Paul Arpaia, a faculty member in the Department of History, is traveling to Kabul as part of his work with an international peace organization.
Arpaia, a member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, joins representatives from the Italian Tavola della Pace (Peace Roundtable), which has as its theme, “enough with the violence, war and terrorism.”
The Italian-American delegation traveled to Kabul on August 31 and will stay through September 5. The mission of the Tavola della Pace and September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is meant to be a strong gesture of solidarity with the Afghan people and to pay tribute to all victims of war and terrorism, Arpaia said. The delegation will listen to leaders of Afghan civil society and representatives of major international institutions in Kabul.
In addition to Arpaia, the delegation includes Flavio Lotti, national coordinator of Tavola della Pace; Emanuele Giordana, coordinator of Afghana; Mario Galasso, councilman for peace and international cooperation of the Province of Rimini; Andrea Ferrari, alderman for peace and international cooperation of the City of Lodi; Father Tonio Dell’Olio, international head of Libera; Luisa Morgantini, member of the Associazione della Pace (Association of Peace); and Father Renato Sacco of Pax Christi.
The September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization that family members of those killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks founded in 2002 to turn their grief into action for peace.
“After the loss of my cousin, Captain Kathy Mazza of the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey, I discovered Peaceful Tomorrows in 2010,” Arpaia said. “This discovery followed a long search for an appropriate way to dedicate my life to commemorating my cousin, who had done so much to help the disadvantaged of all nations and creeds, first as an emergency-room nurse and then as a policewoman.”
Peaceful Tomorrows promotes dialogue on alternatives to war, while educating on issues of war, peace, and underlying causes of terrorism. The group offers support and fellowship to others seeking nonviolent responses to terrorism.
Peaceful Tomorrows calls attention to threats to civil liberties, human rights, and other American freedoms as a consequence of war, according to Arpaia. It advocates a multilateral, collaborative effort to bring those responsible for the September 11 attacks to justice in accordance with the principles of international law.
It also demands ongoing investigations into the events leading up to September 11, including exhaustive examinations of U.S. foreign policies and national security failures.
The seven-member steering committee is the executive body of Peaceful Tomorrows. Arpaia brings to the group his expertise in history and his willingness to engage in advancing the cause of peace.
In addition to contributing to the oversight and coordination of the organization, he will serve as a spokesperson on issues relating to the Rule of Law and the protection of civil liberties, especially ones targeting Muslim-American communities.
Arpaia was the winner of the Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies at the American Academy in Rome for 2007–2008. He is only the second IUP faculty member to be selected for this honor. He is a fellow at the academy and a member of its Council of Fellows for the 2010–2012 term.
Since 1999, he has been the editor of H-Italy, one of many networks that make up H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences OnLine. H-Italy’s one thousand members represent more than 450 colleges, universities, and cultural institutions in thirty countries around the world. Arpaia also serves on its advisory board.
Arpaia has a B.A. in history and French from Washington and Lee University. He earned his M.A. in modern European history at Georgetown University and subsequently won a three-year fellowship to specialize in modern Italian history at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Italy. He earned a Ph.D. in modern European history from Georgetown University.
Also see Arpaia’s reflection on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2011, terrorist attacks on the IUP Magazine website.