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Washington, DC (March 13, 2018) — Today, Search for Common Ground (Search) received the nomination for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) on behalf of the global Quaker community, for having

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this nomination,” said Shamil Idriss, President and CEO at Search for Common Ground. “The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Quakers after the Second World War recognized the efforts of ordinary citizens who strive to build a more peaceful world. We share that vision and are honored to build on that legacy with our colleagues throughout the world.”

Search for Common Ground was founded in 1982 by former US diplomat John Marks to transform the way humanity deals with conflict and build safer, healthier, more just societies. Since then, Search has grown into the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization with more than 700 staff and volunteers, 1200 partners and programs in more than 40 countries.

On the principle that conflict is inevitable but violence is not, Search has built a 36-year track record of shifting societies’ responses to crises and preventing outbreaks of violence. Through nationally acclaimed radio programming and grassroots mediation, Search was instrumental in promoting interethnic reconciliation in Burundi. In Nepal, Search played a key role in the reintegration of more than 10,000 child soldiers and ex-combatants after the end of the Civil War. Despite the ongoing conflict, Search is one of the few organizations with active programs across Yemen.

“We are very grateful to the Quaker community for this recognition,” said Shoqi A. Maktary, who leads the organization’s programming in Yemen as Country Director. “Looking at Yemen from afar, it is easy to lose hope. But for those of us who work each day with community leaders, teachers, and mediators, it is a powerful acknowledgement that peace doesn’t only come from diplomats and foreign leaders, but it also begins with us, the people.”

“The Quaker acknowledgement of the importance of sustained efforts means a lot to us. We started working in 1995 promoting dialogue and inclusive media at the height of the crisis, when reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi seemed impossible,” said Floride Ahitungiye, Burundi Director at Search. “It is humbling to reflect back on how far we have come since then.”

AFSC-nominated Nobel Peace Prize laureates include Martin Luther King, Jr., Dag Hammarskjold, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and US President Jimmy Carter. As a Nobel laureate, AFSC is able to nominate a candidate for the peace prize to the Oslo Committee each year. AFSC and the British Friends Service Council accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Quakers worldwide in 1947.

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Thank you for your interest. To stay up to date on the latest information from Search For Common Ground, please subscribe to our mailing list.

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