This is such a compelling story! Told clearly, simply and passionately, it reflects Ruth Sharone's amazing capacity in film and now in the written word to convey the practice and the power of citizen diplomacy, how one individual and groups of friends and colleagues can create hope where there is despair, empowerment where there is fear and uncertainty, love where there is suspicion, and the power to change where there has been depression and helplessness.

If learned helplessness is the essence of depression then Ruth's method is learned helpfulness, the empowerment that comes from the dogged determination to make connections beyond adversarial lines where no one else has--and to document it simply and clearly! Bravo to Ruth for showing the power to weave in new ways American society and global civilization.

--Dr. Marc Gopin,

James H. Laue Professor, Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University