Olive Tree Initiative Club Hosts President Obama's Sister

The Olive Tree Initiative OTI attempts to promote dialogue and understanding of conflicts and trains students to become more empathetic about issues. For the first time since its inception, a group of young juniors at University High School in Irvine have pioneered the initiative at their high school in order to build understanding between different cultures and promote peace. 
"We are color blind. We don't care about someone's color or religion and we don't make friends based on that," said Sara Ali, president of the Club.

Ellen Emerson, vice president, thinks that "we'll more alike than different, if we care to learn."

That's exactly what OTI promotes, an experiential understanding so that students get multiple perspectives. The Club's first event was with a world class speaker, President Obama's sister, Dr Maya Soetoro Ng, who read from her children's book and signed copies of it for the excited audience. She was followed by Karen Gottlieb, a Jewish teacher who wrote a book Mommy am I a...? with a Pakistani teacher, Anila Ali.

Both the books promote peace and multiculturalism.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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