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How to Be a Diplomat
January 07, 2017
How to be a diplomat-- changing hearts and minds on the world stage, or in a small Midwestern town named after a Muslim military hero.


Pete Souza | Wikimedia Commons
Changing the World...From the 'Cheap Seats' January 06, 2017
We kick off our diplomacy show at the biggest diplomatic body in the world, the United Nations. You might not know that it’s home to some 400 groups with an agenda based on faith. Two of these groups' representatives include Daniel Perell, a Baha'i, and Sally Dunne, a Catholic. To understand their role, they tell us, picture this scene: on a stage, where everyone can see, there's a big, round table with world leaders sitting around it. Way up in the rafters--the "cheap seats" as Dunne likes to say--are the priests, the rabbis, and other people of faith, watching and listening. They call it the "ministry of presence."

Sally Dunne, UN Representative with the Loretto Community
Daniel Perell, UN Representative with the Baha'i International Community
Andrea Wenzel
Meet Frederique and Brian, Iowa's Reluctant Cultural Ambassadors January 06, 2017
Welcome to Elkader, Iowa, population: 1,273. It's surrounded by corn and soybean fields and looks like a lot of towns in the Midwest. But it's the only one named after an Arab Muslim—a bearded military hero in a white shall, Emir Abd el Qader. The town has Anglicized his name a bit; they call themselves Elkader. Despite the homage to a hero of Islam, few residents have ever met a Muslim. So Frederique and Brian, owners of Schera's Algerian Restaurant on Main Street, have become the town's default cultural ambassadors.

Andrea Wenzel reported this story, which first aired on PRI's The World in 2012.




Emir Abd el Qader, Sufi jihadist and official muse of Elkader, Iowa.
Mirko Ries
Religious Freedom Ambassador David Saperstein January 07, 2017
Rabbi Saperstein was appointed by President Obama as America's Ambassador for International Religious Freedom--the first non-Christian in that role. In his final days in office, he joins us in the studio to talk about why people around the world are routinely harassed and killed because of their faith, and to reflect on what first drew him to the role. “Jews have been the quintessential victims of religious persecution in the world,” he tells us. “And we know what evil can be done when good people stand by and watch the innocent being victimized.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom under President Obama