When two rivers melt in the sea
We become ONE …
An embracing heart, inviting all
To share abundantly
The new creation.
- Saliba Sarsar, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
Perhaps this excerpt from Dr. Sarsar's "Sacred Encounters" best describes his philosophy and approach to learning. Dr. Sarsar's commitment to the students and advocating peace has never waned, both on and off campus. His mission has always been to embrace peoples' differences and work on finding common ground.
"Monmouth University has been my home away from home for more than three decades," said Dr. Sarsar, who graduated from Monmouth College in 1978 and has taught here since 1985.
"I am inspired by the dedication of colleagues and students to learn, serve, and connect to the world or to something beyond themselves," Dr. Sarsar said. "The leadership, experiential, and global programs that Monmouth initiated over the years have been close to my heart and daily work, and are now part of Monmouth's rich fabric. I am grateful for what was, is, and will become. Our journey continues."
Dr. Sarsar received the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice in 2001, the Monmouth University Stafford Presidential Award of Excellence in 2006, the Monmouth University Global Visionary Award in 2007, and the American Task Force on Palestine Award for Academic Excellence in 2013.
Dr. Sarsar was featured the New York Times in 2003 for the Op-Ed, "His Mission: Finding Why People Fight-A Witness to Mideast Conflict Turns to Dialogue and Peace." He is a prolific writer and author of many articles and commentaries on the Middle East; editor of Palestine and the Quest for Peace (2009); and co-editor of Principles and Pragmatism: Key Documents from the American Task Force on Palestine (2006), Patriarch Michel Sabbah-Faithful Witness: On Reconciliation and Peace in the Holy Land (2009), and Democracy in Africa: Political Changes and Challenges (2012).
Dr. Sarsar has brought his experiences as a child growing up in Jerusalem to the pages of two books of poetry. His first, Crosswinds, includes impressions of a teenager experiencing Jerusalem under Jordanian and Israeli rule, and maturing in a land "between war and peace." His second, Seven Gates of Jerusalem, is a personal journey into the depth of dialogue, inclusion and peace. His third book of poetry, Portraits: Poems of the Holy Land, is pending publication. This one is a journey into memory, not as a way to relive the past, but to appreciate anew the significance of life and to imagine a better future for Palestinians and Israelis.
His compassion for others and devotion toward instilling peace and offering hope where cynics run rampant, particularly between Palestinian and Israel, began at an early age. It is fairly safe to say that his Christian upbringing amid Palestinian and Israeli cultures, as well as the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith traditions, played a significant part in shaping him into an open, non-judgmental thinker.