The Muslim Experience in Minnesota

Written on July 29, 2014, by

IARP endorses the following event…. TRACKS IN THE SNOW. Read more here via Star Tribune. 

From the Islamic Resource Group:

It’s not often that we get to learn about the journeys of people from diverse backgrounds. It’s not often that we get to walk in the shoes of our neighbors, and reflect about the growth of our community in a meaningful way.

Tracks in the Snow provides a glimpse into the lives of one of the least known and rapidly expanding populations in America and in Minnesota – the Muslim community. Join us to gain a deeper insight into the true lives of Muslims Minnesotans as narrated by themselves.

Most importantly, join us to create a conversation. Let the exhibit inform your perceptions and tell us what you think! Tracks in the Snow is a way for us to come together and redefine the narrative about Minnesota Muslims by beginning an authentic dialogue and continuing the journey.


Carondelet Event and Retreat Center
1890 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55105

The show runs from August 25 to September 22 at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul.

Free to visitors. For hours and more information, click here.

Community Reception:

September 18, 7:00 – 8:00 PM

Carondelet Center

Sister City Day | July 20 At Nicollet Island

Written on July 10, 2014, by

Every year we look forward to the annual Sister Cities Day!  Mark your calendar, save the date and bring the family to Sister Cities Day on Sunday, July 20th, at the Nicollet Island Pavilion.

Free ice cream social, youth international performers Songs of Hope, multicultural performances by the Sister Cities and kids activities. All for free as part of the Minneapolis Aquatennial Celebration.

All 10 Sister City Groups will be in attendance, including IARP! Come say hi at our booth.


2nd Annual Sister City Cruise Recap

Written on July 10, 2014, by

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the annual celebration cruise! The rain held off and mist came off the river at sunset, we danced on the upper deck to Arabic music… a wonderful time was had by all. Nine film makers and their families were introduced to the sold out crowd of 85 guests and Suaad Allami spoke for a few minutes about her work promoting woman’s rights in Iraq. Until next year!

**photos by Marisa McGinty & Hannah Johnson

Maps showing activity in Iraq, June 1

Written on June 16, 2014, by

IARP would like to share the following link, information via The New York Times of interest: non-partisan, informative pictures/maps.


“Unforgetting Iraq: In Search of Recovery” in Kimballton, Iowa

Written on May 23, 2014, by

By Tricia Khutoretsky, IARP Curator

In early May, I took an overnight trip to Kimballton, Iowa on behalf of the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project to install a special exhibit for the New Century Art Guild. NCAG is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that promotes the growth of artistic culture and development of art-related careers in the Midwest, especially those of military veterans wishing to make new careers in visual art. The organization supports three buildings that feature over 4000 square feet of studio and gallery space located on the Main Street of Kimballton, Iowa.


May 2014 Reconciliation Report: Reconciliation Takes Many Forms

Written on May 22, 2014, by

From IARP Executive Director Kathy McKay’s article in the May 2014 Reconciliation Report newsletter:

The work of reconciliation takes many forms. Fostering connections between civilians in the US and civilians in Iraq is one of the ways at IARP that we work toward better understanding between the people of our two countries.

It is through the collective effort of volunteers, interns, contract employees, Board members, donors and email readers from both countries that opinions change, new ideas form, positive curiosities are aroused, and friends are made.


Muslim Christian Dialogue Series, April 27

Written on April 18, 2014, by

Prophets, Patriarchs, and People of Promise: Jesus

On Sunday, April 27, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. the Muslim Christian Dialogue Series will discuss the life of Jesus as situated in both Islam and Christianity. Local leaders presenting and moderating are Owais Bayunus, interfaith program director for the Islamic Center of Minnesota, and Dan Collison, Senior Pastor of First Covenant Church, Minneapolis. Both have extensive experience and involvement in their local and religious communities. RSVP here.

Date: April 27, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Islamic Center of Minnesota, Fridley, MN

The Muslim Christian Dialogue series has provided a peaceful space for various faiths to participate in monthly discussions in the Twin Cities for 25 years. For more information about this event and others, please visit their site or call 612-870-3600.

What is currently happening in Iraq?

Written on April 13, 2014, by

By Kathy McKay, Executive Director

This article was originally requested by Friends for a Nonviolent World, a Minnesota state-wide peace and justice organization, and also is appearing in FNVW’s Nonviolent Times Newsletter, Winter 2014.

In 2012, during the most active months of the Arab Spring in the Middle East, as protests swept across the countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen, so also were Iraqi activists marching in Baghdad. Each Friday, after prayer, they were not marching to overthrow their relatively new, duly elected government. They were marching to hold their elected officials more accountable and their focus was threefold:

1. To repair and replace the electrical grid to provide constant reliable power.

2. To repair the water treatment plants and delivery systems to provide accessible clean water.

3. To root out government corruption at all levels, especially in Baghdad.

The basic tenets of a civil society are to be found in a democracy to which people are entitled, one respectful of its citizens and responsible for their safety. This democracy should include orderly services, a well-maintained infrastructure and public education for all. These expectations are universal.

The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has not met these demands. While citizens of Najaf report more hours of electricity available during the day, there has been no significant improvement in the availability of clean water to households.


The Hope of Muslim Christian Dialogue

Written on April 13, 2014, by

The following is a brief excerpt from a speech given by Dr. Terry Nichols at the University of St. Thomas on March 3, 2014. Dr. Nichols is co-director of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center and has been a quiet giant in the community supporting dialogue and understanding between Muslims and Christians. For more information on Dr. Nichols or the Dialogue Center, click here.  To read the full speech, click here.

Good Evening! My lecture tonight concerns the hope of Muslim Christian dialogue, and perhaps the best place to start is to clarify what we mean by Muslim Christian dialogue. In fact, there are several forms of dialogue. The document Dialogue and Proclamation, issued by The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 1991, lists four types of dialogue. They describe these as follows: 

“The dialogue of life, where people strive to live in an open and neighborly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations. The dialogue of action, in which Christians and others collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people. The dialogue of theological exchange, where specialists seek to deepen their understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other’s spiritual values. The dialogue of religious experience, where persons rooted in their own religious traditions, share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.”

To read the full speech, click here.

March 2014 Reconciliation Report: From the Start of a Sister City Relationship to Mayor of Minneapolis

Written on March 18, 2014, by

From the March, 2014 Reconciliation Report:

On a warm summer day in 2008 a handful of citizens were ushered into the small meeting room of Minneapolis City Council Member, Betsy Hodges. On the agenda was discussion of a possible Sister City relationship with Najaf, Iraq. Marie Braun, Kate Fournier, Sami Rasouli, Professor Sara Axtell and myself were included in the group.

Through background provided by Lauren Maker of the City Coordinator’s office, Councilperson Hodges was prepared. She said “Yes, I think this is a good idea. I will sponsor this resolution.” In the summer of 2009 the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed the resolution declaring Minneapolis’ intent to enter into its 10th Sister City relationship. The corresponding affirmation was received from Najaf Province and so it was!

Each year we have celebrated the connection between Minneapolis and Najaf  with visitors, art shows and academic exchanges. In November of 2013 we were elated to celebrate with Ms. Hodges her election to be Mayor of the City of Minneapolis. As a consistent enthusiast of our Sister City relationship we look forward to even more celebrations and visits that will include Mayor Hodges.

To read the full March, 2014 Reconciliation Report newsletter, click here.

The Reconciliation Report is a periodic e-newsletter sent out by IARP. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.