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Compassionate Counterterrorism


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About the Author

Leena Al Olaimy is the cofounder of 3BL Associates, an award-winning social enterprise, advancing progress on nine of the seventeen interconnected sustainable development goals (SDGs), including peace, climate change, and economic growth. She is a Dalai Lama Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow, a Soliya Fellow and a Wall Street Journal 'Woman of Note' and is listed among Bahrain's Most Influential Women by Business in Gulf. Her work has included transforming youth adversarial activism from non-violent resistance to 'non-violent resilience.' Leena has written on politics, entrepreneurship and sustainability for the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Blog, Open Democracy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Huffington Post and Wamda. She has been quoted in Forbes and Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, and her multi-disciplinary insights have been sought by Chatham House, the Tri-Lateral Commission, and several United Nations organizations. She has given 150+ talks globally, including TEDxCarthage--the largest in Africa --and recently chaired a roundtable on 'Empowering Communities for Positive Change' during HRH the Prince of Wales' visit to Bahrain.


"This book brings a refreshing alternative to the fiction that state force is the long-term solution to terrorism. A thoughtful, personal, and impressive analysis of why a broader approach to the challenge may yield more effective long-term outcomes."
-Sir Hugh Orde, OBE, QPM, former Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland

"In a refreshing and candid style that goes far beyond conventional analyses and commonly suggested solutions, Al Olaimy delivers a powerful counterargument on how to deal with terrorism. Insightful and persuasive, her book should be required reading for those in policy circles who routinely deal with strategies to combat terrorism."
-Prof. Dirk Vandewalle, Dartmouth College

"As we face a global crisis of increased intolerance and exclusion, Leena makes a compelling case for a radical nonviolent approach to defeating terrorism that transforms our current oppressive measures into opportunities for greater peacefulness. Full of unorthodox approaches like invoking the use of religion as an antidote for violent extremism; exploring untapped collaboration between civil society, business, and the military; and even using love to demobilize a terrorist group-this is an important contribution and fascinating read that defies disciplines!"
-Kavita N. Ramdas, Director, Women's Rights Program, Open Society Foundations; Strategy Advisor, MADRE; cofounder of KNR Sisters; and former Strategic Advisor to the President, Ford Foundation

"A brilliant and fresh analysis of one of the most misunderstood global problems of our age - if you read one book on terrorism, choose this one."
- Lisa Schirch, PhD, Editor of The Ecology of Violent Extremism: Perspectives on Peacebuilding and Human Security, and Senior Policy Advisor, Human Security at Alliance for Peacebuilding

"A provocative and concise examination of why we cannot bomb our way to ending terrorism. While the author is careful not to advocate for the absence of a hard security approach, she does a masterful job at highlighting many innovations that have proven effective in reducing and transforming political violence in various parts of the world and challenges the world to do much better and to have higher aspirations."
-Craig Zelizer, PhD, founder and CEO, Peace and Collaborative Development Network; former Associate Director, Conflict Resolution Program, Georgetown University; and cofounder of Alliance for Conflict Transformation and TEAM Foundation

"An honest, comprehensive, and thoughtful critique highlighting and challenging stereotypes and assumptions about terrorism and violent extremism. A must-read for anyone involved in peace building and conflict resolution."
-Eva Grosman, CEO, Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, and Director for Public Affairs, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, University of Oxford

"This is an insightful book. Compassion is not a word generally associated with terrorism, but the message needs to be heard. Bravo, Leena!"
-John Marks, coeditor of Common Ground on Terrorism and founder and former President, Search for Common Ground

"It could easily be argued that compassion is the number one leadership skill. Leena's suggestion of leading with compassion provides possibility for bringing opposing forces together. It is more than time for the world to recognize our shared humanity and Leena inspires us to do just that!"
-J'Lein Liese, PhD, Managing Partner, Equanimity Leadership Solutions, and President, Foundation for Global Leadership, Inc.

"Intelligent and intrepid work. Leena's effort to unearth a critical societal faultline is the first step towards building a post-fundamentalist future for our next generation."
-Tariq Cheema, Founder, World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists

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