Today I met with a new friend and a fellow World Economic Forum Young Global Leader member, His Excellency Karim Kawar, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United States of America. My wife, Mrs. Sheila Kennedy Bryant, a businesswoman in her own right as owner and chief executive officer of Custom Digital Solutions, a computer software training company, met the Ambassador and his wife while representing me and Operation HOPE at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year (remember, I had to dash back to the States to meet with President Bush earlier this year...).
Anyway, EVERYONE loved meeting and getting to know my sweetie, including the Ambassador -- and of course she was the first person he asked about as we sat down to meet.
We had a great meeting and are now making plans to rendezvous in Jordan for the regional meeting of the World Economic Forum in May 20-22, 2005, where in addition to the WEF meeting I hope to meet with local entrepreneurs and leaders from government, community and the private sector, and possibly speak.
The Ambassador and I also decided to work together, along with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, another member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, to make poverty eradication a prominent agenda item for the upcoming meeting of Young Global Leaders in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Finally, we talked of course of the need for peace in the Middle East, and around the world. We both agreed that one of the principal ways to address and ultimately solve the issue of terrorism, is to find a way to address and solve the issue of poverty. One feeds the other. As I was leaving, coincidentally, the Ambassador introduced me to Yasser Mahmoud Abbas, the son of the president of Palestinian Authority and a leader in his own right. We also enjoyed a fruitful conversation around the issue of peace, and specifically peace, freedom and opportunity in Palestine.
I told him that President Bush told me and other black leaders directly (in our January, 2005 meeting) of his passionate desire to help create a Palestinian State before the end of his term as President. Mr. Abbas was encouraged by this and had very positive things to say about the President and this aim, which every rational person would agree ...would be a very, very good thing! A good thing not only for Israel and Palestine, but the world over.
Onward, with HOPE