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The Polish Cultural Institute in New York
in conjunction with EUNIC and Live from the NYPL
is pleased to present

Founding Director, Borderland Foundation (Sejny, Poland)
as Guest Panelist in
a three-evening symposium of debate and discussion

Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 7:30 PM

The New York Public Library
South Court Auditorium, 5th Ave. & 42nd St., New York, NY
Admission: $25 general; $15 Library donors, seniors & students. Arrive early for best seat selection; the doors open 45 minutes before the event,, 212.868.4444, or at the box office, Tel: 917.275.6975

The Polish Cultural Institute in New York is proudly participating in Islam in Europe, a three-evening symposium at the New York Public Library, June 9-11. The program is presented by the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) and Live from the NYPL, the New York Public Library's public programs series, as part of the Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas festival, co-hosted by BAM, Asia Society, and NYU Center for Dialogues (June 5-14).

Islam in Europe gathers prominent, cross-sector speakers from diverse disciplines, and from Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere across the Muslim diaspora, to share country-specific perspectives on Muslim communities' integration in European society, addressing related topical issues for citizens of a multi-cultural, increasingly globalized world. Besides Czyzewski, whose Borderland Foundation created opportunities for dialogue in Bosnia after the war and in many Muslim countries in Asia, symposium participants include H.E. Queen Noor of Jordan, Imam Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman of the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony, U.K., and Benjamin Barber, author of Jihad vs. McWorld.

An active member of EUNIC New York, the Polish Cultural Institute brings Krzysztof Czyzewski, Founding Director of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, to the program. Czyzewski will appear as a guest panelist in Part III, Youth: The Future on Wednesday, June 10, at 7:30 PM, together with Ziyah Gafic (photographer, Bosnia-Hercegovina), Farid Hafez (University of Vienna, Austria), Nebojsa Seric Shoba (visual artist, Bosnia-Hercegovina), Nanna Westh (filmmaker, Denmark), and moderator Moustafa Bayoumi (City University of New York).

This debate investigates how young people, as Western citizens who are fully confident in their Muslim identities, tackle thorny societal issues and challenge old paradigms. It also discusses how they can play an integral role in creating a better, socially coherent future.

Krzysztof Czyzewski is founding director of the Borderland Foundation (Fundacja Pogranicze) in Sejny, Poland, which works through education and the arts to create models of civil society. Czyzewski's model involves a methodology based on his work in theater and involves the whole community, especially young people; its mission is to educate them to be community builders, and one of its first principles is that in order to shape the future one must first understand the past. Czyzewski has brought the Foundation's model to regions of ethnic tension around the world - places like Armenia, Bosnia, Georgia, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Tadzhikistan - initiating cultural projects to foster intercultural and inter-religious dialogue when peaceful communication has been obstructed by current or remembered ethnic conflicts. One of the Borderland Foundation's most significant endeavors was its establishment of an open forum for dialogue in Bosnia after the war. Since 2003, Czyzewski has been an active member of the European Cultural Parliament. In April 2008, the Foundation's work was presented at The Borderlands Foundation Festival in New York.

ISLAM IN EUROPE - program:

In five events, Islam in Europe sets the context for and explores multiple perspectives for viewing relations between European societies and their Muslim communities. It also offers opportunities to bring American voices into this dialogue and is aimed at identifying opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.

Part I, June 9, 7:00 pm - Opening Event: How Did We Get Here?

Part II, June 10, 6:00 pm - Migration Policy, Response and Reaction: The Status Quo

Part III, June 10, 7:30 pm - Youth: The Future

Part IV, June 11, 5:00 pm - Media. A Catalyst for Change

Part V, June 11, 7:00 pm - Conclusions: Where Do We Go From Here?

Islam in Europe Full Program

More on The Borderland Foundation Festival in NYC

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