Upcoming Events

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Selection of Past OTI Events

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 03:00 PM
UC Irvine in Irvine, CA

LaFayette Workshop

Monday, February 04, 2013 at 05:00 PM
UC Irvine in Irvine, CA

Gershon Baskin

Dr. Baskin is the former Israeli co-director and founder of Israel/Palestinian Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think tank located in Jerusalem. He was the lead initiator and person responsible for secret back channel negotiations between Israel and Hamas that successfully led to the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilead Schalit in October 2012. Baskin has served as the Ministry of Education and as executive director of the Institute for Education for Jewish-Arab Coexistence (established by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister’s Office). Baskin’s talk will focus on his role in the negotiation, the possibility of a two-state solution, and lessons learned from the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process. His talk kicks off a planned speaker series sponsored by OTI focused on the Oslo Peace Accords.


Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 06:00 PM · 2 rsvps
The Center Club in Costa Mesa, CA

Gala 2013

Support the Olive Tree Initiative!


Dear Friends and Alumni of the Olive Tree Initiative,


We are pleased to invite you to join us for an informative and engaging evening shared with the OTI 6 Students who are preparing for their summer trips to Turkey and Armenia and the Middle East.  We will hear from keynote speaker, ROBERT MALLEY on "The Future of American Foreign Policy in the Middle East."


Robert Malley has been Director of the International Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Program since January 2002.   In that capacity, he directs teams of analysts in Israel, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and the Gulf.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Until January 2001, Mr. Malley was Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs and Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. In this capacity, he served as a principal advisor to the President and the National Security Advisor at the White House on the Middle East peace process.

Mr. Malley joined the National Security Council staff in August 1994 as Director for Democracy. He helped coordinate U.S. refugee policy and efforts to promote democracy and human rights abroad. He also played a leading role in U.S. policy toward Cuba. In July 1997, he became Executive Assistant to the National Security Advisor from July 1997 to September 1998, acting as an informal chief of staff for Samuel R. Berger. Mr. Malley served as a law clerk to Justice Byron R. White of the United States Supreme Court in 1991-1992.

Mr. Malley is a graduate of Yale University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University, England, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author in particular of The Call from Algeria: Third Worldism, Revolution and the Turn to Islam and, with Hussein Agha, of “Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors ,” “The Last Negotiation”, “Three Men in a Boat”, “Hamas – The Perils of Power”, and “The Arab Counterrevolution”.  His articles have appeared in the New York Review of BooksForeign Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Le Monde.  


Tickets: $150 per person -- Sponsorship Opportunities Available

 [Complementary Valet Parking]

[Vegetarian Meal Option Available]


ALL the money raised at the Gala goes toward the cost of the students' trips to the Middle East and Turkey/Armenia -- Thank you!



Monday, May 20, 2013 at 06:30 PM
UCLA Humanities 169

post-arab spring update

Join OTI at UCLA for an interview with Robert Malley, former White House advisor, about the Arab states following the Arab Spring revolutions of the past two years. Dr. Russell Burgos, UCLA lecturer of Global Studies, will interview Malley.

Robert Malley has been Director of the International Crisis Group's Middle East and North Africa Program since January 2002. In that capacity, he directs teams of analysts in Israel, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and the Gulf. Prior to that, he was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Co-sponsored by the UCLA History Department

Admission to the event is free and open to the public.
Seating is first-come, first served.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 07:00 PM
James Bridges Theater in Los Angeles, CA

The Gatekeepers screening

The Oscar-nominated documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

IMDb page
Official website


Sunday, June 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM · 2 rsvps

OTI Turkey/Armenia Evening Fundraiser 2013


Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Veggie Grill in Irvine, CA

Veggie Grill Fundraiser

Eat for OTI this Thursday!

Veggie Grill Fundraiser

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 05:00 PM

A talk with UCI Professor John Graham

The second OTI6 Trip to the Middle East is only six weeks away, so it is about time to talk about a brighter future for the region. The Olive Tree Initiative is pleased to host UCI Professor John Graham to talk about his vision for "The Jerusalem Olympics 2024: A new focus on prosperity as the ultimate goal which will yield peace along the way”.  


Professor Graham will explain the argument behind this seemingly revolutionary idea and lay out his plan of execution. Most importantly, Jerusalem Olympics 2024 will plant a seed of optimism in our minds and hearts, so that we approach our trip with a new perspective.


We look forward to seeing you there!


About Professor John Graham (Professor Emeritus- UCI) is an expert in global marketing and international business negotiations. Professor Graham is the former co-director of the UCI Center for Citizen Peacebuilding. He has co-authored several books:  International Marketing and Global Negotiation. He has also published extensively in academic and management journals including Harvard Business Review. Professor Graham has been interviewed by numerous local, national, and international broadcast media outlets, including “NBC Nightly News” and the BBC, and written several articles for the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 07:30 PM
The Olive Tree Restaurant in Anaheim, CA

Ramadan Iftar Celebration Dinner

Dear Friends and Alumni,
The Olive Tree Initiative is pleased to invite you to experience an Iftar dinner to break the fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Join in this celebration of Ramadan rituals and enjoy a plethora of authentic Middle Eastern food (buffet style). Vegetarian options available. The restaurant observes Ramadan, so please be there on time to stand in line for the buffet. Food and drinks will be served after Al Maghrib Prayer at 8:04PM.

Tickets are $60 per person. All the money raised at this event goes toward the cost of the students' trips to the Middle East.

Please RSVP here, or with Susan Seely at SSeely@uci.edu.  


Payment Options: 
-Please donate directly on OTI's website (https://ua-web.uadv.uci.edu/eGiving/),
-Please contact Susan Seely at: sseely@uci.edu or 949 824-9062 to pay by credit card
-Please mail your check to: Susan Seely - 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 at 06:30 PM

Two Sided Story