Green Cleaning

Green cleaning is the newest and probably the most important innovation ever implemented in the residential and industrial cleaning industry. Every living and industrial area needs cleaning, repair and maintenance to a certain degree. Things and spaces eventually get worn out and dirty. They have to be cleaned whether people like it or not, and this is exactly why the cleaning industry is an important and profitable industry despite not glamorous at all.

Cleaning products produced each day are worth millions of dollars. Americans pay for these products as well as for cleaning services. Commercial establishments and office spaces need to be cleaned in order to improve revenue and promote efficiency among employees. Companies will pay top cash for cleaning products and services to keep their businesses afloat.

Most recently, the cleaning industry has turned a new leaf and decided to protect the environment as they clean residential and industrial spaces. Green cleaning makes use of products with environmentally friendly ingredients; it does away with products that contain toxic chemicals that could harm the atmosphere and cause skin and breathing problems to people. Eco-friendly or “green” products are also biodegradable.

If you or your company has not yet switched to clean greening, you should consider hiring a green cleaning service to get things done for the following reasons. Clean greening benefits not only the environment but also you and your family or employees. Promoting a clean and green environment is good for everybody’s health, safety and over-all wellbeing. It is time to lessen, if not totally stop the use of toxic materials on several items that we physically handle every day such as tables, chairs and other pieces of furniture.

Green cleaning also improves air quality. Toxins and other harmful materials get airborne all the time, and once they start moving through air, there’s no saying where they could end up next. It could be on your skin or inside your lungs.

Respiratory illnesses are mostly due to the poor quality air that people breathe. Illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and respiratory infections are serious problems if unchecked immediately. However, taking medicines or seeing your doctor is just half solving the problem if the quality of air is not improved.

Finally, hiring a green cleaning service is personally rewarding and socially uplifting knowing that you have done something for Mother Nature even in a small way. There is scientific proof that the world we live in slowly dying down. It is time for us to be more responsible and responsive in what we do. Using green cleaning methods and products may seem simple but it is a good start.

Corporations and some affluent American families don’t do the cleaning themselves, but that does not mean they are not accountable for the type of cleaning employed and products used. Today more than ever, it is necessary to hire janitorial services that are mindful of the environment. Corporations and families should check whether the services they hire make use of eco-friendly cleaning products only.

A green-oriented cleaning company makes use of non-toxic materials and abides by eco-friendly policies. They also avoid using cleaning equipment that emit harmful materials in the atmosphere.

Monks Without Borders


Monks Without Borders is a nonprofit interfaith organization
and international network of teachers, healers, activists,
advocates, and peace loving people from all around the globe -
including: monks, nuns, priests, rabbis, swamis, imams,
and clergy members, from the world’s religious traditions.

We are improving spiritual literacy and interfaith cooperation
by establishing a museum of world religions, with an interfaith
monastery and experts on site.

We are promoting non-violence and inspiring a new generation
of peace makers by publishing compelling multimedia content
including a free, online, peace studies course for young adults.
We are serving the public benefit in communities around the
world, by establishing chapters engaged in community
service projects, interfaith cooperation, and regional
peace building efforts.

Equipped with the intention to embody unconditional love,
and with the resolve to teach peace by demonstrating it,
we contribute whatever we can, wherever we happen to be,
ever committed to a world that works for everyone.

Because a spirit of friendship between cultures has become
more urgent for world peace than ever before. Because more
peace education and interfaith programs are crucial for
reversing the trend towards our mutual destruction.
Because we are committed to a world that works for everyone.

Teaming Up With The Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League is teaming up with Monks Without Borders to promote Religious Tolerance in schools across America.  They’ll be incorporating our short, commercial length VIDEO into their national education program, A World of Difference.  Throughout the year the Anti-Defamation League will put our video into the hands of about 12,000 educators and 35,000 students.  The ADL is a leading provider of anti-bias education and diversity programs and resources that help children and adults to challenge prejudice and discrimination, and learn to live and work successfully in an increasingly diverse world. For more information about ADL’s program

Fall Footprints: Elisabeth Ziegler-Duregger

Elisabeth Ziegler-Duregger – Portrait of a Peacemaker

“When you grow up in Lienz, you become a tree, and trees do not leave.”

Elisabeth spoke these words to me as we hiked a short trail up the Eastern Tyrolian Alps in Austria. I stopped by her small town of Lienz to pay her a visit after ambling through Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on an aimless vacation. Predominantly Catholic, Lienz is nestled snugly in Western Austria between two breathtaking Alps mountain ranges. The train ride there was full of picturesque white churches resting at the base of the valley. Sun-drenched in the summer and snow-soaked in the winter, it’s a beautiful village at the confluence of the Isel and Drava rivers.

I came with the ‘excuse’ of wanting to help her out with her interfaith projects, even though my German was limited to a few, trivial phrases (“Do you speak German?” ; “Come on baby!”). In reality, though, it was my first journey to a see true peacemaker in action. Her work embodies the spirit of pacifism and imaginative originality. In thought and deed since childhood, Elisabeth has always felt the spark of peace and creativity converge inside of her. “Peace is not an end,” She told me, “The real value of peace lies in its ability to form friendships.”

In 1974, before she was twenty, Elisabeth became of the head of the Lienz Public Library, located inside the city’s Franciscan Monastery. She’s been working at the library ever since, all the while trying to engage her local community to open up about issues of theology and gender. Lienz isn’t a particularly diverse town either. Almost every resident is brought up Catholic, although with its recent refugee housing development it has begun to welcome folks from different cultural backgrounds. I did hear that one of her friends was Buddhist (as am I, although I didn’t meet her) and that Lienz is home to a single Baha’i couple (whom I did meet).

On my first full day, she brought me to St. Helena – a 300 year-old hilltop church with an enormous, deciduous tree twice that age towering among those South-facing Alps. Our walk there was coupled with wonderful peace shrines with prayers for the earth. Cows with bells, fresh mountains, brooks, friends who drink fresh creek water together, she helped me realize the thread dividing life and death is so small, so why hurry? The view from the top over Lienz and E. Tyrol made me completely forget my yearning to find a playable piano. God, friendship, the holy spirit, and Elisabeth’s blessed presence as first washed away all feelings of inadequacy.

We later walked to her hut nestled amidst the monumental Austrian mountains. Rows of trees lay beneath us with a tiny pool just down the hill. 1800 meters up in the freshest air and water I could possibly breath. We spent over five hours resting on her porch, talking about the great spiritual power of these mountains. Her words reached out to the mountains and they in turn echoed a tender, sharp emotional response which I couldn’t help but be moved by. The crisp, alpine atmosphere that surrounds Lienz leads its residents to harbor a deep connection to the environment. Its presence was strong within me and I was only there for a weekend.

This spiritual tendency has manifested itself into a great many creative, community minded projects for Elisabeth. Despite the lack of religious and ethnic diversity in Lienz, Elisabeth has succeeded in engaging her hometown neighborhood with creative forms of interfaith dialogue and intercultural service.

Here are a few of her most recent undertakings to foster friendship in her life:

The Little Owl – a children’s story written by Lene Mayer-Skumanz with pictures from the Italian artist Salvatore Sciascia, with music for the story written by the Madagascan band Mahaleo. The story focuses on a small owl who tries to find out who created the world. Elisabeth facilitated the translation of this story into over 30 languages. If you’re interested in translating this story into your native tongue, or would like to read the story, please go here .

Stones of Encounter – The project has already gathered stones from over 80 countries. If you’re interested in sending a sacred stone from your local community to the project, you may contact Elisabeth at

Bells of Peace & Friendship – Elisabeth has worked with the timing of the bells from ten different churches in Lienz. When these bells ring, members from the community take a moment, twice each day, to think what they can do to bring about peace & friendship in her self, family, or village.

Poetry CD – Elisabeth has written a number of beautiful poems ranging from issues of spirituality to the healing process after losing a child. The saxophone / piano duo Saxolution accompanies her poems, which are voiced by the wonderful Austrian actress Heilwig Pfanzelter. You can preview the music and purchase one of her albums here.

By Seth Kinzie – Outreach Director of Monks Without Borders

Peaceful Blockades vs. Honduras Coup

Article By Al Giordano

Take a look at the roadmap of Honduras, above.

In the lower center is the capital city of Tegucigalpa, with only four routes connecting it to the rest of the country and the continent.

Narco News can confirm, together with reports in other media, that at least three of those four routes – the three most important – have been successfully shut down by peaceful occupations by a citizenry opposed to the coup d’etat regime, as well as vital arteries in the country’s northern coastal regions.

The most important – which links Tegucigalpa to the second largest city, San Pedro Sula to the Northwest – is blocked five kilometers outside of the capital, in the town of El Durazno, reports the French Press Agency (AFP):

“There are also blockades in the Southern Highway, between Juiticalpa and Limones (150 kilometer east of the Capital), between Santa Rosa de Copán and the borders of Guatemala and El Salvador (450 kilometers to the Northeast and in Choloma, in the highway to Puerto Cortés (250 kilometers to the north)…”

(Chomula is an industrial center for multi-national sweatshops, where the workers have taken up the struggle to topple the coup regime.)

“All the protests will be peaceful,” social leader Rafael Alegría told the pro-coup daily La Prensa. Israel Salinas of the United Workers Federation of Honduras (CUTH, in its Spanish initials), the largest bloc of labor unions in the country, confirmed earlier this morning that its members had targeted and would join in the blockades nationwide: “In Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and other areas where the conditions exist to execute these blockades at strategic points, that will be done.” Hours later, the CUTH and other social organizations have complied with their promise.

La Prensa also confirmed: “The San Pedro Sula-Santa Rosa de Copán Highway is blocked at Gracias Lempira.” Radio Globo just confirmed that report, counting the blockaders “in the thousands.”

Reporter Brian Flores of the daily El Libertador in Tegucigalpa phoned in to Radio Progreso (listen to it here) to confirm that the highway southbound from Tegucigalpa toward El Salvador is totally cut-off.

Radio Globo confirms (listen at that link) that the northern, southern and western routes from and to Tegucigalpa are paralyzed.

Union organizations in Nicaragua and El Salvador have announced that they will close the border routes with Honduras in solidarity with the Honduran blockades.

If you study the map, above, of the few highways in Honduras that connect its commercial centers, the confirmed reports indicate that the popular protests have already shut down the veins and arteries of country’s economy. It is highly likely that other roads and highways are also now under blockade, but we are taking great pains to report only those ones upon which we have been able to confirm. Readers unfamiliar with the condition of secondary roads in Honduras may not be aware that once one of these main highways is shut down, there are no alternate routes.

This is the strategy that, from 2003 to 2005, toppled three repressive presidents in the nation of Bolivia, one after the other.

These current blockades in Honduras have been called, initially, for 48 hours, beginning this morning. Check back here for around-the-clock updates.

This is a major news story. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the English language international media is slow to report it. Maybe their correspondents are caught in traffic? Honduras under the coup has now ground to a halt. This, kind readers, is history in the making…

Update 2:14 p.m. ET, 12:14 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: AP has a report in Spanish confirming much of this information. Rafael Alegria of Via Campesina – one of the 30 social organizations participating in the blockades – tells reporters: “You can verify, here, that there is not a single machete knife, pistol or rifle. This is a peaceful march.”

Update 2:25 p.m. ET, 12:25 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: One hour ago, in the highway to Catacamas (in the eastern part of the map, above), a coup military convoy plowed forward over the peaceful blockaders and one of its trucks ran over two people, according to a live report right now on Radio Globo.

2:36 p.m. ET, 12:36 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: Prensa Latina reports that among the locations to which the blockade has successfully closed ingress and egress is the national park at Copán, site of excavated Mayan ruins and the crown jewel of Honduran tourism.

2:40 p.m. ET, 12:40 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: Congressman and presidential candidate in the upcoming November 29 elections Cesar Ham, exiled under death threats from the coup regime (and errantly reported dead for some hours in the early days of the coup) has just landed at the Toncontin International Airport. “We have returned anew with much enthusiasm and desire to accompany our people to reestablish the democratic order in our country and to demand the immediate and unconditional return of President Zelaya,” he told reporters upon arrival.

3:24 p.m. ET, 1:24 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: Here’s an AFP photo of the blockade at Durazno on the Tegucigalpa-San Pedro Sula highway:

A picture is worth a thousand words…

4:09 p.m. ET, 2:09 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: The human rights organization Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (Cofadeh) reports that between the coup of June 28 and July 11, the regime committed more than 1,000 documented violations of the human rights of citizens. The 1,155 documented violations 1,046 illegal arrests of Honduran citizens. Those numbers include only very serious cases, and only those that the human rights organization has been able to document, and do not include acts of intimidation and threats, which have also been widespread.

UPDATE 7:54 p.m. ET, 5:54 p.m. in Catacamas, Honduras: This just in from a source in President Zelaya’s state of Olancho…

The military has surrounded his home here in Catacamas…

Other homes of Zelayas’ family members in Olancho are surrounded as well..

Military jets have been circling Catacamas today…

I saw the jets…

Helicopters as well…

The military has occupied roads leading to this area…

Additional military troops have arrived to Aguacate airbase…

Military trucks have hit a pedestrian in Catacamas…

Additional troops are in Aguacate…

Clearly, the statement by Honduran foreign-minister-in-exile Patricia Rodas that Zelaya was in the the process of “walking home” has the coup regime very spooked.

7:59 p.m. ET, 5:59 p.m. in Tegucigalpa: The EFE wire service report has this interesting paragraph about today’s continuing blockades:

The protests have been carried out in a peaceful manner, according to the leaders and spokesmen of the police who had warned about the possibility of disturbances.

It’s a revealing statement because the pro-coup media had been raising the loud specter of violence by the protesters, including a completely irresponsible statement by Dictator-for-19-Days Roberto Micheletti yesterday alleging that the demonstrators had been armed with guns. When an oligarchy gets all whipped up into such a media-induced paranoid froth, its members and even its enforcers tend to talk themselves into believing it.

That in the course of the first daytime of the 48 hour protest the coup opponents have convinced the police otherwise is one of the powers of nonviolent action. It also shows the three marks of victorious social movements: Unity. Planning. Discipline. All very positive signs for the eventual outcome.


Blog from Outreach Director Seth Kinzie

Outreach Director Seth Kinzie has written a blog on the website Intent. In the following post titled “Peace With Every Breath” he discusses meditation. Despite the occasional uncomfortableness of keeping up practice Seth uses it as a platform to think about human experience. Telling us to seek “Peace with every breath, and peace with every step” .

Below is an excerpt from Seth’s blog on

Pacific rebellion. That’s how I’ve been viewing meditation lately when I sit at dawn in the morning with my Buddhist friends. There’s endless talk of hostility, deception, and wasteful deeds in the paper and daily conversation. What better way to counteract all of that – than to sit in awareness, with nothing to accomplish, for an hour.

I’m not a morning person either; I often grumble at having to get up at 5:30, although I do like the sounds of the birds before the sun rises, they seem to be most vibrant just after waking. Yet this rebellion with my friends, this pilgrimaging aimlessly with each breath, always turns out to be a good idea. There’s something wonderful about experiencing the rising and falling of the body, the breath, the thought, the sense that I have been blessed with the powerful opportunity to ignite life, or lie on my bed with no plans, or by calling a friend with good news, or with no news. Eventually, after settling down into a sit, I place my faith in the body to transform itself into something the slightest bit more serene, and all these wonders and worries disintegrate into colorful, indecipherable ash.

If you would like to read more about Seth’s thoughts you can follow this link

Pakistan Chapter Update

Our Chapter in Lahore, Pakistan has been working hard to heal those affected by the Mass shooting of the Islam Ahmadi sect that killed 90 people while in prayer, and injured over 100 more.
They have offered flowers, wreaths, candles, and 25 pints of blood to the wounded and their families.
In addition, they recently jointly organized an interfaith conference detailing the need to end the mindest of religious hatred in Pakistan.

Here is the news article writen by All Voices about the event

Responsibilities and Capacities

By Mrs. Shaheen Bhatti – Lahore – Pakistan.

(Lahore – Pakistan – Pakistan) Monks Without Borders Pakistan and Social Harmony Awareness and Development (SHAAD) held a one day session on “Our Responsibilities and Capacities in the current extremism in Pakistan”.

The session started with Christian, Hindu, and Muslim prayers. The individual organizers were a World Role Model Peace Maker “HERO” and the focal person of Monks Without Borders Pakistan Mr. Inderias Dominic Bhatti and the Director of SHAAD Mr. Younis Tabasum (Lala).

There were 127 participants from all over Pakistan in Walton, Lahore (the event venue). The participants besides the arranging organizations were: Peace Ambassadors Pakistan, Collaborations against Religious violence and Extremism (CARVE), Enabling Ministry Pakistan , Ambassadors of the charter for Compassion – Pakistan and individual interfaith and peace activists from all over Pakistan.

The speakers and participants spoke on the poverty, lack of opportunities, favoritism in social and state governesses, social and legal injustices, status divides, price hackings and many other reasons as the causes of the present “mindset of religious hatred” which in its cycles of way forward is moving with terrorism in Pakistan.

While responding to the resolution appeal from the participants Mr. Bhatti said that despite of the need of financial pooling for the operation of our response in this present “mindset of religious hatred” we need to start with the psyche and attitudes of “reverence to life, human dignity and accepting the people with different perspectives about Life and God”.

Mr. Younis Tabasum added that dream is the very first thing that leads individuals and groups to move forward with their intentions which further become reality so we better use our present capacities which caste nothing but get the result beyond money. He assured that our dream and approach for harmony and development will punch the individuals and groups to stand with us and support us.

The participants and the speakers affirm the resolution unanimously which says:

On this day of 17th June, 2010 on the occasion of “Responsibilities and Capacities” session we affirm to be:

01. Be non-violent in our lives;

02. reverence life;

03. give dignity to all human being;

04. respect and accept the differences of perspectives about Life and God;

05. To do whatever we can, wherever it happened to be with all our capacities and resources.

Mr. Bhatti thanked the participants and speaker for their affirmation and stand. He also thanked: Peace Ambassadors Pakistan, SHAAD, Mohammad Ikhalq, Sunita Khan, Vision of Inclusion and Monks Without Borders – USA for their financial sponsorship of the event. (End) “

The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic

“This, then, is how you should pray:” ~Jesus, Matt 6:9

It has always been of great interest as to the many different interpretations of the various aspects of what is offered as foundational information about Jesus the Nazarene, what he said and taught, and how translations over the centuries have changed dramatically sometimes even altering the original meaning of a particular text.

Aramaic manuscripts have been uncovered over the years which provide us with original source documents that can be fairly well authenticated. Beginning with Constantine around 325 AD, dramatic changes began to be infused into interpretations as texts were translated from Aramaic into Greek and then into Latin. In later years there was then translations into old English, and later, more translations into modern English.

The Aramaic Language doesn’t distinguish between means and purpose, inside quality or outside acting. Both are given simultaneously as in “what you’ve sown, so you’ll harvest.” When Jesus relates to the “Kingdom of Heaven” he means the Kingdom inside as well as the Kingdom in the middle or “amongst” us. Also “the next one” is inside and outside as in the whole or Self. The arbitrary borders between spirit, body and soul are nonexistent.

The Aramaic Language has (like the Hebrew and Arabic) different levels of meaning. The words are organized and defined by a poetical system where different meanings of every word are possible. So, every line of the Lords Prayer could be translated into English in many different versions. As an example of how the intent of a passage can be changed, here are some translations of the Lord’s Prayer directly translated from the ancient Aramaic language into modern English.

The Lord’s Prayer

(in the original Aramaic)

“Oh Thou (Cosmic Birther), from whom the breath of life comes,

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

Nethkâdasch schmach
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.

Têtê malkuthach.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.

Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d’bwaschmâja af b’arha.
Let Your will come true – in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).

Hawvlân lachma d’sûnkanân jaomâna.
Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,

Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
daf chnân schwoken l’chaijabên.
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.

Wela tachlân l’nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),

ela patzân min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l’ahlâm almîn.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.

Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)
For more information on this historical evolution of The Lord’s Prayer, go to

Bringing Health Care and Education to the Nomads of Niger

A California artist works to bring health care and education to the nomads of Niger

By Hannah Armstrong – The Christian Science Monitor

Doli, Niger — At the Doli school for nomads, the teacher pounds on a hubcap each morning to summon children. Many don’t hear it because they are too far out in the bush, scouring the scorched land for pastures to nourish their herds.
Supplying education and health care to nomads in northern Niger is no easy task. But it is essential to a strategy hatched by Leslie Clark, a California artist and founder of the Nomad Foundation, which helps nomads hang onto their lifestyle in the world’s poorest country.
In northern Niger, tribes of Tuareg and Wodaabe nomads shuttle herds around the flat, semiarid grasslands of the Sahel, a belt of land across Africa that divides the uninhabitable Saharan dunes from fertile farmland farther south. It is starkly beautiful land, where stripped acacia trees stand out like lightning bolts against a vast blue-gray horizon.
Life is barely sustainable in the parched Sahel. Nevertheless, pastoral nomads cling fiercely to traditions that are 1,000 years old.
But now they face new risks: desertification – the encroachment of the Sahara on pasturelands – and infiltration by the North African branch of Al Qaeda into their lawless territory.
“With changing environmental and political situations,” Ms. Clark says, “there are adaptations that have to be made. We’re trying to help them adapt.”
Clark’s first contact with nomads came when she was a young artist traveling through Africa 20 years ago. Transfixed, she began guiding tours to finance her extended periods living among tribes, during which she would spend countless hours painting and learning how to sound out and throat-cluck local dialects.
In the past five years, Clark has steered the Nomad Foundation, the small nonprofit she founded and presides over with support from Rotary Club grants and private donations, into increasingly ambitious humanitarian ventures.
Most aid groups are deterred by the difficulties of working with nomads – “very dispersed, small populations in the middle of nowhere,” Clark says. But she believes that the rising poverty and insecurity among nomads will require increased aid.
A breakthrough came in 2005, Clark says, when she teamed up with Muhammad “Sidi” Mamane, a gifted and widely connected elected representative of the nomads, whom she tapped to serve as her foundation’s on-the-ground representative. Sidi fought in the Tuareg rebellion of the early 1990s but later decided to turn to democratic channels to make changes.
“I realized the best way to fight,” he says, “is within a democratic framework that allows social and economic development of the population.”
Helping nomads is a unique challenge: How do you provide health care and education without requiring that nomads settle down? Their solution is to build up a “fixed point” within range of the migratory routes used by the nomads.
At Doli, for example, the Nomad Foundation dug a well, set up a cereal bank, built a two-room school, and hired a teacher to manage it. Also in the works is a program to hire nomads to dig small earthen dams, an effective way to irrigate that prevents rainwater runoff.
With plentiful water and well-irrigated pastures near the school, the nomads should roam closer, encouraging attendance at the school.
A visit to the school in March proved the approach is working. Twenty-three students, all under age 10, shouted “Moi, monsieur!” (“Me, sir!”) when asked who would like to come to the board to count to 100 or read from a booklet.
One year after the school opened, the young children already have more schooling than any of the adults in the Iherherane tribe, who nonetheless are enthusiastic that education will help their children adapt in a changing world.
“What helps us most is education for the children,” says Badta Ibag, the Iherherane tribal chief, his wizened face hidden by Ray-Bans and a large turban, as befits his stature. He cannot conceive of any other life for his people. “Nomads cannot become other workers, and other workers cannot become nomads,” he says.
Despite the success of schools like Doli, Clark’s greatest legacy is likely to be the Ta­mes­na Center, a work in progress at the nexus of several migratory routes. So far, a clinic and a volunteers’ house have been opened there.
In February, Clark brought Bob Skankey, a retired medical doctor, to treat patients at the clinic and examine students at Doli and other satellite schools. During Dr. Skankey’s two weeks at the clinic, 827 patients were treated, some of whom had traveled more than 100 miles.
The work of Clark and her volunteers is often draining and difficult. They spend long hours driving off-road in the heat. Recently, a journalist traveling with them feared an Al Qaeda ambush after a soldier’s gun accidentally discharged in the early-morning hours.
But the joy in Clark’s face as the girls and boys at Doli break into song is palpable. When she isn’t shepherding Americans around the bush, Clark serves as an ambassador for nomadic art and music from her Nomad Gallery in Ojai, Calif., arranging embroidered leather and silver jewelry made by nomad artisan co­operatives next to her own art.
“What she has done is extraordinary,” says Hasso Akotey, a Tuareg musician and close friend of Clark’s. (Clark helped her enter the US to record a track with the Rolling Stones.) “It is so rare to see someone who lives with a people in order to understand them, and who tries first of all to integrate with them – because a social and cultural integration is what’s necessary and that’s just what she did.”
For her part, Clark sees continuity between her forebears’ frontier living – in the Wild West days in California her grandfather was a six-gun-packing sheriff and her father spent summers herding cattle – and her own attachment to northern Niger.

“I know that it is in my blood to want … that freedom and adventure,” she says.

Dalai Lama Comments on the The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue

Earlier this week the New York Times published an Op-Ed Piece Titled “Many Faiths, One Truth” by Tenzin Gyatso, also known as the 14th Dalai Lama. In this piece Gyatso warns about the price we pay for Religious Intolerance. He reminds us that harmony amongst all religious faiths is not just a matter for those who choose to believe but also important for the “welfare of humanity as a whole.”

Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Such tensions are likely to increase as the world becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples and religions become ever more entwined. The pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance — it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and understanding across boundaries.

Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe there is genuine potential for mutual understanding. While preserving faith toward one’s own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.”