In the end, a city that hangs its hat on being a place for tolerance and dialogue couldn’t work out a deal to keep a summit of Nobel Peace Prize laureates here — at least not as originally planned. 

After a lengthy dispute pitting Mayor Kasim Reed and the city against local organizer Mohammad Bhuiyan, the summit will likely no longer come to Atlanta this fall. The Rotary Club of Atlanta voted Monday not to take up management of the event, according to Saporta Report.

The decision effectively leaves the event without an official organizing committee. 

The mayor had withdrawn the city’s support, later saying it could be reinstated if Mr. Bhuiyan and his wife, a co-organizer, were removed from the picture. 

Mr. Bhuiyan, who represented Yunus Creative Labs and had raised money for the event from major corporate sponsors, had a falling out with the Rome-based Secretariat that manages the summit. He had also lost support of Nobel laureate and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, who reportedly resigned as chairman of his own namesake nonprofit over the conflict. 

Mr. Yunus had encouraged the selection of Atlanta, which claims two Nobel laureates — Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter

Mr. Bhuiyan vowed to carry on with the summit despite the loss of support and told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has already begun to gain new sponsors. 

Read more on the saga at Saporta Report or on (paywall).

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...