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Reza Bahar

International Table Tennis Federation

United States

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About Reza Bahar


Reza Bahar - Professional Summary:    Worldwide, some 300 million people play ping pong, more properly known as table tennis. One of these enthusiasts is Reza Bahar, who plays the game and conducts free table tennis seminars for those who want to learn or improve. Reza Bahar also sees table tennis as a tool for building bridges between cultures. History bears out Reza Bahar’s claim, as Asian countries have used table tennis as an avenue for diplomacy for years. In China, for instance, the sport is enormously popular, and nearly every school in China has a table tennis team. Reza Bahar cites the best known example of using table tennis for diplomacy: when the Chinese government unexpectedly invited the United States Table Tennis team to visit their country in April of 1971. The visit made international headlines and added “ping pong diplomacy” to the national dialogue. Reza Bahar believes that table tennis can be used to open doors and speed rapprochement between disparate cultures. Since table tennis is so popular in Asia, Reza Bahar believes that it could be a very helpful tool for improving relations between North Korea and the rest of the world. Reza Bahar even sees the possibility that table tennis could encourage peace in the otherwise intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In both cases, Reza Bahar advocates promoting table tennis on a grassroots level to build interest in the sport and using that common interest to build additional cultural and diplomatic ties. In addition to table tennis, Reza Bahar considers international financing and trade as additional means to establish diplomatic ties. Trade creates mutual dependence between trading partners and helps in resolving conflicts. Reza Bahar enjoys reading about macroeconomics, fiscal enterprise, and the ways these kinds of activities can be used to address political concerns.


Reza Bahar - Professional Experience:    


International Table Tennis Federation




Reza Bahar - Interests:    International Table Tennis Federation, Currently studying the history of Table Tennis in 19th century Britain and Europe. Also studying how table tennis can be used for future diplomatic breakthroughs (as during the 1970's). Using that paradigm, and also employing foreign direct trade and investment, table tennis diplomacy could change the destiny of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. One possible initiative would be to encourage table tennis events on a grassroots level throughout the middle east and asia. This could be particularly useful with North Korea as well.



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