The Open Hands Initiative is proud to announce our new commitment with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). On September 21, 2010, we had the esteemed privilege to highlight our commitment on stage at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative's Special Session: Peace and Beyond in the Middle East.
The Open Hands Initiative (OHI) is committed to fostering collaboration and dialogue, as well as bringing together people who have many differences, but more importantly, many similarities. OHI believes that the private sector can play a unique role in diplomacy by engaging people in the spheres of everyday life. OHI aims to be a catalyst for finding common ground between America and the Arab and Muslim world, and taking what is different about our cultures to build friendships and create something entirely new, like a superhero that reflects shared values.
OHI launched its inaugural program on August 1, 2010 in Damascus, Syria, bringing together disability advocates from the U.S. and Syria to engage in collaborative effort called the Youth Ability Summit. The youth worked with artists and experts to create the world's first disabled superhero that reflects Syrian and American values. In the coming months, OHI will work together with Liquid Comics to develop the story to include the youth's ideas.
OHI views this as a unique opportunity to work with young people in the Muslim and Arab world to create new superheroes that are emblematic of their unique and rich culture. OHI's hope is that these fictional heroes will also serve as positive role models to youths in the region and help eliminate the influence of hateful and divisive messages.
OHI commits to producing an original comic book story featuring a superhero with disabilities that extols American and Syrian values. The comic book will be released in the U.S. and Syria, and will eventually expand to address contemporary issues in other South Asian or the Middle Eastern countries.
A link to view President Bill Clinton's acknowledgement of the commitment to the Open Hands Comic Book can be found at: