Essay Contest 2005-2006

First Children of Abraham Peace Essay Contest

On November 13, 2005, twenty-six high school students from around the Washington area attended a kick-off event at Georgetown University, and in January submitted essays in which they: described teachings and practices concerning peace in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; recounted an incident from their own lives that illustrated misunderstanding or intolerance; developed a plan for a project that might be carried out in their community to create interfaith understanding. Students submitted their essays in January.

Based on the evaluation of a panel of judges, seven students were named to receive awards: Eliza Adelson, Dana Alsaadi, Zachary Eaton, Avi Edelman, Uneeb Quereshi, and Mindy Zhang. Distinguished journalist Cokie Roberts (right) presented these awards to the students during a candlelight ceremony at the “Peace Out Celebration” held at Georgetown University on March 26, 2006.

The contest generated much enthusiasm among the student participants. “The Children of Abraham Peace Essay Contest was a thoroughly enriching experience that taught me so much about other cultures, about peace, and about myself.” – Avi Edelman (first prize winner)



See photos from the Awards Ceremony



The 2005-2006 Children of Abraham Peace Essay Contest question read:

How might understanding the roots of peace in each of the Abrahamic traditions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—help to bring about religious understanding in your community?

• Identify the similarities that exist between these three faiths, noting especially the role of peace within each of the Abrahamic tradition.

• Cite some examples that illustrate the history of conflict between the Abrahamic religions that has occurred despite the tradition of peace.

• Identify any instances of religious misunderstanding that occur in your community (for instance, among friends, in school, or in your neighborhood/national/global community).

• Finally, from your own research and from the information you have gathered from the Children of Abraham Peace Essay Kick-Off, design a proposal for a project that you can personally implement in your own community to promote peace and religious understanding.

Award Winners

First place –Avi Edelman, (Montgomery Blair High School)
“One God, One Voice: Peace in the Abrahamic Faiths”

Second place –Mindy Zhang, (Robinson Secondary School)
“Education, Dialogue, and Action: The Keys to Generating Religious Understanding

Third place – Zachary Eaton, (Montgomery Blair High School)
“Plan for Peace: An Essay on the Three Abrahamic Faiths”

Honorable Mention – Eliza Adelson, (Holton-Arms School)
“Gardens of Peace”

Honorable Mention – Dana Alsaadi, (Islamic Saudi Academy)
“Embracing Peace…In Hopes of a Better Tomorrow”

Honorable Mention – Uneeb Qureshi, (Thomas S. Wootton High School)
“The Future of Mankind”

Honorable Mention – Heba Tellawi, (Islamic Saudi Academy)
“Peace in the Abrahamic Religions”

On-Line Mentors

Rabbi A. Nathan Abramowitz, Faculty, Theology Department, Georgetown University

Nouredine Ale-Ali, PhD, Author and Islamic Scholar

John Deken, High School Teacher, Columbia, Missouri

David Gage, Ph.D., Founder, BMC Associates

Michael Goldman, Jewish Chaplain, Georgetown University Law and Medical Centers

Nancy Petschek-Kohn, Director, Juvenile Anti-Bias Education Program

Molly Linehan, High School Campus Minister, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School

Fr. William McFadden, S.J., Faculty, Theology Department, Georgetown University

Zachary McIntyre, High School Teacher, Guymon, Oklahoma

Sabree Muhammad, High School Teacher, Bronx, New York

June Murray-Crawford, High School Teacher, Hudson, Massachusetts

Professor Sulayman S. Nyang, Professor of African Studies, Howard University

Muhammad Shafi, Ph.D., CEO,  Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dar al Islam

William (Issa) Shandor, Director, American School of Agadir, Morocco

Essay Judges

Karima Diane Alavi, former Director, Dar al  Islam Teachers’ Institute

Andrew R. Ammerman, CEO,  Ammerman Investment Partnership

Reverend Raymond B. Kemp, Resident Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center,  Georgetown University

Alex Kronemer, Writer, Film Producer  and Lecturer on Religious Diversity

Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi, Washington Hebrew Congregation

Josetta (“Jo”) Owen, Teacher, Volunteer, and Philanthropist