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Gestures NEWSLETTER OF THE

www.ptwf.org I NSIDE T HIS I SSUE 1

Covenant of Protection

Covenant of Protection Ancient document, imprinted with the hand of the prophet Muhammad, commands Muslims to protect Christians until the end of time. by Linda Sussman

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What is PTWF

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C.O.P. English Translation

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Faroque Khan Ar ticle

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What Can I Do?

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Letter to U.N.

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Who Are We?

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What Others Say

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PTWF Projects

Imagine the existence of a document that guaranteed, upon the authority of a specific, holy and religious prophet, the protection of another people of faith. This document would in fact be one religion guaranteeing the safety of another. It would be so clear, that perhaps the words would sound something like this: "This is a message signed with the hand print of the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah in 628 BCE, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."

The above quote is a partial translation of the document by Dr. Muqtedar Khan. Would you be surprised, given the strife and discord that exists today between modern Muslims and non-Muslims, to discover that just such a document exists? That, among other edicts, it commands Muslims to protect and honor Christians for all eternity on earth? And that it is imprinted with the hand of the Prophet Muhammad himself? Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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The Covenant of Protection was written in 628CE, as a guarantee of protection for the Christians of the Monastery of St. Catherine, at the base of Mount Sinai, which has remained safe under Muslim watch for 1,400 years. The breadth of the document in its entirety is stunning. It basically protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of person. There are no strings attached, and nothing is expected in return for such security. The simple act of being a Christian guarantees this protection. So why is it that no one discusses or invokes this powerful, tangible document that could seemingly resolve conflict between ONE-THIRD of the world’s religious faithful? Why do we hear only of murder, persecution, churches ransacked and burned (sometimes with inhabitants trapped helplessly within) from all over the world, the Middle East in particular? Why are institutions of learning, like Christian seminaries, closed and shuttered for decades for simply teaching and training young seminarians to become priests in largely Muslim countries?

G What is Pave the Way Foundation? Our Mission

Pave the Way Foundation is dedicated to achieving peace by bridging the gap in tolerance and understanding between religions through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. We strive to eliminate the use of religion as a tool which, historically, has been used by some to achieve personal agendas and to cause conflicts. Through our projects and our concrete gestures of good will, we hope to pave the way towards global education directed to the everyday “grass roots” person. We must now all recognize the dangers of apathy and silence.

Embrace our Similarities; Savor our Differences

The meaning of our slogan is simple. We must embody the messages of charity, love and responsibility for every human being, common to all of our faiths, our beliefs and to the code of human behavior. We focus on our similarities and savor our differences by learning, through the positive and practical appreciation of the World’s diverse religions and beliefs. We must not allow the differences to poison us with bigotry, hatred and intolerance. Instead, we wish to learn, enhance our own beliefs and in turn savor our differences.

G The greatest problem and impediment to peace, lies in the slogan that Pave the Way Foundation has adopted, Embrace the Similarities, Savor the Differences. We have not learned how to appreciate, love, tolerate and protect each other. Instead, we fear and mistrust and do not, as we march off to daily prayer, temple or mass, take care of each other. Too often we lack the courage to invoke such a powerful statement of tolerance, goodness and fundamental humanity as the Covenant of Protection represents, and stand by doing nothing, while fringe groups from every religion run amok among themselves, claiming their authority comes directly from the hand of God. It does not. "Religious intolerance" is a politically correct way to describe hateful, murderous actions that seek only to divide the faithful, not draw them closer together. There are those among each of our religious groups who seek to impose their will and private agendas upon those whom, if nothing else, they simply outnumber. The Halki Seminary This is a project Pave the Way Foundation has supported, the purpose of which is to bring Muslims together to help the Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey. In 1971, when the Turkish government demanded that all schools become secular, the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary was closed. This has caused a great strain on the Christian Orthodox world by denying the Greek Church the right to educate their religious leaders. Pave the Way Foundation initiated a project with its Muslim partners from many nations, to rally Islamic support and re-open the seminary in the name of Islam. On July 5, 2012, the highest Muslim authority in Turkey joined in this request and made that precise statement. This Islamic Declaration was highlighted by the Covenant of Protection, but it is too seldom invoked and should be the subject of a larger, on-going global discussion. The Declaration resulted in a visit to the Patriarch of Constantinople, from the highest Muslim authority in Turkey, Dr. Mehmet Görmez, during which he stated that Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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the seminary should be re-opened in the name of Islam. This has functionally removed the Muslim obstacle to the opening of the seminary. Noteworthy is the fact that this problem has existed for over four decades, thereby causing a major conflict between millions of Muslims and Orthodox Christians. See an English translation of this Covenant of Protection below. Linda Sussman has been involved with Pave the Way Foundation for 8 years. She has a background in public health and management, and is Administrative Director of PTWF.

Covenant of Protection - English Translation

“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).” Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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Muslims and Religious Tolerance by Prof. Faroque Ahmad Khan Religious tolerance is a vital subject today, affecting everyone in terms of our safety and ability to live along with those persons of differing religious beliefs. Islam is a religion of peace and of tolerance and inclusiveness. This is borne out in my careful review of original Islamic sources. In this article I provide three specific examples that reveal the true nature of Islam, which includes not only tolerance of those of other faiths but also a mandate to protect them. This ancient message is not heard often enough in our world today. Most of the world’s news media operates on an agenda to promote strife and trouble and ignore true messages of peace. EXAMPLE NUMBER 1 - Migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, 622 AD: Medina – the earliest inter-faith community in the world Islam recognized and acknowledged the right of citizenship 14 centuries ago. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon himpbuh) migrated to Medina in 622 AD, there he found an inter-faith community comprised of various tribes – Muslims, Jews and pagan Arabs. Due to this diversity within the Medina community, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) wanted to establish a strong state governed by peace and cooperation to prevail among all its residents with their different inclinations. This resulted in the Medina Constitution, known as Al-Wathiqa, which is considered the earliest known written constitution. The four key provisions in this constitution were: 1) Security and peaceful co-existence amongst all citizens of Medina 2) Religious freedom 3) Full citizenship 4) Individual responsibility. EXAMPLE NUMBER 2 - The Promise to St. Catherine, 628 AD In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and requested his protection. He responded by granting them a charter of rights. For more information, see: http://tinyurl.com/qa9vban. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is also a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection. The charter’s first line and final line are reproduced here, translated into English: First line: “This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.” Final line: “No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).” These sentences are critical. They make the promise eternal and universal. The Prophet (pbuh) asserts that Muslims are with Christians near and far, clearly rejecting any future attempts to limit the promise to St. Catherine alone. By ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment the charter again undermines any future attempts to revoke the privileges. These rights are inalienable. Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) declared Christians, all of them, as his allies and Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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he equated ill treatment of Christians with violating God’s covenant. A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments, and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties! The lessons of this charter have great relevance for all of us, particularly for those who seek to foster discord among Muslims and Christians with a focus on issues that divide and emphasize areas of conflict. When resources such as the prophet’s promise to Christians is invoked and highlighted it builds bridges. It inspires Muslims to rise above communal intolerance and engenders good will in Christians who might be nursing fear of Islam or Muslims. EXAMPLE NUMBER 3 - Treaty of Caliph Umar, Ibn-al-Khattab in Jerusalem, 637 AD: In the early days of Islam, West Asia was under oppressive colonial rule by two empires: Byzantine and Persia. The two empires wanted to suppress Islam and eliminate it because of their religious intolerance. Muslims, in self-defense, had to take up arms to defend their freedom of religion. Within less than 20 years, had eliminated the Byzantine and Persian threats to the Arabian peninsula and proceeded to liberate other oppressed people in Iraq Syria Palestine and Egypt. This was a war of liberation to establish freedom of choosing religion and nobody was forced to convert to Islam. This explains the survival of Christian, Jewish and Saab religious communities in the past 14 centuries in West Asia By 637, Muslims were in the vicinity of Jerusalem. In charge of Jerusalem was Patriarch Sophronius, a representative of the Byzantine government, as well as a leader in the Christian Church. Sophronius refused to surrender the city unless Caliph Umar-ibn-al-Khattab came to accept the surrender himself. Having heard of such a condition, Umar ibn al-Khattab left Medina, travelling alone with one donkey and one servant. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he was greeted by Sophronius, who undoubtedly must have been amazed that the caliph of the Muslims, one of the most powerful people in the world at that point, was dressed in no more than simple robes and was indistinguishable from his servant. Umar was given a tour of the city, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. When the time for prayer came, Sophronius invited Umar to pray inside the Church, but Umar refused. He insisted that if he prayed there, later Muslims would use it as an excuse to convert it into a mosque, thereby depriving Christendom of one of its holiest sites. Instead, Umar prayed outside the Church, where a mosque (called Masjid Umar – the Mosque of Umar) was later built. Umar also wrote up a treaty detailing the rights and privileges regarding the conquered people and the Muslims in Jerusalem. This treaty was signed by Umar and Patriarch Sophronius, along with some of the generals of the Muslim armies. At the time, this was by far one of the most progressive treaties in history. For comparison, just 23 years earlier when Jerusalem was conquered by the Persians from the Byzantines, a general massacre was ordered. Another massacre ensued when Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders from the Muslims in 1099. The Treaty of Umar allowed the Christians of Jerusalem religious freedom, as is dictated in the Quran and the sayings of Muhammad (pbuh). This was one of the first and most significant guarantees of religious freedom in history. What is not in question, however, was the significance of such a progressive and equitable surrender treaty, which protected minority rights. The treaty became the standard for Muslim-Christian relations throughout the former Byzantine Empire, with rights of conquered people being protected in all situations, and forced conversions never being a sanctioned act. I am thankful to Pave the Way Foundation for highlighting and thereby educating its readers about the examples of tolerance, freedom of religion set forth by the prophet Muhammad and Caiph Umar bin Khattab. Muslims also need to implement these guidelines in their daily lives. Prof. Faroque Ahmad Khan, MB, MACP Trustee, Islamic Center of Long Island, Westbury, New York

G Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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What Can I Do?

Donate PTWF is a public charity under IRS Code 501C3; your donations are tax deductible. We operate solely on donations from people like you, who support our vision. Visit our website, www.ptwf.org and click “Give Now”. Or send a check to 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6617, New York, NY 10118-6617. Volunteer The first and best way to support any endeavor is to look within yourself and provide that gift that only you can give – time. Each of you reading this has special talents that you can bring in support of PTWF’s mission. Please contact us and donate your time and talent in support of peace. Matching Gifts Many companies offer matching gift programs that compound employee charitable contributions. Check the directory of matching gift companies to find out if your company will match your Pave the Way Foundation gift. If they do match, remember to follow your organization’s gift matching process. Do You Have Frequent Flyer Miles? Through the generosity of several major airlines, PTWF can receive donations of frequent flyer miles. Call the individual airlines to find out how to donate your unused frequent flyer miles to PTWF in support of our mission. Start a Local Chapter Gestures of good will can also be done in a local area. Is it your passion to bring together the diverse groups in your community to achieve peace and harmony? Go to www.ptwf.com/chapters to find out how you can help pave the way to peace in your own area.

Letter to the United Nations

Pave the Way Foundation issued a letter to UN Delegates from all member states. The letter demands effective action in response to today’s widespread violence against minority religious groups in numerous countries. The problem is stated clearly in the letter. “Recently in the Middle East and elsewhere, Christian churches have been stormed and burned, killing thousands of Christians. Mosques have been bombed killing innocent Muslims. Jews around the world and in Israel have been targeted and attacked. Police or military protection is often too little or too late.” The letter demands that each country’s legitimate leaders, both political and religious, work together to plan and execute an effective response when such crimes against humanity are committed within their borders, and further calls for all countries to open their borders for those who have fled the their homelands. “Pave the Way Foundation works with persons from all the world’s major religions. None of the true religions preach the kind of hate that would incite persons to murder another in cold blood, as we see happening now,” says Gary L. Krupp, Founder and President of Pave the Way Foundation.

G Pave the Way Foundation 395 Twin Lane South, Wantagh, NY 11793-1942 212.629.0046 office@ptwf.org www.ptwf.org

OCTOBER 17, 2020 Open Letter to All Member States of the United Nations Dear Delegate, In light of worldwide violence and persecution of individual religious minorities, Pave the Way Foundation calls upon all civilized nations to take effective action to put an end to these crimes against humanity. Recently in the Middle East and elsewhere, Christian churches have been stormed and burned, killing thousands of Christians. Mosques have been bombed killing innocent Muslims. Jews around the world and in Israel have been targeted and attacked. Police or military protection is often too little or too late. Murder is forbidden by the secular law of all civilized countries. Christianity, Judaism and Islam likewise condemn the unjust taking of life. The sixth Judeo-Christian commandment states, “thou shall not murder”. The Noble Qur’an, verse 17:33, forbids unjust killing, and this is further clarified by a document recently identified and brought to light by Pave the Way Foundation. This covenant of protection, imprinted with the hand of the Prophet Muhammad himself, orders His followers to protect the Christians and their churches until the end of days. Therefore we call upon all legitimate religious and political leaders to join together to universally craft an effective, scripted response plan when such crimes against humanity are perpetrated within their borders. Action rather than words are now needed. We call upon the media to join in the partnership with the political and religious leaders. Accuracy in media reporting is essential if lawlessness is to be recognized for what it is and the peacemaking efforts of good people are properly reported and emulated. Individuals who commit the sin of murder, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Any religious leaders who preach hatred and incite these sinful acts to the weak-minded should likewise be arrested and brought to justice, as they are guiltier than their misguided followers. When civil violence makes an internal response impossible, we call upon all peace-loving nations of the world to open their borders to refugees fleeing any country where human rights and innocent lives are threatened, providing temporary sanctuary until such time as civility and individual rights have been restored. "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer Warm regards,

Gary L. Krupp, on Behalf of Pave the Way Foundation

Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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Who Are We? President and Co-Founder:

Gary L. Krupp, DCS KC*SG OStJ

Secretary and Co-Founder: Merry S. Krupp, PhD

Board of Directors:

Elliot M. Hershberg, Chairman Harry M. Epstein, Treasurer Linda Sussman, Administration Lauren Feldman, Youth Services Karen Hershberg, Director of Research Howard Appel Rabbi Benjamin Blech Stanley Browne Daniel P. Buttafuoco Esq Prof. A.David Carroll, Ph.D.,KGCHS John A. Catsimatidis William Cox, Esq. John Dibari John R. Drexel IV BGC OStJ Robert Fonti David Hauser P.D.E..pdf Robert Gaynor, Esq.

Richard Kandel Frank MacKay Gary Melius Doyle Mills Jacob Parker Norman Weisfeld

Rabbi Dr.Barry Dov Schwartz Rabbi Eric Silver Bennett Solberg, PhD Pastor Lawrence Swensen Pundit Ramnarine Tiwari Fr. Joakim Valasiadis Asia Sunil Thomas Australia Fr. Michael Kalka Canada Dr. Murray Watson Fr. Bernard O’Connor France Dr. Costantino Fiore Michel Yves Bolloré Germany Michael Hesemann Greece Gloria Clementoni Israel Sam Philipe Fr. Angelo Ison OFM

Board of Advisers:

USA Rabbi Jack Bemporad Justice Stephen A. Bucaria Bishop Ignatius Catanello (1938-2013) Dennis Dubin (1942-2007) Mamdouh I. Farid PhD Monsignor Anthony Frontiero Linda Harkavy M.D. Rabbi Bennett Hermann Sheikh Syed Agha Jafri Fr. Hector LaChapelle MS Pastor Jeffrey Lausten Msgr. James Lisante Joseph Nocella Lewis Okin C. Raymond Radigan, Esq.

Italy Stefano Cerniato Rolando Clementoni, KCSG Avv. Daniele Costi Jerzy Kluger (1921-2011) Mexico Cecelia Levine Poland Ms. Beata Czekaj Belgrade, Serbia HRH Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia Aleksandar Simic South America Count Sebastian Zoltowski Switzerland Pablo Manuel Villarreal United Kingdom Jonathan Boulter

G What Others Say About Us “It is with affection that I greet the members of the Pave the Way Foundation and I thank Mr. Krupp for the kind words which he has addressed to me on your behalf” Pope John Paul II “I think he (Gary Krupp) is one of the greatest people I have met in my life and I am 80. He has me 100 percent convinced he will succeed.” Dott. Rolando Clementoni- Senior Papal Chamberlain- Protocol Officer of the Apostolic Palace, Vatican “Mr. and Mrs. Krupp formed Pave the Way Foundation to effect his vision of the commonality that exists between the world’s religions. They use the common message of the true benevolence of each faith, to affect the overall goal that the religions, universally, must act to remove incorrect use as a tool of religious dogma and the intentional misinterpretations of holy text, to justify acts of violence, hatred and bigotry, within each religion. This, Mr. Krupp believes, is the cause of every major conflict on earth. How can such a monumental task be accomplished? Well sometimes the easiest and the simplest way will accomplish great things. Gary has proven this and, if his methodology becomes a format for dealing with the world’s problems, I’m convinced that solutions to some of the international problems would be achieved.” Dr. Faroque Khan – Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Islamic Center of Long Island “The efforts of tonight’s honorees are a tribute to the Pave the Way Foundation’s mission to unify people of all religions and improve the quality of life in communities throughout the world” Michael R. Bloomberg – Mayor, City of New York “It is my pleasure to send you this letter congratulating you on the important initiative to produce a documentary program on the Alexandria Summit and its Declaration, as well as the ongoing effort to ensure that religion is a force fro peace in the Middle East and in our world, rather then a tool for violence and destruction. This message and this initiative are of urgent and crucial importance and I am grateful to you and for your commitment to bring them to as wide an audience as possible.” Rabbi David Rosen – Signatory to the Alexandria Declaration and International Director and Chief Rabbi of the American Jewish Committee “Please keep up the good work of Pave the Way Foundation in your quest to end the use of religion for justifying acts of violence” Rabbi Shlomo Riskin- Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel “Once more I feel impelled by events- this time happily positive developments-to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for the unique contribution you have been making with the Pave the Way Foundation, to securing onward progress in building up the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish People. There are, of course, many organizations devoted to advancing Catholic Jewish dialogue and friendship. None, however, has equally grasped the indispensable requirement of a healthy relationship between the Church and the State of Israel.” (The Reverend Dr.) David-Maria A. Jaeger, OFM, official spokesperson for the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land Telephone: +1.212.629.0046 • Email: office@ptwf.org

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Pave the Way Foundation’s Gestures of Good Will:

Completed Projects: • Eliminated the Muslim objection to opening the Halki Seminary in Turkey for the benefit of the Christian Orthodox minority completed • Organized the largest Jewish audience in history, simply to thank Pope JohnPaul II for his enormous gestures to improve Catholic-Jewish relations • Arranged a historical mission of scholars to the Vatican Library to view original manuscripts of Maimonides • Initiated historic First-ever exhibit of manuscripts of Maimonides and others from the Vatican Library to the State of Israel • Identified the availability and donor, enabling the Vatican Library to acquire the Bodmer Papyrus for worldwide study • Improved Judeo-Christian tourism to Israel and the Holy Land, eliminating travel restrictions and airport difficulties, benefitting all the people of the region • Sponsored an international symposium on the papacy of Pope Pius XII to educate and inform and bring together all concerned parties to discuss their historical differences Ongoing Projects: • Raising awareness of the Covenant of Protection signed by the Prophet Muhammad in 628 guaranteeing the safety of Christians and their churches • Working with the Israelis government to help Non-Jewish residents and students with their legal status • Uncovering the truth about Pope Pius XII • Digitizing the Vatican Library and the manuscripts of the Franciscans in Israel • Finalizing the fundamental agreements between the state of Israel and The Holy See • Moving to get the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem affirmed • Sponsoring Project Baby • Working to Implement Peace and Prosperity Plan for the Palestinian areas • Placing twin life-size monuments of Pope John Paul II in Krakow and Jerusalem to be created by renowned artist and Pave the Way Foundation Advisor, Sam Philipe See more completed and ongoing projects at www.ptwf.org; click on projects Contact Us: Manhattan: 350 Fifth Avenue, GTFM-LLC Suite 6617, New York, NY 10118-6617 Long Island: 395 Twin Lane South, Wantagh, NY 11793-1942 Phone: (212) 629-0046, Fax: (516) 432-7561 Email: office@ptwf.org

www.ptwf.org Pave the Way Foundation 395 Twin Lane South Wantagh, NY 11793-1942

Copyright 2013, Pave the Way Foundation. All rights reserved. This newsletter may be freely forwarded, reprinted and distributed in its complete form with no additions but may not be used to promote any commercial enterprise. Individual articles or passages may be reprinted only with express written permission of Pave the Way Foundation.

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Gestures Newsletter - Issue 10