Fast Facts about MECH

MECHhouse

A little background before you dive in . . .

What it is:
MECH (Middle East Coexistence House) consists of an entire floor in a Douglass College residence hall that brings together up to sixteen young women from diverse backgrounds to promote women’s involvement in international conflict resolution and negotiation.

Where it is:
Jameson Hall, a women’s residence on the Douglass College campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Founded by:
Danielle Josephs of Teaneck, New Jersey, when she was a senior in 2006.

Number of participants:
12 (2006–07), 16 (2007–08).

Goals for each participant:
Learn about the Middle East and ultimately improve Jewish-Muslim relations; Also serve as an ambassador in her own community, spreading the values of mutual understanding, mutual respect and coexistence.

Required course for participants:
Middle East Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
Description: This course is designed to explore the complexities of a contemporary conflict and introduce students to the concepts, theory, and practice of community building, peacemaking, and conflict resolution in the context of the Middle East. Through case studies, class presentations, and group projects, students will develop the ability to analyze conflicts, as well as make recommendations for change.

School credits received for living in house:
1.5 credits.

Hall décor:
Posters and photos of key figures from all faiths.

What the house isn’t:
“It is not holding hands and singing Kumbaya.”

Religion of residents include:
Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Agnostic.

Country origins of past and current residents:
Egypt
Hungary
India
Iran
Israel
Jordan
Lebanon
Pakistan
Palestinian Territories
Poland
Taiwan
Ukraine
United States
Uzbekistan

Languages spoken in the house:
Arabic
English
Farsi
Hebrew
Pashtun
Polish
Russian
Urdu
Yiddish

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