- February 8, 2008

Davos Moment #4

My fourth Davos moment came when Magid and I participated in a three-hour exercise where we were essentially tasked with finding a formula for peace in the Middle East. Upon entering the meeting room, we were each assigned to random groups. Each group was given a set of facts about the fictional country, which loosely resembled Iran, Iraq, the UAE and “Dominania,” aka the United States. A fifth group consisted of private sector investors, presumably Sovereign Wealth Funds. The session was moderated by a well-known journalist from Al Jazeera. Most of the participants were high ranking officials from Middle Eastern countries. Interestingly, I believe that one U.S. government official and I were the only American-born team members.

As it happened, I was assigned to the “Dominania” group, and was selected by my team to be our ambassador to the other countries. We were given instructions to come up with a plan to achieve peace and stability in the region, while furthering the economic interests of our people. Our team had members from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt, and I have to say, they were all bright, articulate, and eager to devise a plan that achieved these objectives. We each embraced our roles.

Together, we managed to devise some very interesting proposals. And I suddenly developed a newfound appreciation for the difficulty of Condi Rice’s job.

One thing that was clear to me from the exercise is that if we’re ever going to make progress toward stability in the Middle East, all sides are going to have to learn how to communicate, negotiate and collaborate in ways they have not before.

So, there you have it: just a few of my many, many Davos Moments. Oh, and one other magical thing about Davos: it is the only place in the world where my husband will drag ME onto the dance floor at 2:00 am in the morning. Those of you who know us understand the significance of that. For those who don’t, you’ll have to trust me when I say that was also a Davos Moment – one of the best kind.

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