A.C.E. President David Woodward’s experience and connections with the Middle East prompted an invitation on Wednesday, May 4, to share his thoughts at the Seattle Rotary Club regarding recent events in the region. David was born in Tehran, Iran, and grew up in Ahwaz, part of an area nicknamed “Arabistan” and near to Kuwait. David went on to study Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Islamics at the University of Washington in 1977 and has continued to travel and keep close friendships in the Middle East throughout his life. David’s numerous close friendships in the region enabled his 23-year-old daughter Isabelle to create her own “study abroad” experience there, in which she spent over two months traveling and meeting with David’s business associates and friends. (Read more about Isabelle’s trip in her blog at www.isabellejw.blogspot.com).
In light of recent political events and the death of Osama bin Laden, David described the current situation as one in which in which the Muslim and Western worlds are at a crossroads and have the choice to “revert to the ancient law of the jungle or to go ahead into a world based on full inclusion and human rights for all.” He sees the lines blurring between these two worlds and a renewed opportunity to create a mutually cohesive and beneficial future.