Creating the “Rainbow Nation”
South Africa’s Experiment with Truth and Reconciliation

GUEST LECTURER:  Amb. Ebrahim Rasool 

Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School for Foreign Service. He works in the Al Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, advancing an alternative paradigm to the inertia of Orthodoxies in the face of Extremisms. He is the founder of the World for All Foundation that endeavors to create a world of coexistence and that is safe for difference.

Ambassador Rasool has recently completed a term of duty as South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States of America, an appointment that was the culmination of a distinguished record of Public Service in South Africa. Previously he served as a Member of Parliament in South Africa’s National Assembly, Special Advisor to the State President and has built up extensive experience in various Departments like Health, Welfare, Finance and Economic Development in the capacity of Provincial Minister.

Founder of the World for All Foundation, Ambassador Rasool is active in rethinking the intellectual tools for co-operative relations between faiths, cultures and communities at a global level, and establishing dignity, inclusion and equity for those marginalized and excluded. The World for All is especially active among Muslim Minority communities, transferring examples of co-existence from South Africa, and increasingly is acting as a conduit for Nelson Mandela’s lessons to the Muslim heartlands in need of freedom, democracy and human rights.

Ebrahim Rasool studied at the University of Cape Town where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature and Economic History, and a Higher Diploma in Education. He has an incomplete Honors in Literary Criticism, started while in prison. In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, by the Roosevelt University in Chicago, and the Doctorate of Public Service, Honoris Causa from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

Summary:

There are still serious problems in the “new” South Africa, which, as a country, is only in its 20s. Ambassador Rassool finds three groups of people: the leftists, who never “bought” the idea of a pragmatic, compromising South Africa with a mixed economy; those born over the last 20 years, who didn’t live through (and who, in some cases, have been protected from knowing about) the old days, and thus have no benchmark against which to measure modern problems; and the “old guard,” who do have such a benchmark and thus have trouble understanding why the young and the left are angry or ungrateful. Keep Reading.

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