Initial Report: Peace Delegation to Syria, May 2-10, 2013

Dear supporters of Palestine and Syria,

I will leave in a few hours to join the delegation. We will gather at the Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Lebanon just north of Beirut. During the first day and a half, we will meet with dignitaries and representatives in Lebanon, and with Syrian refugees. We will then go to Damascus for four days of meetings with members of a variety of communities in Syria, and to view as much as we are able. We then return to Lebanon for additional meetings and a final press conference, which I will unfortunately have to miss because I must return a day early.

Below is a list of participants, whose bios will soon be posted at the FPM website. Not listed there is Dennis Kucinich, who has said that he will come, but apparently has not confirmed. If any of you are in touch with him, please encourage him join us. I have also been trying to reach Ashley Judd, who has excellent humanitarian credentials, but I have been unsuccessful. If any of you has a means of contacting her, please do. I don’t know her position on any of this, but if she advocates against U.S. support for either side, she needs to be a part of this team, and it may boost her credentials if she plans to run for office.

Peace Delegation to Syria:

Francesco CANDELARI (Italy) His current role is International Coordinator of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and he has held previous positions at the United Nations and as journalist covering the Arab Spring. He has been in close touch with people from Syria and interested in looking for possible nonviolent solutions to the conflict in Syria.

Marinella COREGGIA (Italy) Italian journalist and writer in the field of ecological justice; and an ecological farmer, Marinella Correggia, has been active for peace since 1991. Associated with the No War Network, she co-organised many demonstrations in Rome, petitions to the UN, sending information to some Un missions in Geneva, writing articles and conferences.

Susan Anne Day DIRGHAM (Australia) has organized and helped lead tour of Syria for students from La Trobe University, Melbourne. She organised accommodation, transport, interviewees in Damascus (through Ministry of Information) for Australian film-maker Bruce Petty.

Mel DUNCAN (USA) is Director of Advocacy and Outreach, Nonviolent Peaceforce. Mel Duncan is the founding Executive Director and current Advocacy and Outreach Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP). Modeled on the Gandhian concept of Shanti Sena, Nonviolent Peaceforce is composed of trained citizens from around the world. Mr. Duncan has 40 years of experience organizing and advocating nonviolently for peace, justice, and the environment. He currently focuses on advancing the recognition, policy and funding support for nonviolent peacekeeping at the UN.

Tiffany EASTHOM (Canada) She is Country Director for South Sudan for Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) which is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) engaged in the creation of a large-scale unarmed peacekeeping force, composed of specially trained civilians. Prior to becoming NP’s Country Director in South Sudan, Tiffany served as Country Director at NP’s Sri Lanka project as well as Country Director for Peace Brigades International in Indonesia.

Denning ISLES (Australia) is a graduate of Welsey Institute, majoring in Audio Technology (2008). He currently works for Fr. David Smith with Fighting Fathers Ministries, in which he supports various youth and community organisations such as Dulwich Hill’s Holy Trinity Youth Center, Binacrombi Camp Site and the Dulwich Hill Gym.

Tim KING (USA) is the Editior of Salem-News in the USA (based in Salem, Oregon). Tim is well traveled in the Middle East and known for his efforts to change American policy toward Palesitne and the region. Has written widely about the criminal US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Franklin LAMB (USA) is an international lawyer based in Beirut-Washington, DC. A former Assistant Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee of the US Congress, Lamb has written widely on Middle East issues as part of his commitment to the cause of Palestine.

Paul LARUDEE (USA)is a former Ford foundation project supervisor, and Fulbright-Hays lecturer in Lebanon, and a U.S. government advisor to Saudi Arabia. He has been a faculty member at several universities in the San Francisco Bay Area,an organizer with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine and co-founder of the movement to break the Israeli siege of Gaza by sea, and was aboard the boats that succeeded in doing so in 2008 as well as the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was attacked by Israeli forces on May 31, 2010. He is a cofounder of the Global March to Jerusalem.

Alan LONERGAN (Ireland) has for many years been involved in campaigning for Palestine. He is a founding member of Sadaka the Ireland Palestine Alliance and currently serves on the board of Sadaka as their Church Liaisons Officer.

Amir M. MAASOUMI (Canada) is a sociologist, specialist of contemporary Islam, intercultural and interfaith relations, dialogue among cultures and civilizations. He is also a peace, social justice and human rights activist.

Mairead MAGUIRE (Northern Ireland) is Nobel Peace Laureate (l976) Hon. President, Co-Founder Peace People, Northern Ireland. Mairead (Corrigan) Maguire is a Nobel Peace Laureate (l976) Hon. President and Co-founder of the Peace People, Northern Ireland. Mairead was responsible for co-founding the Peace People. She has received many honours and awards, including an honorary doctorate from Yale University, the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Distinguished Peace Leadership Award and the Nobel Peace Prize Award (l976).

Michael MALOOF (USA) is a senior writer for WND (, or World Net Daily, specializing in international political and economic reporting and analysis. He also writes a weekly column for subscribers only for WND’s G2Bulletin providing analysis in these areas. As part of his reporting, Maloof travels many times a year to Lebanon where he is expected to set up a bureau there for WND.

Alyssar MIDANI (France) founded and managed Arabesque (international intercultural association head quartered in Paris) She organised cultural activities (concerts, exhibitions, Syrian and Arab movie promotion, cultural days: Passeport pour la Syrie 2003), Support for Palestinian & Iraqi people. She is founding Member and member of the Board of trustees of NOSSTIA (Network of Syrian Scientists and innovators in Technology abroad) and was instrumental in ICTTA 04 Conference – Damascus Syria (organization & scientific committee) Open Source Software workshop – Damascus Syria)

Ann PATTERSON (Ireland) is a family therapist at the Quaker Centre in Belfast, she works to provide counseling support for families from the divided communities. During the peace process in Northern Ireland, she worked with imprisoned paramilitaries from both sides, preparing them to enter into peace talks. She is founder member of the Peace People, a pacifist movement that played a critical role in promoting the Good Friday Agreement and advancing the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Gianmarco PISA (Italy) is Secretary in IPRI – CPC NET (Civil Peace Corps) and President of “Operatori di Pace – Campania” [Peace-Workers – Campania], active in the National Program “Civilian Peace Intervention” and Regional Program “Scuole Aperte” about peace-education, Project Coord. in Peace Class: A.C.H.I.E.V.E. (Alternative Conflict Handling to Inhibit Emergencies and Violence Eradicate) and Program Coord. for Civilian Peace Service and Civilian Social Defence in Castelvolturno (S.C.P.C. Program). He is Founder of “IRA Mauritania Ð Italian Bureau” (IRA Mauritania Ð Bureau Italia) against slavery and for human-rights and Researcher in IRES (Training and Research) and RESET (Economy, Society and Territory) – Naples, for social inclusion and social rights.

Antonio Carlos da Silva ROSA (Brasil) is the editor of TRANSCEND Media Service-TMS since its inception in 2008, he is also the Secretary of the Board of Conveners of TRANSCEND International-A Network for Peace, Development and Environment, founded by Johan Galtung in 1993.

David B. SMITH (Australia)started Fighting Fathers Ministries in 2002 – a company that aims to offer an alternative culture to young people, based on values of courage, integrity and teamwork. This work has been the subject of numerous TV documentaries and one short film. Particularly well-known for our use of boxing-training as a means to help young men overcome anger-management issues. He was twice nominated for Australian of the Year on the basis of this work. He is known for his friendship with Mordechai Vanunu (the Israeli ‘nuclear whistle-blower’), which started in Sydney in 1986, started my involvement in social justice work in the Middle East and has subsequently developed a strong profile in Australia as a Palestinian human rights activist.

Luke WATERS (Australia) is an award winning senior journalist, with experience filing reports for television, radio, print and on-line news services throughout Australia and overseas. Luke has anchored state and national news bulletins for the Ten Network as well as news and current affairs programs for the ABC. He has worked as a print, radio, on-line and television journalist, video journalist, presenter, producer and / or chief of staff on a range of programs. Luke’s journalism has been recognized with selection as a finalist or winner of several media awards including the United Nations Media Peace Awards, The Australian Sports Commission Media Awards and the National Drug And Alcohol Awards for excellence in media reporting.

In solidarity,

Paul Larudee for the FPM Team

We require urgent help creating events on April 10th in Arizona, 12th in Albuquerque and 14-18th in Texas as well as Dallas. We also have dates in May for KC, SLC, Boise and Eugene. Anyone who can assist with this should contact us right away.