Monday, 14 April 2014

Baar, Switzerland: International Summer Academy on Peacebuilding & Intercultural Dialogue | 17-27 August 2014 | Application deadline 30 June

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:44 PDT

International Summer Academy on Peacebuilding & Intercultural Dialogue
Institute for Peace and Dialogue, IPD.
Baar, Switzerland
17-27 August 2014.

To register SA, complete the application form and send by email with your passport page (only photo page) to fhuseynli [at] by 30 June, 2014. See

Participants from all over world countries who working in State Organs, INGOs, IOs, Companies, Universities or Individual Researchers and who are interested on peacebuilding, conflict transformation, intercultural-interfaith dialogue, mediation, negotiation etc. related topics are welcome to join our coming summer academy.
If you have any questions feel free to email fhuseynli [at]

IPD SA Experts & Topics –
IPD SA Baar, Switzerland 2014 –
IPD SA Vienna, Austria 2013 –
Summer Academy location Baar Region-

Fakhrinur HUSEYNLI
Director of Institute for Peace & Dialogue, IDP
Address: Schachenstrasse 36,
CH-6010 Kriens, Switzerland
E-mail: fhuseynli [at]

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

CAR’s archbishop and imam in peace drive

Filed under: Africa files,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:27 PDT

The conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) is often described as being between Muslims and Christians but two religious leaders are working together to end the bloodshed that has displaced about 20% of the population. The BBC’s Tim Whewell joined them on one of their trips to promote peace.

The archbishop finishes tying luggage to the roof of the 4×4, and climbs into the driver’s seat. “The task is hard,” he says. “But for God, nothing is impossible.”

The chief imam, beside him, smiles in agreement. And with that, they’re off – on a dangerous journey into the interior of their country, to try to reconcile two communities divided by hatred.


Monday, 7 April 2014

UN expert alarmed at worsening human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

Filed under: Human Rights,Myanmar,Religion and peacebuilding,Southeast Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:10 PDT

An independent United Nations expert today sounded the alarm on the deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, adding that the evacuation of aid workers following recent attacks on the humanitarian community would have severe consequences for life-saving work in the area.

“Recent developments in Rakhine state are the latest in a long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community which could amount to crimes against humanity,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Myanmar activists launch anti-‘hate speech’ campaign

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Myanmar,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:58 PDT

BANGKOK – A group of Myanmar activists, including former political prisoners, are launching a campaign on Friday to tackle the ‘hate speech’ against Muslims that has engulfed social media and spread into Burmese society.

Panzagar, literally “flower speech”, is a movement set up by Nay Phone Latt, a blogger and executive director of Myanmar ICT For Development Organization (MIDO) who spent nearly four years in jail for writing about the monks’ protests in 2007 that ended in a bloody crackdown.


Jerusalem, April 6th: Marking 25 years of Rabbis for Human Rights | Live online

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Media and Conflict,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:37 PDT
Sunday, 6 April 2014

LIVE event!
Sunday April 6 (6 Nissan)
7pm, Jerusalem Botanical Garden Auditorium

For those who cannot make the event in person, you can watch the event LIVE with English subtitles. On April 6, the footage will feed directly onto the linked page. No need for registration.

Also see the Facebook “event” page.

The event is at 7 pm in Israel, this corresponds to the following times globally:

Pacific Daylight Time (LA, San Fran, Vancouver)- 9am
Central Daylight Time (Chicago, Minneapolis)-11am
Eastern Daylight Time (NYC, Boston,Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal)- 12pm, noon
British Summer Time (London)-5pm/17:00
Central European Summer Time (Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Johannesburg)- 6pm/18:00
Eastern European Time (Cairo, Istanbul)-6pm/18:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Melbourne, Sydney)- 3am, APRIL 7th
WATCH: 25 Years of Rabbis for Human Rights


Friday, 14 March 2014

Myanmar: The systematic repression of the Rohingya minority continues | by Maung Zarni

“What can we do, brother? There are too many. We can’t kill them all.”

He said it matter-of-factly—a former brigadier and diplomat from my native country, Myanmar, about Rohingya Muslims.

We were in the spacious ambassadorial office at Myanmar Embassy in an ASEAN country when this “brotherly” conversation took place. I am familiar with Myanmar’s racist nationalist narrative. I have also worked with the country’s military intelligence services in pushing for the gradual re-engagement between the West and our country, then an international pariah. Apparently, knowledge of my background made the soldier feel so at ease that he could make such a hateful call in a friendly conversation on official premises in total candor: Islamophobia normalized in the highest ranks of the bureaucracy and military in Myanmar.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth,Human Rights,International Law: War,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:30 PDT

International peacekeepers have failed to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Muslim civilians in the western part of the Central African Republic, Amnesty International said in a report issued today.

To protect the country’s remaining Muslim communities, international peacekeeping forces must break the control of anti-balaka militias and station sufficient troops in towns where Muslims are threatened.

“Anti-balaka militias are carrying out violent attacks in an effort to ethnically cleanse Muslims in the Central African Republic,” said Joanne Mariner, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International.

“The result is a Muslim exodus of historic proportions.”

Amnesty International criticized the international community’s tepid response to the crisis, noting that international peacekeeping troops have been reluctant to challenge anti-balaka militias, and slow to protect the threatened Muslim minority.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

In Suggestions for Victorious Bus Boycotters, MLK’s Powerful Turn Toward Nonviolence

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:17 PDT

AlabamaBusIntegrationdoc7 This document, drafted by the Montgomery Improvement Association, advised victorious bus boycotters on best practices for riding the newly integrated city bus system.

When the document was distributed on Dec. 19, 1956, the bus boycott had been going on for nearly 12 months. The MIA, headed by Martin Luther King, Jr., coordinated the boycott throughout.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Despite conflicts, the bells ring on in Bethlehem

Filed under: Art of Peacework,Human Rights,International Law: War,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:32 PDT

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — A Palestinian college student is one of the last keepers of a fading tradition: ringing the bells of Bethlehem.

Twice a week, Khadir Jaraiseh climbs to the roof of the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born. He pulls the ropes of four bells in a rooftop tower a total of 33 times, the number of years Jesus was believed to have lived…

His rooftop perch offers a view of old stone houses and cobblestone alleys in the center of Bethlehem.

On Sunday, patches of snow were left on rooftops, remnants of a rare storm that hit earlier this month. Much of the church was covered in scaffolding, as part of urgent repairs of a leaking roof — the first facelift in 600 years. Below, Manger Square was filled with tour groups, including visitors from India and Africa.

But the postcard-like vista is disrupted by Israel’s West Bank separation barrier in the background.


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Canada: The whistleblower

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:37 PDT

Last December, Edgar Schmidt, the general counsel in the Legislative Services Branch of the federal Department of Justice, personally served the Office of the Attorney-General with a statement of claim, alleging that his own ministry had acted unlawfully by failing to properly review the constitutionality of draft legislation.

The next day, Schmidt’s immediate superior, Philippe Hallée, advised him by phone that he was suspended without pay for filing the action. Later, he sent Schmidt an email adding that he was denied access to his office.

The soft-spoken lawyer is now embroiled in a court case that not only goes to the heart of the federal legislative process, but also raises issues about the ethical duties of government lawyers and the tension between whistleblowing legislation and rules of professional conduct. The matter is expected to go to trial in the next six months.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Snowfall unites Jerusalemites of diverse faiths

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 22:44 PDT

Aglow in an incandescent white sheen, the Old City became perhaps the most unlikely and historic playground in the world on Thursday, uniting Arab and Jewish children and adults of all streams with a shared sense of awe and adventure.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pakistan Muslims Protect Christians From Islamic Extremists, Form Human Chain Around Church

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding,South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:57 PDT

Between 200-300 Pakistani Muslims and Christians united and gathered to make a human chain around a church in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city on Sunday.

Held on Oct. 6, just two weeks after a church bombing killed more than 100 people in Peshawar, the human chain, organized by the citizen group “Pakistan for All,” is part of the movement’s goal to raise awareness about minority rights and concerns.

“Well, the terrorists showed us what they do on Sundays. Here we are showing them what we do on Sundays. We unite,” Pakistan for All organizer, Mohammad Jibran Nasir told The Express Tribune.

Mufti Mohammed Farooq opened the event by reading several passages from the Quran that called for tolerance of other beliefs, while Father Nasir Gulfam, who had just preached the church’s Sunday service, stood by his side before they took hold of each other’s hands, modeling their message.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

A rabbi and a Palestinian farmer are neighbors, partners – and friends

Filed under: Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:09 PDT

Shaul David Judelman is an Israeli rabbi who moved from Seattle to Bat Ayin, a religious community in the occupied West Bank.

Ziad Abed Sabateen is a Palestinian farmer who endured imprisonment during the first intifada against the Israelis more than 20 years ago and whose family was dispossessed of most of its land to accommodate Jewish settlers.

The two men are good neighbors, friends, and business partners – not enemies.


Friday, 27 September 2013

On reconciliation, memory and justice in Cambodia: Interview with Youk Chhang

Filed under: Cambodia,Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Religion and peacebuilding,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:40 PDT

Named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2007 by Time magazine, Youk Chhang turned the misfortune and suffering of his childhood under the Khmer Rouge into a documentation centre detailing genocide under the Pol Pot regime which took around 2 million lives.

The Documentation Centre of Cambodia houses over 500,000 documents and 6,000 photographs, making it the largest archive of its kind. According to Chhang, it was an important source of evidence contributing to the establishment of the Cambodia Tribunal in 1997.

During his brief visit to Bangkok, Prachatai talked to Youk Chhang, Director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia and a genocide survivor about reconciliation, forgiveness and the future of Cambodia.


Friday, 30 August 2013

Glimmers of hope in Aleppo’s war-torn streets

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:46 PDT

“Osama bin Laden is my leader!”

When Kamal, a young man from Aleppo in Syria, uttered these words on my first day there, I almost fainted. Feelings of humiliation and disbelief choked me. As a Christian Arab who considers Islam to be part of my culture and who has been enriched by the beautiful Islamic heritage of my city Damascus, it was distressing to hear a Muslim straying so far from the wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad, who taught that killing another human is equivalent to killing all of humanity.

I suddenly doubted myself, my revolution, my struggle, and my mission to Aleppo. Kamal was one of 40 participants in a conflict-resolution workshop in Aleppo I organized for my NGO, the Toronto-based Syrian Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. We aim to reach every Syrian and empower them to work together toward building a new liberal and democratic Syria.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

How Much Hospitality Can Lebanon Offer Syrian Refugees?

Filed under: Human Rights,Humanitarian work,International Law: War,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:50 PDT

The Lebanese interior minister stated recently that, at the current rate of Syrian refugees crossing the border into Lebanon, by the end of the year Lebanon would be host to 2 million Syrian refugees.

The latest U.N. statistics indicate that close to 700,000 refugees have officially registered with the U.N. There are at least another 100,000 who refuse to register out of fear.


Friday, 16 August 2013

40 maps that explain the world: Where people are the most and least welcoming to foreigners (and more)

Watch a video of the author discussing these maps and what they say

Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. So when we saw a post sweeping the Web titled “are original to this blog (see our full maps coverage here), with others from a variety of sources.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

One family’s experience in what it takes not to hate

Filed under: Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:55 PDT

Washington, DC – It’s rare to open a paper these days without seeing stories about violence across religious and ethnic lines. Many scholars spend their careers asking why people become susceptible to such hatred. But maybe the real question we should be asking ourselves is why so many of us are not?


Strengthening Policy and Practice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments

Dates: 9-14th March 2014

Location: Birmingham, UK

Course fee: £1100 (includes full board accommodation from the evening of 9th – afternoon of 14th March)

Course description

Strengthening Policy and Practice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments is designed to draw on the experience and practice of participants, working in development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding to influence internal policies and programmatic approaches. The course will identify how organisations can strive to balance their organisational mandate with the demands of working in complex and rapidly changing political contexts.

Course aims

The course will enable participants to contribute to developing constructive organisational and programmatic policies that will guide practical responses in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. It will draw on the experience of participants and tutors to examine the key issues that are emerging from field-based work.

Course objectives

Participants will:

  • deepen their understanding of their work, from a conflict transformation perspective
  • apply appropriate conflict analysis to their own organisational contexts
  • explore the relationship between organisational policy and practice in situations of instability, conflict or violence
  • examine issues relating to aid and conflict in order to develop conflict sensitive policies for their organisations
  • consider the key policy and practice issues relating to the prevention of violent conflict and of building peace
  • strengthen their competence to contribute pro-actively to the development of appropriate policies and best practices in their organisation/ institution for working in environments affected by conflict or violence

Suitable for

This course is for staff of international and national agencies and those with advisory and management responsibility for emergency, relief, development, and peacebuilding programmes. It is particularly relevant for those engaged in the planning and implementation of field-based programmes, and those concerned with developing policies for appropriate responses in complex political emergencies.

2013 participant feedback

“The structure was very interactive with joint task exercises, team work and opportunity for self reflection, critical learning and experience sharing.”

“Both facilitators made the learning fun and reflective. We are taking away not only the knowledge and skills but also the approach of delivering this knowledge and skill.”

“I have learned too many things to choose just one. What I think will be the most valuable in my work are practical tools for conflict analysis and transformation.”

For more information about the course and to apply, please visit our website or contact us at

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Prayers for an Intrepid Priest Missing in Syria

Filed under: Middle East,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 23:07 PDT

On Wednesday, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order to which he belongs. The pope paused to remember those Jesuit priests who had given their lives in service of their faith. “I’m thinking of Padre Paolo,” he said.

At the moment, no one in the room knew if Father Paolo Dall’Oglio was still alive.

Two days before the pope’s prayer, Father Paolo, an Italian Jesuit priest associated with the Syrian opposition, had been seen walking the streets of Raqqa, a rebel-controlled area in northern Syria. Then he disappeared. Activists reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a militant group affiliated with al Qaeda, had kidnapped him. Contradicting reports soon emerged. Had Father Paolo been kidnapped, or had he purposefully met with the group to negotiate the release of hostages and to broker a truce between Kurds and Islamic extremists fighting in the north?

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