Conflict Management Group, a non-profit based in Cambridge, has been training Iraqis in negotiation skills since 2006, with promising results. The Iraqi mediators have helped people address disputes ranging from small arguments between neighbors to potentially deadly political battles and kidnappings.
I wrote in the Globe today about this Iraq mediation project, and about the broader mediation industry that has mushroomed in the last 40 or so years in the Boston area.
There wasn't space for these images of one negotiation in progress, in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, in the summer of 2008. The photos were taken by Sa'ad al-Khalidy, the mediation program coordinator in Iraq for Mercy Corps, which merged with CMG four years ago. They give a clear sense of the interplay between the locak sheiks and tribal officials as they tackle a dispute over a plot of inherited land.
The caption for the main picture illustrating the story omits the nice detail that the current coordinator for the Iraq program at CMG, Arthur Martirosyan, is shown in front of a portrait of Roger Fisher, taken in the stately Roger Fisher House in Cambridge. Fisher is the lengendary Harvard Law School professor who wrote "Getting to Yes" in 1981, the best-selling, user-friendly manual on managing conflict that captured the essence of years of his scholarly thinking. Fisher went on to found CMG in 1984, and has taken part in mediating many global conflicts around the world, from Northern Ireland to Latin America and South Africa.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
Is your organization holding an event? Post it on our calendar (use "worldlyboston" for the keyword).