FID’s founder, Robert Stucky earned B.A. and M.Div. degrees from Yale University and a Masters in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He lived and studied intensively for eight and a half years with a preeminent Hindu master, Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa of Ganeshpuri. Ordained as a Christian clergyman, he served in that capacity for sixteen years, opening the door to people of all faiths. In 2002 he renounced his clerical vows and religious affiliation, and dedicated himself to a non-sectarian promotion of spiritual health for all. He has given lectures and workshops about practical spirituality on five continents, including at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona in 2004.
A linguist with a working knowledge of a dozen languages, Rob has also worked as an interpreter and translator in a variety of settings, ranging from the arts, to interfaith dialogue, to law enforcement, and health care. His experience as a Medical Interpreter in particular taught him that cultural competence and understanding- both religious and secular- is not just a matter of linguistics. It can literally save lives.
Founder of the Cultural Diversity and Competence Initiative, (CDCI, inc.) he is now a consultant on Cultural Competence. He has also designed and taught cross-cultural and interdisciplinary university level seminars, workshops for professional interpreters, medical students, physicians and healthcare personnel, and has a reputation for inspiring and challenging others to view their own and others’ beliefs from fresh perspectives.
FID’s co-founder, Sadig A. Malki, a devout Muslim born in Mecca, is a Ph.D. graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, a professor of Political Science and Economics at King Abdullah Aziz University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Consultant to the Executive Council of the Islamic Education Foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Georgetown University, and has lectured at Harvard, Yale, and a host of universities throughout the Middle East. He is currently serving as the Representative of the Saudi Arabian Government to the European Union in Brussels, and is committed not only to presenting Islam in a clear, truthful and inspiring light to non-Muslims, but to help Muslims better understand how other cultures’ understanding of faith may interact with and enrich their own.
As a result of his scriptural dialogue with Robert Stucky, he was inspired to suggest a collaboration on an article that would address the widespread problem of what he termed “reductionism” – the human tendency to reduce the Divine to the biases and perspectives of a single culture, and then insist upon the superiority or preferability of that formula. Passionate about the universality of the Divine, he was eager to find ways to break down barriers of misunderstanding created in the name of religion.
Together these two men hope to inspire others to engage in an open-minded exploration of the spiritual riches of all traditions and understand how crucial that can be in the pursuit of lasting peace and our collective well-being.