Crossing Boundaries: A Traveller’s Guide to World Peace Tour – Sydney Event
How can we heal divides, increase tolerance and make the world a more peaceful place?
Join us in Sydney and Melbourne for a powerful conversation with renowned peace builder, responsible travel innovator, cultural educator and inspirational speaker, Palestinian Aziz Abu Sarah.
Experiencing the great loss of his brother at a young age, Aziz’s incredible story of overcoming anger and seeking revenge, and instead choosing love and forgiveness is as beautiful as it is profound. At a time when we’re being asked to choose sides, Aziz’s story and experience helps us to orient towards love and connection over hate and conflict. There’s never been a more critical time for a conversation like this one.
The evening will be welcomed with a musical introduction from Israeli Shai Shriki singing songs of peace, followed by a conversation with Aziz and time for a moderated Q&A session.
South Everleigh venue details to be shared closer to event date. Drinks will be available for purchase.
With thanks to our event partners
Our program for the evening
5:30pm – Doors open
6:00pm – Musical welcome with Shai Shriki
6:30pm – In conversation with Aziz, followed by Q&A
7:30pm – Music and mingling
8:30pm – Event concludes
A note from Small Giants
We are heartbroken at the current unfolding of events in Israel/Palestine. A home and sacred place for many of us. Our hearts are with our Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters. Small Giants has been working on peace initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians for over a decade and are proud to be hosting Aziz and Shai as two fellow peacebuilders in that region.
If you join us, we encourage you to come with an open heart, an open mind and an orientation towards peace. This conversation is designed to foster connection, not separation.
Meet our guest, Aziz Abu Sarah
Aziz is a renowned figure in peace-building and conflict resolution. With experience in over 60 countries, including conflict zones like Afghanistan and Syria, he's made significant contributions to fostering peace and reconciliation.
A Palestinian-born Muslim, as a young boy Aziz’s older brother was arrested by Israeli soldiers on charges of throwing stones, imprisoned and beaten — and died of his injuries. Aziz grew up seeking revenge – but through meeting other Jews whilst studying Hebrew in later life, he had a realisation: they share much in common. Coming face to face with the “enemy” compelled him to find ways to overcome hatred, anger and fear.
Aziz founded MEJDI Tours to send tourists to Jerusalem with two guides, one Jewish and one Palestinian, each offering a different history story – exploring dual narratives, and teaching how to see the other side. Aziz believes that through travel, connecting to one another and seeing each other for who we are is powerful force for shattering sterotypes and promoting understanding, friendship and peace.
Aziz’s work has earned him the titles of National Geographic Explorer and Ted Fellow. He has written opinion pieces for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Al-Quds, Haaretz, and has been published by National Geographic, CNN, TED, and Al Arabiya. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Strategic Centre in Jordan each year since 2010.
Meet our moderator, Debbie Whitmont
Debbie Whitmont graduated in Arts and Law from Sydney University and practised as a lawyer in legal aid and then for government.
She joined ABC television's Four Corners as a researcher in 1986 and was later awarded a cadetship at the ABC. She worked in ABC News before spending a short time in commercial TV, as both a reporter and a producer.
Returning to Four Corners in 1989, she was a producer, reporter and later an Associate Producer. As a producer she won the Gold Medal at the New York Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy Award for "The Forgotten Famine" (with Mark Colvin). She also won a Logie for "Other People's Money" (with Paul Barry).
From 1993 to 1996 Debbie was ABC TV's Middle East Correspondent, based in Jordan and then in Jerusalem; reporting from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Pakistan among others; filing stories for News, Foreign Correspondent, Lateline and The 7.30 Report.
Since 1998, Debbie has been a Four Corners reporter. She is the author of the book "An Extreme Event", about the fatal 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race. In 2003 she won a Walkley award for her Four Corners' report "About Woomera".
For two consecutive years Debbie has won the Human Rights Commission Award for Journalism: in 2002 for "Inside Story", about the Villawood Detention Centre; and for her report "About Woomera" in 2003.