The End of Great Year
The Start of A New Hope
As the gratitude of Thanksgiving gives way to the high-minded celebration of the holidays and the deep retrospection of the new year, I look back and celebrate a great 2009. It's been a busy but wonderful year, and I'd like to share with you some of the milestones achieved, and as well inspire you to continue what is necessary to make it a better world - for yourself and for all of us.
"The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit"
Published in February by Random House
, this book - coauthored with Jillian Quinn - put forgiveness and redemption on a national scale. I have received many compliments on this book. It is helping many people weather the storms and hits in their lives, whether they are economic or personal trauma.
The book has 30 chapters to help you not only bounce back from the hits but also to thrive in life. All of these chapters are drawn from the personal experiences
of Jillian and myself, and we know that this works. I want to acknowledge Jillian for doing such a brilliant job in doing all of the writing in this book. She did a great job in capturing my journey and my voice.
CBS Morning Show
In February I spoke on a nationally televised morning show speaking of peace, forgiveness and what it takes to have a bulletproof spirit despite life's hard knocks. This was a 7-minute interview with Julie Chen.
Most interviews are around three minutes, and I could tell that the strength of the message of forgiveness resonated deeply with Julie and her viewers. you can see this interview at this LINK
Australia in August
For the third straight year, I was part of a speaking and media tour of Australia. This last visit I had my friend Ples Felix with me
. We touched the lives of many children. This time we visited Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Besides impacting the lives of children and adults, I also did a book tour. The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit
was also published in Australia by Allen & Unwin
. This included over 30 media interviews and presentations. Ples and I will be back in Australia in 2010 to participate in various programs and talks to mark the International Peace Day on September 21.
For the third year, I spoke before inmates who have 3 - 5 years before their release. Such a gift to be able to see a soul and hope in the eyes of those who may have lost hope.
These are grown men - many who have served sentences of over 20 years and who are finally being released on parole. These sessions are very powerful - many tears are shed - and men commit to redeem themselves by helping young ones not make the mistakes they did. During my visit, I encourage them to take responsibility for their actions, ask forgiveness of the people they have hurt, forgive themselves and then redeem themselves by helping others.
Much work is needed in our prison systems, and I feel blessed to do my share.
Institute of Noetic Science Conference
I have been speaking at IONS for many years. I love this organization(www.noetic.org)
. It was started by Edgar Mitchell
who was the sixth man to walk on the moon 36 years ago. I was fortunate to do the opening keynote Friday morning and co-MC the conference with Marilyn Schlitz, the CEO of IONS,
who is a personal friend and a dynamite leader on our planet. At this event, I was joined by my colleague Dr. Jean Meeks in presenting an all-day workshop on the business model called TADAP.
TADAP is a model Jean Meeks and I jointly created to help corporations and organizations not only create and sustain a change in management, but create passionate performance in their entities
. To learn more about this model, please see www.positive-eye.com.
Vancouver Peace Summit
We must strive to become better people and leaders by addressing the tough social issues in our culture and making this a better world for those who come after us.
This incredible summit was organized by the Dalai Lama Center forPeace & Education,
co-founded by Victor Chan and the Dalai Lama. A total of 120 people were invited for a 5-day conference which included various events in a multitude of venues in Vancouver BC. It was an inspirational time for me to be one of the 120 and we spent several hours with his Holiness. To be in his presence is one of the most inspiring experiences.
It brought back the memory of meeting him in 2004 when I was part of a group hosted in Castlegandolfo, Italy
by the late Pope John Paul, when his Holiness graced 30 of us with his presence and wisdom.
I spoke twice at the Institute of Management Development (IMD) inLausanne, Switzerland
, both in July and September. IMD was established in 1945 by Nestle and is now a full-fledged University that teaches C-level executives from all over the world in leadership and management. George Kohlreiser teaches a week-long course in high performance leadership. I presented a 3-hour workshop "The Role ofForgiveness in High Performance Leadership."
It was very well received and I enjoyed integrating the work I have done over the last 35 years as an international investment banker and the work I am doing today with TKF, CANEI, ANK and TADAP.
"From Fulfillment to Peace"
My fourth book, and third book in a trilogy, "From Fulfillment to Peace"
will be out in 2010, as we are just putting the finishing touches on it. Following my first two books, "From Murder to Forgiveness" and "From Forgiveness to Fulfillment,"
this next book will outline the steps of going from a fulfilled state to the ultimate state of peace. It's been a long journey, and it continues with this next installment. I hope you join us by reading it when it is published.
The Tariq Khamisa Foundation (www.TKF.org)
- created in order to keep kids away from gangs and violence - saw growth and success over the year. Our annual fundraiser was a huge success in November, raising over $200,000 in pledges over five years. TKF now has over 50 employees and the demand of our school-based programs continues to grow. With the grace of God, I am so blessed for this work.
We have a dynamite staff led by our capable Executive Director Lisa Grogan and a committed and passionate Board led by TKF's President Mark Fackler.
Constant And Never Ending Improvement
- designed to restore youth offenders - grew from 2 to 7 cities this year and received an award from COA (Council on Accreditation). CANEI is an intervention program that resides in a national organization National Youth Advocate Program (www.nyap.org)
. This organization is 30 years old and provides a plethora of services for youth nationally. Founded by my good friend Mubarak Awad
, and led by its very capable CEO Marvena Twigg. I have the highest regard for both of them. CANEI also experienced this growth under the capable leadership of Judy Strnad who directs the program alongside me. We all work together, and our goal is to create 14 sites by the end of 2010.
We had good coverage of our cause - through the monthly newsletter which went out to thousands, as well as numerous articles and online pieces. We were featured in the documentary "It Takes a Village"
's "Body and Soul"
Magazine. We also launched a great new website (www.AzimKhamisa.com)
with updated graphics and user-friendly navigation.
Both Sides of the Gun
Through writer Jim Ellis and director and producer Mithaq Kazimi, a short film "Both Sides of the Gun"
was produced. With hopeful inclusion in film festivals around the world, it will pave a way in producing the feature-length version sometime in 2010.
I would be remiss to not thank the many wonderful people in my life who support the work we do here. Of course you the reader and promoter of peace. My daughter Tasreen, her husband Mehrdad and my two amazing grandsons who bring an immense amount of happiness into my life. Shahin turned five this year and Khalil turned three. As well I would like to thank those who work with ANK Enterprises: Jennifer Geronimo (speaking engagements and media relations), Jim Ellis (communications), Tina Duan (administration), Nisa Cherep (accounting) and the ever-present champion for peace Donna Pinto.
In final closing, I simply want to urge us all. There is much work that needs to be done in our society. We must strive to become better people and leaders by addressing the tough social issues in our culture and making this a better world for those who come after us: our children and grandchildren. Let us be the generation that is touted in history as the one that brought about a better world than the one we inherited. This can be done if we all commit. Prayers for a new and prosperous year.
Azim N. Khamisa