Rondine Cittadella della Pace continues to spread its wings to the world with an impact around the Mediterranean.

As participants of the first edition of “Mediterranean Frontier of Peace, Education and Reconciliation” program concluded two years of training, planning, and implementation, the young professionals from Lebanon and Bosnia and Herzegovina presented their projects and results during the conference “Transforming Education in Lebanon” hosted by Notre Dame University- Louaize (NDU), the partner organization for the projects implementation in Lebanon.

Roa Zebian and Nathalie Abdallah’s project called “Methods of Conflict Transformation for Secondary Schools in Lebanon discussed their work carried out in Lebanese schools and reported about of younger students the need for training on conflict resolution. They must acquire the tools that will enable them to handle any conflicts resulting from their interpersonal relationships or surrounding context.

Daisy El Hajje’s project, called “Fight Against Corruption: Trials of Extracurricular Education, highlighted the importance of identifying the gaps in Lebanese society and fighting to improve them. Corruption is a pressing problem in the country, so it encouraged educating t he youth on its dangers and effects.The program also included very valuable contributions from project implemented in Bosnia under the same program. Based on the similarities identified in the Lebanon and Bosnia exchange visits were planned. After the first visit to Bosnia by Daisy El Hajj, the Bosnian projects’ managers were then invited to present their experiences during the conference at NDU in order to share their attempts at building peace carried out in similar situations with different strategies and methodologies.

Amina Surkovic implemented the project called “Educational visits to the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo and tackled the elaboration of the memory of war in a way to prevent its removal but rather keeping it alive and preserved for educational purposes. The War Childhood Museum stops the time on the years of war to allow everybody to reflect on the brutality of war and their role in preventing conflicts, to make sure that the war remains in museums instead of in all different realities.

Nadežda Mojsilović, project manager of “Let’s Step Forward Together” (implemented by the Youth Center “John Paul II” in Sarajevo), addressed the relevance of the work in the field of interreligious dialogue for Bosnian youth. She also underlined the importance of implementing similar efforts in Lebanon since both countries have comparable social patterns due to years of war and conflict.

 

Dr. Dany Samaha, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at NDU

The conference was opened by Dr. Dany Samaha, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at NDU, and Dr. Dany Ghsoub, Assistant Professor at the Department of Government and International Relations, and project supervisor for NDU. A Lebanese Minister of Education and Higher Education representative highlighted the importance of discussed topics to grow students as active and responsible citizens.

 

Valentina Brocchi (International Relations Officer) brought the vision of Rondine and Alessandro Cristalli (monitoring and evaluation) provided the rationale and the objectives of the project “Mediterranean Frontier of Peace Education and Reconciliation” and how it was embodied in the projects developed by the young professionals.

Concluding the conference, Daisy El Hajje commented on her commitment to the project and her perspective on the MED participants’ future engagement: “As the change makers of Rondine, we have a responsibility towards each other and our societies. I wish we could strengthen our networking and reflect what Rondine taught us. To see the friend in our enemy, beyond our personal conflicts, and reach out to those around us. The enemy remains an enemy if we do not break the barriers and remain indifferent to the surrounding conflicts. The conference held in Lebanon and the launch of our network are only the beginning. What we experienced and developed in Rondine Cittadella della Pace, in Italy, expands to the corners of the Mediterranean. Rondine is the journey of each one of us, started in Arezzo, landed in our countries to reach out to the world”.