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Tragedy leads to dialogue

May 18, 2005

mutual respect.

"Our work becomes that much more difficult [after the news

report]," Ahmed said. "People whose job it is to understand the

Muslim world did something to incite them ... We must not inflame the

passions of people."

Ahmed and Pearl had never met before their first conversation.

Still, they shared something: Daniel Pearl was killed in Karachi,

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Pakistan, the city where Ahmed was born.

"A strange gloom set over me after his death," Ahmed said. "It

worried me. I knew this was a great crisis for us as a society.

"I was grateful [Judea Pearl] has converted this personal tragedy

into this great dialogue."

After an hour of one-on-one conversation, the speakers answered

audience questions.

Dale Dwelle, co-president of UC Irvine's Model United Nations,

asked the speakers how he could help unite Jewish and Muslim students

on campus.

"Over the past few years, a few events have spawned tensions,"

Dwelle said. "We tend to feel powerless, and I wanted to know what we

could do."

Pearl said the first step is to hold events in which open dialogue

is encouraged.

"The hot issues are often not discussed," Pearl said. "That's a

great disservice to everyone."

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