The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office Fellows' Seminar 2008 Session 5

The Japan Foundation has invited specialists, as Fellows, who are involved various disciplines of Japanese Studies. The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office will conduct the 5th Seminar of the series for the year 2008 on the following topic.


Date: November 25, 2008 (Tue.)


Venue: Auditorium of Urbanex Oike Building East 2F Access

361-1 Kurumayacho-dori, Oike sagaru, Umeya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

(The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office is on the fourth floor.)

English (with Japanese interpretation)


Syed Sikander Mehdi (Pakistan / The Japan Foundation Fellow)
A Visiting Scholar at the Department of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto and a Japan Foundation Fellow at Kyoto Museum for World Peace in the same University. He is also a member of Visiting Faculty at Peace Studies Program in the University of Jaume1, Spain and University of Innsbruck, Austria. He is former teacher/Professor and Chairperson of International Relations Department, KarachiUniversity (October 1973-January 2008). His research and publications focus on human security, abolition of nuclear weapons, migration and peace, peace and nonviolent movements, peace-building, culture of peace and peace museums with particular reference to Pakistan/South and Central Asia/Muslim Societies.


Building Peace in Muslim Societies: Potential Role of Museums for Peace
Ever since the publication of Samuel Huntington’s article on clash of civilization in ” Foreign Affairs ” Journal in 1993 and especially since 9/11, a series of tragic developments have taken place. These include the increasing demonization of the Muslims in popular Western media in particular, US military action in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, considerable increase in suicide bombings and almost total brutalization of Muslim societies. These developments clearly have grave consequences not only for the Muslim societies, but for the whole world. It is therefore important that the root causes of violence in Muslim societies are studied and efforts for healing the wounds are intensified. Furthermore, all possible avenues need to be explored to help building peace in these societies. In this context, a study on the potential role of museums for peace in promoting peace in these societies and in building bridges between the Muslim world and other worlds is highly desirable. Again, such a study may well be undertaken by Japan, a country which enjoys the admiration and trust of the Muslims states and people, which has the highest number of peace museums in a single country and whose vital interests have been severely affected because of increasing violence within the Muslim societies and between them and the Western world. This lecture focuses on some of these and other related issues.

(Syed Sikander Mehdi)

Admission Fee:

Free of charge. No reservations needed. Capacity is 50 people.

Contact: The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office
Tel: 075- 211-1312
Fax: 075-255-1273
4th Floor Urbanex Oike Building East, 361-1 Umeya-cho, Oike-sagaru, Kurumayacho-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8186


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