In an attempt to narrow the gaps between Muslim and non-Muslim journalists and intellectuals after the Danish Cartoon Crisis, Bridges Foundation and Royal Danish Food Industries held an event Under the patronage of his eminence, Dr. ‘Ali Gom‘ah, the Grand Mufti of Egypt which took place on March 27th, 2006 at the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel.

The program included a delicious dinner, entertainment, keynote speakers, open discussion and dialogue and cultural presentation about Islaamic concepts.

  • Keynote Speakers: Rune Engelbreth Larsen and AbdulWahid Pedersen.
  • Presentation: “The Fog is Lifting” by Fadel Soliman.
  • Entertainment and Dinner: Omar Marzouk from FBI (Funny Business Inc.), performed in both Danish and English. During the event, Bridges Foundation introduced the 1st Danish Journalist who was a martyr of Mussolini’s fascism, named Knud Holmboe.


Evaluation had been applied at the end of the event which showed that 55% of the Danish Journalists in attendance had changed their mind towards gaining more respect for Prophet Mu’hammad (P.B.U.H.) had increased.

The Fog is Lifting
Islaam seems like a mystery for many people around the world especially after 9/11 which resulted in making people more eager to find an educational, interesting and comprehensive documentary about Islaam. They, however, could hardly come across one that fits all.

“The Fog is Lifting” is the main title for a series of documentaries about Islaam. They are subdivided into 3 parts:

  • Part I: Islaam In Brief (which covers topics like Meaning of Islaam, Does God exist?, Freedom of Religion, Original Goodness, The Purpose of Life, The Six Main Beliefs in Islaam and The Five Main Deeds of Muslims.)
  • Part II: Islaam: a religion of peace or a religion of war?
  • Part III: Islaam and Women.


The documentaries will be produced in 14 different languages in the subtitles and are presented by Fadel Soliman, Aesha Nawaz and Suhaib Webb.

Quotes
“Submission, Purity and Peace; the Islaamic meaning of the word Islaam carries those three meanings.”

“The word Muslim in the Arabic language doesn’t mean literally a follower of Prophet Mu’hammad, it means someone who submits himself to the will of God and worship God alone.”

- Fadel Soliman, director of Bridges Foundation and Workshop’s presenter.


Contact Info

Tel. (Egypt): (00202) 670-555-3
Tel. (U.S.A.):  (001) 718-928-944-5
Fax (U.S.A.):  (001) 708-810-347-4
E-mail: info@bridges-foundation.org
website: www.bridges-foundation.org

I-MAG Team -
Furthur information is available at the Editorial Team page

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