Empowerment Young Women Leadership Program

2 January, 2014 News No comments

Society Voice Foundation (SVF) aims at empowering 450 young women leaders aged 20-30 years old from different areas of social sciences, education, journalism and public relations and media on the principles and techniques of leadership, voluntary work, advocacy and implementing community initiatives.

SVF will coordinate with women grassroots centers from different areas of Gaza Strip to empower women through which they will put into practice their newly acquired skills by forming 5 community forums. Young women leaders will also have the opportunity to get engaged in a community advocacy campaign with the objective of building a future democratic leadership. Women’s leadership skills gained are effectively utilized in Gaza Strip and maintained through community forums. The program will support civic culture that promote democratic values and the active participation of all individuals in social and political life. Public awareness on women’s rights through media coverage, website, radio broadcast are promoted.

This program is supported by MEIP.

Community Peace Conference in Nablus

30 July, 2013 News No comments

SVF held a conference to discuss community peace in the West Bank city of Nablus on June 23, 2013. More than 100 local youth and university graduates and representatives of local NGOs participated at the conference. The conference was funded by the European Union.

SVF’s representative, Hassan Alkhatuib, welcomed the participants, emphasizing on the need to continue the efforts of spreading concepts of community peace, tolerance , dialogue and reconciliation.

Alkhatuib ran the conference with the help of a paper work, produced by distinguished writer Imtiyaz Almaghreby, “Role of women in promoting culture of community-based peace”

Through her paper, Almaghreb maintained that Palestinian women continue to struggle for the sake of ending current political split and such a struggle has been yet represented in peaceful demonstrations. According to Almaghreby, Palestinian women also continue to struggle for the sake of a democratic society that is based on social justice, equality and non-violence.

She added that the political split has caused a great damage to the Palestinian social structure as Palestinians pay a price for the division. Almaghreby believed that women have a role to play in spreading community peace by means of their efficiency, wisdom and tolerance.

She praised women persistence in their struggle for community peace, calling on all parties, including decision-makers, to help organize some relevant campaigns for the best of culture of community peace, in which women can be broadly involved.

Islamic preacher, Zuhair Aldeby. presented a similar paper, saying that community peace rejects all forms of violence and incitement. He added that the Islamic faith had long ago preached tolerance and renounced extremism or violence.  Aldeby also maintained that an open religious would help sort out hatred or any other form of extremism among members of the local community.

He made clear that the Islamic faith respects pluralism and never dismisses others and rather encourages interaction, based on rational dialogue, tolerance and mercy.

The local preacher also believed that Islam has ever been based on a comprehensive vision that is void of partisan tendencies, saying that a well-structured society would lead to security and stability.

He maintained that non-tolerance would mean non-existence of a variety of thoughts or visions, because of the fact that there is a wide range of demagogic dialogues that prevent flow of variety of visions or thoughts. He believed that currently there are some attempts by some parties to abolish doctrines of others.

Irrespective to recent rapid changes around the world, Aldeb’y said that there are still some social trends or behavior that are outdated like taking revenge or tribal feuds. Through his paper, Aldeb’y expressed his sorry for the killings and injuries of people during political partisan conflicts, attributing such fights to the absence of tolerance and culture of dialogue.

From his part, media practitioner, Atef Sa’d produced a paper on media role in spreading culture of community peace. Sa’d maintained that media has ever been concerned about community problems and the suffering of a given community members, consequently influencing public opinion. He said that media could assume a certain role in spreading culture of community-based peace and averting all forms of violence, extremism or partisanship.

He noted that a genuine media work could serve the local community effectively for the best of community-based peace, once such media is backed by the law.

He maintained that community peace and defense of the national unity and stability could be secured once media outlets are based on neutrality, objectivity and independency. Sa’d also made clear that a real media role should be based on principle of justice and accountability in a region that is rather unstable.

During the second session of the same conference, ran by Dr. Fakhry Aldwaikat, of the Alquds Open  University, Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of settlements file in theWest Bank, produced a paper work in which he talked about popular peaceful resistance, adding that struggle, at the political, cultural and economic levels, is necessary.  He pointed out that the popular non-violent resistance, is the best means for the people as a clear future strategy.

In a different paper work, presented by priest Ibrahim Naiyrouz, peaceful Islamic-Christian coexistence inPalestine, is a fine model for dialogue among religions.

Nayrouz maintained that the city ofBethlehem, is a city of peace where Muslims and Christians live in a great harmony. He clarified that the Islamic-Christian coexistence in Bethelahem has been marked with suffering under occupation, suffering of prisoners and sacrifices of all other freedom fighters irrespective to the religious background. The priest also noted that both Muslims and Christians have united against all occupation attempts to transform the city.

He noted that such a historical coexistence between Muslims and Christians should be enhanced in a way that would allow mutual respect and reinforcement of dialogue and community peace among all members of the local community.

Participants, from their part, recommended the following :

  • Keeping up stability and community peace;
  • Expanding and generalizing idea of youth participation in social, economic , cultural and political development;
  • Adhering to public national  trends when it comes to media works including print, audio and television or electronic. This would guarantee peace and security of local citizens and remove all forms of incitement, hatred or split.
  • Reinforcing concepts of community peace and dialogue, away from violence and dismissal of others as well as finding new prospects for dialogue among youth, based on public interests, not on factional narrow ones.
  • Spreading culture of community peace among all members of the local community, especially youth.
  • Respecting political pluralism inside the Palestinian community, something that would raise level of democracy and help political parties and institutions succeed.
  • Increasing number of meetings and seminars regarding political rivalry at the internal level and spreading culture of community peace among local members of the community, in a way that would upgrade the Palestinian society.
  •  Opening to others and reinforcing culture of bilateral relations and respect of others’ opinions, exchange of thoughts and expertise for the sake of humanity.
  • Reinforcing culture of dialogue among members of the local community, given the fact dialogue is important for the sake of connectivity and mutual respect within the framework of the national interests.
  • Promoting supremacy of law, as being the safeguard of the community.

Summer Academy for Youth in Nablus

SVF completed a summer academy for youth in the West Bank city of  Nablus, funded by the European Union. The program aimed at enhancing concepts of dialogue and community-based reconciliation in cooperation with Almostaqbal local society of Nablus on June 16, 2013. More than 70 youth participated at the summer academy

All participants expressed various viewpoints towards a better future building and engaged in a civilized dialogue regarding some positive community values that would help build up a better civil Palestinian society.

From his part, Hassan Alkhatuib, coordinator of the SVF’s activities in the West Bank, maintained that the summer university program is a part of community outreach program for the reinforcement of dialogue  and community-based reconciliation across the occupied Palestinian territories, being funded by the European Union and aimed at reaching community-based conciliation and enhancing concepts of community peace.

Alkhatuib also emphasized that the summer academy was important for youth to meet up and reinforce among them some constructive thoughts and values that would in turn help them develop their various capacities towards a better future.

Alkhatuib pointed out that through some youth initiatives, implemented in Nablus-based villages, the SVF sought spreading the summer university idea as far and wide as possible, based on some practical and theoretical concept of community-based peace and dialogue. They also included, according to Alkhatuib, training youth on how to organize conferences and  engagement in voluntary works. Alkhatuib added that all well-qualified academics and trainers trained the participants.

In a related note, Alkhatuib made clear that the summer academy included implementation of some voluntary individual and collective campaigns like graffiti, media campaigning via social networking websites and reinforcement of rhetoric of dialogue and pluralism. All such campaigns have aimed at spreading culture of community-based peace.

Dr. Fakhry Dwaikat, a lecturer in one of the summer academy sessions, believed that the summer university idea itself is such a very distinguished one that targets an important category of the society and representing the community. He made clear that such an initiative help creating a new generation of young community leaders and open up new prospects for more youth innovation and creation.

Dwaikat added that the workshops implemented in the summer academy time, aimed at creating an efficient generation of Palestinian state building, based on values of tolerance and dialogue. The lecturer praised the diversity of activities, conducted during the summer university in a way that made the summer university itself,  alive and interactive.

Participants,  including Saner Abu Ghdaib abd Asala Hejazy, believed that such initiatives and new ideas greatly would reinforce concept of community-based participation among Palestinian youth and give them a broader scope for more creativity and connectivity inside their local communities.

Participants recommended the following :

  • Passing special legislations and policies regarding youth, in a way that would help them maintaining some well-established leadership roles and help them taking part in decision-making.
  • The need for respecting youth political rights and helping youth assume some leadership roles inside their political parties.
  • Enabling women to assume some high-ranking political posts including decision-making.
  • Urging other various institutions to follow the summer university initiative for the sake of experience exchange and embracing some concepts like culture of community-based peace. Setting up a strategic plan that would aim at reinforcing community-based peace and ensuring some basic material and managerial capabilities as well as holding some related training courses for the sake of community-based peace.
  • Adopting ways of proper social upbringing for the upcoming generations and finding ways to develop media in relation with women reality and ensuring a proper cooperation by some other relevant bodies like courts. All should aim at enhancing concepts of community-based peace in accordance with international standards.
  • Satisfy the need for respect of pluralism inside the Palestinian community as well as respect of others’ viewpoints.
  • Urging media outlets to help promoting political participation through some media programs or campaigning within the aim of reducing incitement towards violence or internal fight.

Community Peace Conference, Nablus

SVA held a conference to discuss community peace in the West Bank city of Nablus at the halls of Future Association on June 23, 2013. 104 local youth and university graduates and representatives of local NGOs participated at the conference. SVA’s West Bank Coordinator, Hassan Alkhatib, opened the conference and welcomed the participants, emphasizing on the need to continue the efforts of spreading concepts of community peace, tolerance, dialogue and reconciliation.

 

Mrs. Abeer Qasm chaired the first session of the conference and welcomed the distinguished writer Ms. Imtiyaz Almaghreby who presented her paper ” the role of women in promoting the culture of community peace”. She spoke about the  Palestinian women and the continuous struggle they have been playing to end the current political split and such a struggle has been yet represented in peaceful demonstrations. She also discussed the role of Palestinian women who continue to struggle for the sake of a democratic society as well that is based on social justice, equality and non-violence. She added that the political split has caused a great damage to the Palestinian social structure as Palestinians pay a price for the division. Almaghreby believed that women have a role to play in spreading community peace by means of their efficiency, wisdom and tolerance. She advised women persistence in their struggle for community peace, calling on all parties, including decision-makers, to help organize some relevant campaigns for the best of culture of community peace, in which women can be broadly involved.

 

In the second paper, Mrs. Abeer Qasm also welcomed the Islamic preacher, Zuhair Aldeby to who spoke about the community peace rejects all forms of violence and incitement. He added that the Islamic faith had long ago preached tolerance and renounced extremism or violence. Aldeby also emphasised that an open religious would help sort out hatred or any other form of extremism among members of the local community. He made clear that the Islamic faith respects pluralism and others and encourages interaction, based on rational dialogue, tolerance and mercy. The local preacher also believed that Islam has ever been based on a comprehensive vision not the partisan tendencies. He added that a well-structured society would lead to security and stability. Non-tolerance would mean non-existence of a variety of thoughts or visions, because of the fact that there is a wide range of demagogic dialogues that prevent flow of variety of visions or thoughts. He believed that currently there are some attempts by some parties to abolish doctrines of others.

 

Irrespective to recent global changes around the world, Aldeby said that there are still some social trends or behavior that are outdated like taking revenge or tribal feuds. Through his paper, Aldeb’y expressed his sorry for the killings and injuries of people during political partisan conflicts, attributing such fights to the absence of tolerance and culture of dialogue.

 

In the first session of the conference too, the media practitioner, Mr. Atef Sa’d presented a paper on media role in spreading culture of community peace. Sa’d maintained that media has ever been concerned about community problems and the suffering of a given community members, consequently influencing public opinion. He said that media could assume a certain role in spreading culture of community peace and averting all forms of violence, extremism or partisanship. He noted that a genuine media work could serve the local community effectively for the best of community peace, once such media is backed by the law. He maintained that community peace, the national unity and stability could be secured once media outlets are based on neutrality, objectivity and independency. Sa’d also made clear that a real media role should be based on principle of justice and accountability in a region.

 

During the second session, Dr. Fakhry Aldwaikat, of the Alquds Open  University chaired the session and welcomed Mr. Ghassan Daghlas, non-violent activist to present his paper work on ‘popular peaceful resistance, adding that peaceful struggle, at the political, cultural and economic levels, is necessary.  He pointed out that the popular non-violent resistance, is the best means for the people as a clear future strategy.

 

In a different paper work, presented by priest Ibrahim Naiyrouz, peaceful Islamic-Christian coexistence in Palestine, is an excellent model for dialogue among religions. Nayrouz maintained that the city of Bethlehem, is a city of peace where Muslims and Christians live in a great harmony. He clarified that the Islamic-Christian coexistence in Bethelahem has been marked with suffering under occupation, suffering of prisoners and sacrifices of all other freedom fighters irrespective to the religious background. The priest also noted that both Muslims and Christians have united against all occupation attempts to transform the city. He noted that such a historical coexistence between Muslims and Christians should be enhanced in a way that would allow mutual respect and reinforcement of dialogue and community peace among all members of the local community.

 

Participants and the speakers recommended the following:

 

  • Expanding and generalizing idea of youth participation in social, economic , cultural and political development;
  • There is a need for future similar conferences in all parts of the region.
  • Promotion of rules of law, good governance, values of social justice and equality.
  • Spreading security and safety among the local community and nhancing culture of community peace building with the involvement of all categories of the local civil community and local government.
  • Forming a committee comprising of all local community organizations , so that they will all work for the sake of community-based peace.
  • Enhancing role of local community organizations in relation with concepts of community peace.
  • Organizing campaign of advocacy and lobbying towards political parties so that a Palestinian reconciliation could be observed.
  • Promoting religious Islamic and Christian cooperation that would enhance community reconciliation.
  • Engaging in activities and programs that would enhance community peace and rule of law.
  • Adhering to public national  trends when it comes to media works including print, audio and television or electronic. This would guarantee peace and security of local citizens and remove all forms of incitement, hatred or split.
  • Reinforcing concepts of community peace and dialogue, away from violence and dismissal of others as well as finding new prospects for dialogue among youth, based on public interests, not on factional narrow ones.
  • Spreading culture of community peace among all members of the local community, especially youth.
  • Respecting political pluralism inside the Palestinian community, something that would raise level of democracy and help political parties and institutions succeed.
  • Increasing number of meetings and seminars to discuss the political rivalry at the internal level and spreading culture of community peace among local members of the community.
  •  Opening to others and reinforcing culture of bilateral relations and respect of others’ opinions, exchange of thoughts and expertise for the sake of humanity.
  • Reinforcing culture of dialogue among members of the local community, given the fact dialogue is important for the sake of  mutual respect within the framework of the national interests.
  • Promoting rule of law, as being the safeguard of the community.

West Bank: Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Training

Society Voice Foundation in coordination with Coventry University and the Arab American University of Jenin, held an intensive course on conflict resolution and peace building. Training held on March 16, 2013, with the participation of 25 participants from different sectors.

 Abeer Qasem, SVF representative in theWest Bank, said that such a training is the first in a series of upcoming similar activities including training on  local initiatives , essay writing and holding debate sessions with decision makers. She added that such trainings aim at enhancing role of youth in disseminating concepts of peace and tolerance in the Palestinian society. SVF will organise a number of activities in theWest Bankand Gaza Strip. Currently, SVF produces and broadcast a weekly radio programs and spots to promote the values of dialogue, reconciliation, tolerance. SVF has been preparing to run a summer academy for 100 young leaders from the North of theWest Bank. The summer activities will include educational and cultural activities to discuss and promote the role of youth in community peace, dialogue and changing the society based on democracy and human rights. In addition, some youth will participate in organising community initiatives to enhance community voluntary work and the concept and practices of non-violence in the North of West Bank.

 Dr. Mofeed Qassoum, head of international relations of theArabAmericanUniversityemphasized on the significance of outreach among local NGOs with local Palestinian universities, saying that such trainings promote good values for the sake of a pluralism-based Palestinian civil society, on basis of peace and tolerance. He also appreciated the SVF’s role in helping coordinate such activities.

 Dr. Marwan Darweesh and Carol Rank ofCoventryUniversityparticipated as a trainers and gave trainings on various topics including dismissal of violence, promotion of peaceful means to resolve conflicts. They both appreciated all efforts that aim at promoting such values and raising awareness of young generations towards better involvement in their local communities.

From his part, Abdelhakim Shibany, representative of Human Society for Community-based Development emphasized  on the importance of community members’ involvement in such activities , calling for continuing holding them in the future, based on principles of tolerance, dialogue and respect of human rights.

At the end, this training is a part of intensive peaceful and non-violence intervention of youth to promote the culture of dialogue, tolerance and reconciliation in the Palestinian society. The second part of training will take place in June 2013 to empower the trainees’ theoretical and practical skills of non violence intervention and practices.

Contact us

21 January, 2013 Contact us No comments

Society Voice Foundation

Gaza Strip, Palestine

Gaza Office: Al Jalaa St. , Behind Al Khozondar restaurant , Mortaja building , Second floor, Telfax: +97082860405

Nusairat Office: Main street, Hamad building, Second floor , Telfax: +97082551288

E-mail: societyvoice2000@yahoo.co.uk

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