Friday, October 12, 2007

Citizen Diplomacy

The reason trips like mine exist is to practice citizen diplomacy. If I meet Iranians and they meet me the concept is that we will build a deeper understanding.

What is amazing is how many people little old me can affect. I think about everyone on my plane who gave me curious stares and listened intently as I made new friends around me or the people that gather around me on the streets or in the bazaars.

There is tremendous curiosity about why I wanted to come and also a lot mutual understanding about our unpopular presidents that use rhetoric to divert attention from the real issues at hand. Both countries have a real need for an economic boost, not more war.

Would you believe that some Iranians think that the US put Ahmedinijad in power so they could create a real enemy and justify a war?

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