Selection of Past OTI Events

Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 05:30 PM · 2 rsvps

Upcoming: 2017 Fundraising Gala

OTI Gala Invite 10.jpg

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 06:30 PM
SBSG 1321

Speaker: Abi Ala Awad

Friday, February 10, 2017 at 12:00 PM through February 13, 2017

Statewide Student Retreat

The Statewide Student Retreat is an annual event for leadership development.

Last weekend was our OTI AnnualRetreat! Fellow Olives from other campus chapters arrived in Templeton, California to prepare for the trips, network with OTI Alumni, and attend leadership workshops. The Retreat is a touchstone of the OTI experience with the opportunity to connect with the OTI community and gain valuable leadership skills.

This year we had several alumni join us from some of the earliest OTI cohorts in addition to the students who partook on the most recent summer trips. Many alumni pitched in during workshops, sharing their knowledge and experience with new students. From "How to turn a Degree in Dispute Resolution into a Career," to "Networking and Fundraising Strategies," to "What it Takes to be a Student Diplomat," both new Olives and OTI alumni came away with great tips and new friendships.

Monday, January 09, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach

Interfaith Town Hall Meeting

On Sunday, January 29th, community leaders, law enforcement officers, and civil rights activists of all backgrounds and faiths came together to combat hate and bigotry at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach. It was an incredible display of unity and empowerment from over 250 local citizens of Orange County. Attendees were able to utilize this town hall meeting to express their concerns with the recent rise of Anti Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism. The event was jointly sponsored by OTI, the ADL, the Rose PRoject of the OC Jewish Federation, and the American Muslim Women's Empowerment Council.

Susan Seely, Associate Director of the Olive Tree Initiative spoke to a journalist from the Daily Pilot stating that, “We held the town hall interfaith meeting to provide a forum for local community members to come together to learn more about what resources are available to them in the event of bigoted acts or incidents of violence



Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 06:00 PM
The Center Club

2016 Fundraising Gala


Monday, April 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM through April 16, 2016

OTI Week at UC Irvine 2016


Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 08:00 PM

OTI Hookah Fundraiser


We are having our joint Israel/Palestine & Armenia/Turkey hookah fundraiser TONIGHT, starting at 8pm at BluFig Hookah Lounge in Lake Forest. RIDES WILL BE ACCOMMODATED

Monday, February 08, 2016 at 05:00 PM

Laura Kelly Frontline

frontline.jpgThe Olive Tree Initiative is hosting a talk by Laura Kelly, a magazine editor from The Jerusalem Post. Laura will talk about her experience as a journalist in the Middle East as well as the obstacles and the achievements that come with the job. The Jerusalem Post is a broadsheet newspaper based in Jerusalem. Media and journalism play a massively influential role in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict



Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 06:30 PM

Pub Night with Olives


Monday, November 09, 2015 at 06:00 PM
UC Irvine, SBSG 1511

LGBT Rights in Armenia and Turkey



Kyle Khandikian will talk about LGBT rights in both Armenia and Turkey. During the trip this summer, we not only met with Armenian and Turkish politicians, intellectuals, etc. regarding the conflict, but also progressive LGBT rights activists who expressed their concerns and future goals. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 06:30 PM

Pumpkin Carving


As the International Studies Club, Olive Tree Initiative and Students for Global Peacebuilding are all academic based, Social Science recognized campus clubs, be sure to come prepared with your pumpkins and ready to discuss all things international! It will be a great time carving pumpkins over politics! We will provide the carving materials so all you have to do is show up.

Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 06:00 PM
The Center Club in Costa Mesa, CA

2015 Fundraising Gala


Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 07:30 PM
UCLA De Neve Sycamore Room

OTI at UCLA: Dr. Menachem Klein Presentation


Monday, March 16, 2015 at 05:30 PM

Ron Young Presentation


Monday, February 23, 2015 at 05:00 PM
OTI Week at UC Irvine

OTI Week at UC Irvine

Join us for a week of OTI events and information sessions

Learn about the trips, hear conflict resolution insights, and meet the students!

All events are at UC Irvine and are FREE


Monday, November 17, 2014 at 05:00 PM

UCI's New Narratives

 Join us on Monday, November 17th at 5:00p.m.!

For More information and to RSVP, Please click HERE!  See you there!

Monday, November 10, 2014 at 05:00 PM
UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway 1030

Mohammed Wattad Presentation


Monday, November 25, 2013 at 07:00 PM · 15 rsvps

OTI at Berkeley: Dr. Gershon Baskin

Friday, November 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM · 16 rsvps

In Between: Ibrahim Miari's One Man Show at UC Berkeley


2040 Valley Life Science Building, UC Berkeley, CA 94720

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM · 32 rsvps

Conquering Bigotry: A Discussion on Anti-Semitism & Islamophobia


Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 06:00 PM

Prospects for Peace

Prospects for Peace

Monday, November 18, 2013 at 06:00 PM · 4 rsvps

OneVoice at UCLA



Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 06:00 PM · 2 rsvps

Welcome Back UCI OTI Turkey Armenia

Please Join us for this 2013 Welcome Back event at UCI!!  


Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 06:00 PM · 9 rsvps
Pacific Ballroom C

Welcome Back ME

Please join us as the UCI OTI Students engage in round table discussions with Community Members and bring us their insights from the policy-makers and players "on the ground" and active in addressing and struggling with the Middle East Conflict.  


Tuesday, October 08, 2013 at 06:30 PM

Two Sided Story


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  


Payment Options: 
-Please donate directly on OTI's website (,
-Please contact Susan Seely at: or 949 824-9062 to pay by credit card
-Please mail your check to: Susan Seely - 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100

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.

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

Veggie Grill Fundraiser

Eat for OTI this Thursday!

Veggie Grill Fundraiser

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

OTI Turkey/Armenia Evening Fundraiser 2013


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

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.

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, 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.

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

LaFayette Workshop