Sir Rateb Rabie to speak on "Building Bridges of Peace Through Books" at the week-long event which also features book fair, author readings at nursing homes, readings by families and groups, awards, free seminars and panel discusssions.
Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, President of Maryland-based Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation which pleads the cause of Palestinian Christians, will keynote the headline symposium marking this year.s International Read For Peace Week, August 1-6, in Dubuque Iowa.
With Building Bridges of Peace Through Books as its theme, the event comes against the backdrop of the high casualty Iraq War and Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, the genocide in Darfur Sudan that has claimed UN estimated 200, 000 lives and displaced about 3 million people, and the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has reportedly taken 3.3 million lives and displaced about 2.25 million people since 1998, among others.
Organizers, Family Reading Ministries, Inc. Iowa, believe there has never been a better time for books to mirror and promote peace than now when statistics by US-based book tracking firm, R.R. Bowker, show that there have been significant increases in the number of books published, the number of publishers and the amount of revenue derived from book sales in recent years.
"It therefore behooves the book trade to turn those statistics into assets for global peace," opines Family Reading Ministries, Inc. founder Paschal Eze, adding that the trade would further benefit from individuals, organizations and families reading together for at least one hour during the International Read For Peace Week.
Other highlights of the Week include the August 4-6 Christian Book Fair International which is expected to be declared open by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. In attendance would be Christian authors of secular and spiritual books, publishers of such books, book lovers, and others from across the US and around the world who would be networking, marketing, selling and cross-pollinating ideas.
There would also be the Authors Reading To Seniors event at three Dubuque nursing homes, and free seminars by resource persons like 27-year-old Detroit Michigan-based newspaper editor and Ignoring The Underprivileged author Bankole Thompson.
At the 2005 event, exhibitors came from across the US and countries like Canada, United Kingdom, Croatia and India.