Aziz Abu Sarah is a National Geographic Explorer and Cultural Educator, as well as a TED Fellow. He is the co-founder of MEJDI Tours, a social enterprise focused on introducing multi-narrative cultural education and responsible business practices to the travel industry. The company aims to redefine the meaning of travel and its clients include National Geographic, Notre Dame and Boston University. MEJDI has been recognized by the UN World Tourism Organization, UN Alliance of Civilizations, and BMW Group for its innovations in travel and education. In the past, Aziz also served as the Executive Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University (2009-2015), and was the chairman of the joint Israeli-Palestinian organization the Bereaved Families Forum (2006 to 2010).
In the field, Aziz has pioneered and managed projects in conflict resolution and community relations in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Washington D.C, the Virgin Islands, and other sites. He is the co-director of the “I Am Your Protector” interfaith campaign. He also is a cofounder of Project Amal ou Salam, a grassroots relief organization for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
In the media, Aziz has co-produced and hosted the National Geographic web series Conflict Zone, a series that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of Palestinian refugees, the Israeli Defense Forces, Jewish settlers, and more. Aziz has also published articles in the New York Times, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, Alarabiya, and others. He frequently provides expert analysis for television news programs such as Al Jazeera, CNN and Fox.
Aziz has been honored to receive numerous awards, including the Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East from the Institute of International Education, the Silver Rose Award from the European Parliament, the Eisenhower Medallion from People to People International, and the Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism from Search for Common Ground. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized Aziz Abu Sarah’s work during his speech at the 5th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in February 2013, and the UNAOC and BMW Group awarded him the intercultural innovation award in 2011. and Aziz has been named one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims” by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre for six years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015).