Tag Archives: Mideast

The project of Arab cultural capitals and cities: 22 years later, diagnosis and perspectives


An article by Mohamed Salah Kadri from Leaders (translated by CPNN and abbreviated)

The Cultural Capitals project originated in Europe in November 1983 . . . , when Melina Mercouri (1920-1994), then Greek Minister of Culture, invited her European peers to “rethink the role of culture in a European construction first based on the economic integration of its members”. The Council of European Ministers responsible for culture responded to this call and Athens (1985), Florence (1986), Amsterdam (1987) and West Berlin (1988) were respectively dedicated to “European cities of culture”

Also, at the end of the treaty of the Union of the Ibero-American Cultural Capitals (UCCI) signed on October 12th, 1982, Bogota was declared in 1991, Cultural Capital and La LaPaz, was benefited of this title in 1999 and now, after almost twenty years, the title is again awarded. . . The cities Montevideo (1996) and Havana (1997) were chosen as part of the UCCI. . . .
This recognition of belonging to a common cultural area is also at the heart of the “East Asia City of Culture” program, which seeks to foster mutual understanding between Japan, South Korea and China. . . .

Cultural capitals and cities in the Arab region

The objectives documented in the feasibility paper of the Arab Cultural Capitals Project prepared by ALECSO and endorsed by the 1998 Conference of Ministers of Culture in Arab Countries, were summarized as follows:

– to reaffirm the importance of Arab cultural unity and present a clear image of the Arab-Muslim civilization,

– to promote the participation of local populations in cultural life,

– to include culture as a vector of economic and social development,

– to encourage cultural and creative industries in Arab countries,

– to strengthen cultural cooperation between Arab countries and with the rest of the world.

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(Click here for the original in French.)

Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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The program of Arab capital cities and cultural cities continued on a regular basis from 1996, with one capital per year. From 1996 to 2018, a number of 21 Arab capitals enjoyed the title: Cairo (1996), Tunis (1997), Sharjah (1998), Beirut (1999), Riyadh (2000), Kuwait (2001) , Amman (2002), Rabat (2003), Sanaa (2004), Khartoum (2005), Muscat (2006), Damascus (2008), Jerusalem (2009), Doha (2010), Sirte (2011), Manama (2012), Baghdad (2013), Tripoli (2014) , Constantine (2015), Sfax (2016), Luxor (2017) and Oujda (2018). For the next five years, these will be: Port Sudan (2019), Bethlehem (2020), Irbid (2021), Kuwait (2022) and Tripoli (Lebanon 2023).

The merits and the limits of the project: some observations

The record of the Arab Cultural Capitals to date proves that they have the potential to act as a catalyst for local development and cultural tourism. The event was a good opportunity for new infrastructure to be built and others refurbished. Historical and archaeological sites are highlighted and artistic activities have multiplied. However, the lack of a cell or structure, even ad-hoc, at the level of the ALECSO responsible for monitoring this program makes it difficult, today to establish an exhaustive report of the actions carried out. . .

There is a tendency, more and more, to be limited to an opening ceremony and a closing ceremony. . . .

While the Arab Cultural Capitals project was a milestone on the agenda of the Arab Decade for Cultural Development (2005-2014), it is eminently recommended now with the launch from Tunis on 22 June 2018, by ALECSO, of an Arab Decade of Cultural Law for the period 2018-2027, to rehabilitate the project of the Capitals of Arab Culture in the light of the objectives of the said Decade. The Capitals of Culture chosen for the next few years should take into account in their programs new developments, namely to protect cultural rights as human rights and to promote the culture of peace, tolerance and the improvement of culture. mutual understanding between Arab countries and the rest of the world. In addition, it also seems advisable to work towards mutual alliances, to form partnerships and to make twinnings between the Arab Cultural Capitals and their African, Islamic, European, Asian and Ibero-American counterparts. De facto, a work on the image of the winning city requires borrowing cultural policies likely to enroll the younger generations in the era of time and prepare them to live in a plural world. On the other hand, did the 29th Arab Summit held in Dhahran (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) on April 15, 2018, present an opportunity to rethink the status of culture in Arab countries, calling for the organization of an Arab summit exclusively dedicated to the cultural question “Better to keep one promise than to renew one hundred”.

Women for Yemen Network: Joint Statement in Advance of the Yemeni Peace Talks in Sweden


An article from the Nobel Women’s Initiative

After four years of devastating war, the people of Yemen demand peace. It is women who are the most-affected by the war and their voices need to be heard in the peace negotiations. We, as the Women for Yemen Network, call for women to be represented in peace talks, starting with the upcoming meeting in Sweden this December. We call on the international community to put pressure on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that women are present at the peace talks. When women’s voices are included, a more lasting peace is secured.


Many issues, essential to building a lasting peace, are being neglected in the current peace negotiations. When women are present at the peace table, they ensure that the lived experiences of women and their communities are reflected in the final peace agreement.

No true peace will happen without addressing the following issues:

Women’s role in the peace process:

Ensure that women are present in the peace process. United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security calls for an increase in the participation of women in all decision-making, including in peace processes. In establishing peace in Yemen, as per the National Dialogue Conference of Yemen, women should comprise least with 30 percent of negotiators at the peace table.

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Question for this article

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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Support, financially and politically, for women-led initiatives and organizations working on peace for Yemen at the grassroots level and in the diaspora.

Restoring normalcy in Yemen:

* Institute an immediate ceasefire.
* End the Saudi and UAE-led land, air and maritime blockade on Yemen.
* Ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the conflict-affected areas and that international aid focuses on income generation for families and communities.
* Release all illegally-detained persons and abductees held by all parties to the conflict.
* End the three-year, Houthi-imposed siege of Taiz.

Start the demining process and ensure that there is a clear map of where the landmines are located.

Child soldiers:

Release, immediately, all children enlisted in military operations and ensure that their physical and psychological needs are met.
Transitional Justice:

Ensure that the principle of transitional justice is adhered to and that compensation is provided for as a prerequisite to sustainable peace.

We are a network of women’s human rights defenders and journalists working for a women’s–centred approach to building a sustainable peace in Yemen.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgis, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Southern Sudanese leaders agree to promote a culture of peace


An article in Arabic from Radio Tavazuj (translated by Google)

A number of civil leaders from across southern Sudan have agreed to work to promote unity, preaching peace and renouncing hate speech to promote peace, in accordance with the peace agreement.

Sixty local leaders from Upper Nile, Bahr El Ghazal and Equatorial Regions held a three-day meeting last week in the state of the Yai River to discuss how to implement the peace agreement.

In a statement received by Tamazog Radio, the workshop’s Cebu organization said that the aim of the workshop is to strengthen the capacity of the civil leadership and civil society organizations in the peace-building process.

Question related to this article:


Can peace be achieved in South Sudan?

Sultan Qwai, representative of the Upper Nile region, told Radio Tamazaj that the workshop added new skills on peace signed by the parties recently. “Let’s come together and start a new life with peace,” he said.

Sultan Mtour Abaj, from Bahr al-Ghazal province, pledged to spread peace, peaceful coexistence and unity in order to ease the trauma suffered by the people of southern Sudan during the war.

Ayak Deng, from the Abyei region, called on tribal leaders in southern Sudan to work for peaceful coexistence. “Let’s show love and unity among us and fight tribalism and we will not let each other out,” she said.

The Minister of Gender and Social Welfare of the State of Yay, Christina Annette, thanked Cebu and its partners for organizing a workshop of local leaders from sultans and activists from all over southern Sudan to discuss peace issues.

The minister called for efforts to promote peace-building in conflict-affected rural areas of the state of the River Yai, indicating that the state government is working hard to restore peace and stability so that peace partners can reach rural areas.

Israeli women hold mass rallies to protest rising violence against women


An article from Press TV

Tens of thousands of women have held a general strike as well as protests across the Israeli-occupied territories to voice their anger at the Tel Aviv regime’s failure to stem a sharp increase in violence against women.

On Tuesday, protesters staged separate rallies in several cities, calling on Israeli authorities to take action to stop the killings of females during domestic violence-related incidents.

A general view of protest against violence against women in Tel Aviv, Israeli-occupied territories, December 4, 2018 (By AP)

Dressed mainly in black with red hats, and carrying red balloons and torches, some 30,000 demonstrators gathered in central Tel Aviv to urge the Israeli administration to address the issue.

“Today we made history,” the protest’s organizers told the crowd. “Today the silence on the violence against women has turned to screams.”

Some 200 pairs of women’s shoes, painted red, were also placed on display on Habima Square in central Tel Aviv in a sign of protest.

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Questions related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

How effective are mass protest marches?

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In occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, demonstrators chanted for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “wake up,” carrying signs that read, “Women’s blood is not cheap” and “We are killed and the government is silent.”

Some women blocked the entrance to the city, holding signs stating, “Enough with the murder of females.”

Organizers of the protests demanded that a budget of nearly a $70 million be allocated to combating violence against women.

The strike was called last week in the wake of the recent murders of two teen girls, whose deaths brought the number of women, who were killed over the past year in domestic violence-related incidents to 24, the highest in years.

Over 300 institutions, municipalities, schools, and groups joined the strike and the protesters observed a moment of silence to mark the deaths.

A day earlier, activists poured red dye in public fountains in several cities to draw attention to the protest.

Shortly after the end of the rally, Netanyahu’s office announced that the prime minister would convene a meeting of the ministerial committee on violence against women on Wednesday morning.

On Monday, the opposition’s Zionist Union brought a no-confidence motion, denouncing the regime’s failure to curb such violence.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Book fair in Oujda, Morocco: Ambition for the Maghreb and Africa


An article by Bios Diallo for Le Point (translation by CPNN)

Oujda, the regional capital of the Moroccan East hosted from 18 to 21 October 2018 the 2nd edition of Maghreb book fair on the theme “Reinventing the universal”. It was a event full of depth.

Bordering with Algeria and gateway to Morocco, Oujda is a city rich with culture. This inspired the Minister of Culture and Communication, Mohamed Al Aaraj, to say that the Lettres du Maghreb exhibition resembles the city that hosts it: a melting pot of spiritual and intellectual cultures. Moreover, Oujda has been designated, in 2018, “capital of Arab culture”!

More than 300 writers and editors were present. And beyond the authors from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, this edition also welcomed writers and poets from Lebanon, Palestine , Syria, Iran, Latin America and Europe. Sub-Saharan Africa was also present throughout Côte d’Ivoire, a country of honor. The president of the show, Mohamed Mbarki, spoke of a “Maghreb and African ambition” to build through letters.

Towards universality

It remains to be seen how to promote and lead Maghreb literatures towards universality. Writer Jalal El Hakmaoui, who is also curator of the show, said: “It is not a question of creating universality, but of putting it into perspective through the contributions of thinkers. It means transcending the conflicts of the world and the ideologies of hate, to move towards a world that is open and respectful of the other. With “Reinventing the Universal”, the speakers invited positive ideas to combat the discourses that exploit fear.

The public was spoiled for choice of themes. The halls were filled by visitors thirsty for knowledge and debate. The subject “Islam and modernity” catalyzed many passions of the Maghreb. Indeed, between radicalization and violence, enlightenment is needed. And if Islam, as a personal faith, is not refractory to modernity, the external gaze on it is now biased. “No, Islam is not violent,” protests Algerian publisher and translator Sakhr Benhassine. And for good reason, if one investigates those who perpetrate violence, one discovers those with limited religious and human qualities. It is therefore for other motives that the ignoble is committed, and not Islam. At the round table “Sufism and the culture of peace”, rapper, slammer and writer Abd al Malik agreed: “It is our duty to enlighten those who do not really have access to the book,” he argues. “Since I am interested in Sufism, as I travel through the world of the original texts, I discover the strength and spirit of peace contained in the sacred writings. You just have to believe that people are badly informed.”

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(click here for the French original of this article)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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Themes that challenge current events

“The Maghreb seen from elsewhere” and “Being a migrant today” overlap by the fact of departure and return, the gaze of the other and of oneself. The Maghreb, itself a land of confluences, is now experiencing many crossings to Europe. Just as it has known the loss of its youth in search of better horizons towards Europe, Canada and the United States. But because, among other things, attacks and violence often committed by individuals claiming Islam, migrants and non-migrants are stigmatized. “However,” said Fodé Sylla, a great activist of the 2000s in France and moderator of one of the meetings, “we will not give in to the fear of the other. Neither the Muslim nor the migration carries the genes of violence. The culture of violence is dishonestly imposed on them. “We must avoid rigid judgments and identities,” adds Moroccan novelist Naima Lahbil Tagemouati.

The imagination of languages, the creation, the dream of elsewhere, the edition and circulation of the book will not be left out. And if Maghreb literature comes from brilliant writers, it must be recognized that their talents evolved elsewhere, an elsewhere more attractive, but at the expense of a deprived land. This is what the show wants to correct, say the organizers. The Wali of the region, keen on the readings, questions: “Will we always be condemned to see our authors celebrate elsewhere?” Mouaad Jamai refuses to abdicate:” What are we able to value here in the Maghreb! Oujda is a favorable environment. We can express here loud and clear a common will to bring about a Maghreb edition that is coherent and solidaire on the scale of the subregion around our authors and editors.”

The junction of two worlds

Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa share the same dilemma. “Our literature is still behind, regrets the Ivorian poet Henry Nkoumo. Produced elsewhere, little disseminated and encouraged at home, it can not be otherwise. But it is time for us to be able to produce on our own, and to allow our schoolchildren and readers to have access to our productions as they should! This is no doubt why the Maghreb Book Fair focuses on youth (writing workshops, comics, news and images with writers and illustrators) and local editions.

And the necessary construction of bridges. “Designating an African country as guest of honor for each edition,” said Abdelkader Retnani, president of the Union of Publishers of Morocco and one of the mainstays of the event, is part of the will of the kingdom to mark its anchor as African. For this second edition, Côte d’Ivoire succeeds Senegal. Maurice Kouakou Bandaman, Minister of Culture and Francophonie of Côte d’Ivoire, sees this as a comforting sign: “By making the Maghrebi Book Fair of Oujda a unifying door open to the world, the organizers give Morocco beautiful colors and the expectations of our book industry. ”

The visitors left with their hands full of books, with ideas to mature before 2019!

AUNOHR University unveils the “Knotted Gun” Sculpture in Beirut


special to CPNN

On the occasion of October 2, The International Day of Non‐Violence, the Academic University for Non-Violence and Human Rights – AUNOHR launched “The National Day of Non-Violence in Lebanon” and unveiled the universal “Sculpture of Non‐Violence” (The iconic knotted gun by the late Swedish painter, sculptor and peace activist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd), in a first Arab capital, Beirut, on October 2nd 2018, in the presence of Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma, Mr. Blaise Oberson, CEO of the Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVPF) which owns the rights of the sculpture, and Ms. Ingeborg Breines, former UNESCO and former co-president of the International Peace Bureau and member of the International Advisory Council of AUNOHR.


The Oct 2nd celebration was a cultural commemoration, under the patronage of the Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri who was represented by the Minister of Culture Mr. Ghattas Khoury, with the participation of officials, ambassadors, artists, intellectuals, media, academics, civil society, international organizations, youth and students from all the country.

It was an impressive event, broadcasted live on the main Lebanese TV channel (LBCI), and supported by BDL, UNICEF, LACR, individuals and many contributions in kind.

On the basis of AUNOHR’s initiative, a Ministerial Decree was declared in October 2016 to establish officially the National day for the culture of non-violence in Lebanon, and thus to coincide with the International Day of Non-Violence, adopted by the UN in 2007, October 2nd, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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Arun Gandhi’s presence as guest of honor inspired the audience; he was on a first visit to Lebanon as a member of the International Advisory Council of the University. When he learned about the founding of AUNOHR in 2009, he was overwhelmed “My grandfather always dreamed of a professional institution that teaches non-violence that will continue through generations and liberate nations… I was ecstatic when I heard that an Arab University for Nonviolence is taking shape in Lebanon and I am happy to be associated with this venture…”

Celebrating Pioneer Achievements

Dr. Ogarit Younan, AUNOHR Founder and the initiator of the event and these pioneer achievements, emphasized that it is our responsibility to choose non-violence over violence by following the idea of ​​this statue and the words of Gandhi “Be the change that you want to see in the world”. She expressed the founders’ satisfaction in introducing the culture of non-violence into the decision of the Council of Ministers and the institutionalizing of non-violence culture in school curricula through a pioneering agreement with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon. She also extended the founders’ appreciation for this courageous initiative establishing a “knotted gun” in a public place in Beirut especially in view of prevalent circumstances… numerous conflicts, extremism and violence.

Arabic Version of “Imagine” by Children

With charming and touching voices, eight children from the Arabic program “The Voice Kids” from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, sang John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, a special and impressive compilation arranged by Jean-Marie Riachi, a peaceful artistic achievement produced by the University for its wide dissemination throughout the Arab world.

Schoolchildren Designed the “Knotted Gun”

Many children from different schools, regions and religions in Lebanon, designed the “knotted gun” with their creative ideas after being trained on the meaning of the sculpture and the Day of non-violence, and participated in this first celebration with their teachers and parents. They overwhelmed the place with their paintings, a rose in their hands with a certificate of appreciation offered by AUNOHR.

These children and young singers will be the voice of the “knotted gun” and the ambassadors for the culture of peace and non-violence for generations to come…

South Sudan Chapter of African Union Master Plan Roadmap “Practical Steps To Silencing The Guns By 2020”


An article by Khamis Comas Lokudu from Gurtong

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) on Monday [October 16] launched the Economic Social and Cultural Council South Sudan Chapter(ECOSOCC). The Economic, Social and Cultural Council is an advisory organ to the African Union composed of civil society organizations (CSOs). The principle of the ECOSOCC is for the civil society to organize itself to work in partnership with the African Union. Its mandate includes contributing through advice, effective translation of the AU’s objectives, principles and policies into concrete programmes, as well as evaluating those programmes.

The objective of the chapter is to empower South Sudan civil society organization on the implementation of AU-ECOSOCC action plan for implementation of AU agenda on silencing the guns by 2020.

According to Richard Ssewakiryanga, the Executive Director of a Ugandan National NGO and Presiding Officer – African Union – Economic, Social and Cultural Council, said in his presentation that, the Aspiration 4 of Agenda 2063 which is the African Union’s strategic framework for socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next five decades, highlights the need for dialogue-centred conflict prevention, as well as the management and resolution of existing conflicts, with a view to silencing the guns in the continent by the year 2020.

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Question related to this article:

Can the African Union help bring a culture of peace to Africa?

Can peace be achieved in South Sudan?

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Mr Richard Ssewakiryanga added that the agenda 2063 provides that in order to achieve sustainable conflict prevention and resolution, a culture of peace and tolerance must be cultivated and nurtured in children and youth, among others, through peace education.

Ssewakiryanga furthermore explained that in its first ten years implementation plan, agenda 2063 stresses the imperative of ending all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence and violent conflicts as part of Africa’s collective efforts to silence the guns in the continent by 2020.

The Organization of African Union/ African Union, (OAU/AU) 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration, adopted by the AU Heads of States¬ and government in Addis Ababa on 26th May 2013 expressed determination to achieve the goal of a conflict-free Africa, to make peace a reality for all and to rid the continent of wars, civil conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters and violent conflicts.

The Heads of States pledged not to leave the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans but assume to end all wars in Africa by 2020 according to Mr Richard.

Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

The following 30 events in 15 Arab and Middle Eastern countries were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 under the key words “International day of peace” “journee internationale de la paix” and اليوم الدولي للسلام. This also includes a few events listed on the websites of International Cities of Peace, the event map of the international day of peace, as well as partiipants in a href=”http://www.onedayonechoir.org/whos-singing/”>One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace/a>.

Photo from ceremony of the UN Fprce in Lebanon (FINUL).

Here are excerpts from the articles.

CAIRO, EGYPT: The 11th International Festival of Songs and Spiritual Music was held in Egypt on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. The festival is attended by teams from 16 Arab and foreign countries as well as the Egyptian and Syrian teams currently residing in Cairo. Participating countries include India, Greece, China, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan and Pakistan, while Congo will be the guest of honor. The shows will be held in archaeological and tourist sites such as the Dome of the Ghuri, Al Moez Street and the Religions Complex, as well as the Hanager Square in Opera, the Roxy Square and the Behar Pass in the city center. “Today we are opening the eleventh session of the Sama Festival for Chanting and Spiritual Music,” Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem said at the opening ceremony on Saturday at the Beer Youssef Theater in Salahuddin Citadel. “We meet with the music and cultures of many countries in the world that are keen to participate in the festival Public”.

HELIOPOLIS, EGYPT: On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the Heliopolis Public Library in Heliopolis is holding a Fine Art Exhibition under the title “International Day of Peace”, with the participation of artist Ahmed Pero and artist Christine Safwat at 12 noon on Saturday.

LUXOR, EGYPT: The “Peaceful Coexistence” initiative in the province of Luxor organized a celebration on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, yesterday evening. “The World Day of Peace provides all the peoples of the world with a common opportunity to organize events and carry out works that glorify the importance of peace and democracy in realistic and useful ways for this celebration of World Peace Day,” said Sameh Thabit, founder of the initiative. The celebration began with the organization of sports games for both boys and girls, urging them to cooperate, love and work together. Sameh stressed that the initiative is working to introduce the concept of sport and its relationship to development.

TEL AVIV-YAFO, ISRAEL: Peace day was celebrated with speakers from the different parts of Israel who daily fight for peace.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: A short March, prayer for peace and ceremony was held in the Atsma’ut Garden.

NAQOURA, LEBANON: On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) held a ceremony at its headquarters in Naqoura and a photo exhibition in Beirut and a letter from the head of the mission that all sides cooperation is necessary to achieve peace and stability in sustainable South Lebanon . At a ceremony for the occasion, the President of the UNIFIL mission and its leader , General Major General Stefano del Cole , stressed that “efforts must be directed towards a cease – fire a lasting and sustainable peace.” He also affirmed UNIFIL’s strong commitment to helping the parties maintain a peaceful environment in southern Lebanon, stressing three key words: “Peace, Partnership and Understanding”.

BEYROUTH, LEBANON: The association “The Third Voice for Lebanon” (3V) organized at the Lycée Montaigne an exposition of Guernica, the masterpiece of Picasso. The exhibition opened last Friday on the occasion of the International Day of Peace (21 September). The event lasted from 21 to 23 September and was under the patronage of Ziad Chbib, Beirut’s mohafez, and was held on the first day in the presence of Mr. Chbib and Imane el-Assi, representing Fadi Yarak, Director General of the Ministry of Education, Jihad Feghali, President of 3V, as well as the vice-president of the association, Aimée Karam. “Our goal is to strengthen the building of peace in Lebanon through education in schools, the family and the social environment at the level of the individual and groups. This type of intervention in schools encourages personal development, the consolidation of values, information, skills and attitudes through the exercise of peace (…), which should mark what should be a true citizenship, “said Ms. Karam.

AL JANUB, LEBANON: On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, Al-Haj Bahaa Al-Hariri School has organized a series of activities entitled “The Right to Peace – 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. On the occasion, schoolchildren formed the word “peace” with their bodies surrounded by olive branches, emphasizing the right of peoples to live in peace. The activities were directed to the students of the kindergarten classes until the ninth grade under the supervision of teacher Ramia al-Sousi. The teachers from the school gave an explanation of this international day, which was dedicated by the General Assembly of the United Nations to promote the ideals of peace in and among nations and peoples. The activities also included songs inspired by the occasion, drawing and coloring the slogan of peace, as well as writing texts on the importance of renouncing violence and wars and bringing peace, freedom and democracy within society.

LIBYA: Libya’s Future Movement launched an international campaign for peace in Libya on Friday, the International Day of Peace. This is in cooperation with the Tunisian Project Movement and CEMAJUR International, at the headquarters of the Institute for Public Policy of the Tunis Project Movement in Tunis.

GAZA CITY, PALESTINE: Palestinian students of Fine Arts celebrated on October 13, the World Day of Peace, making murals in the city of Gaza.

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA: The Peace Action Society Organization PASOS held an event in Mogadishu for the International Day of Peace. It was attended by more than 160 people, among them peace activists and civil society groups, government representatives, international NGOs and youth organizations. The meeting discussed the security situation and how peace is needed, that everybody has the right to access to water and a better life.

NORTH DARFUR, SUDAN: The Deputy Governor of North Darfur, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Mohammad Barima, addressed the celebration organized by the Ministry of Culture and Information in the State in cooperation with the Joint African Union-United Nations Mission (UNAMID) on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. He affirmed the commitment of the state government to consolidate peace, security and stability in the province and preserve its gains, pointing out that the president’s decision to collect weapons. For his part, the Minister of Culture and Information in the state of Hada Barma Saleh said that his ministry will continue to support and support programs and projects that work to spread a culture of peace. The United Nations has traditionally celebrated the International Day of Peace in order to achieve the lofty human goals and objectives and to commemorate the United Nations Charter on Human Rights, said UN peacekeeping chief Luke Olama. He stressed that human rights in Darfur have improved significantly, prompting the United Nations to take its decision to withdraw UNAMID from the state and final and towards the programs of development and reconstruction.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2018) for the International Day of Peace?

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ALEPPO, SYRIA: On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the International Youth Chamber organized in cooperation with the Syrian Secretariat for Development, the event in Aleppo entitled “The Cloe Sager Olive”, which included a volunteer youth march from the Holy Land Monastery to the Garden of the pine and planting it with 400 olive trees and naming them with a number of expatriates. “On the occasion of the International Day of Peace and the recovery and reconstruction of Aleppo, this event came to spread a message of peace to the expatriate outside Syria,” said Rami Kamal, president of the International Youth Chamber. The event was attended by 60 associations and grassroots organizations, about 1,000 young men and women from the International Youth Chamber, the Syrian Secretariat for Development, local associations and organizations, chambers of tourism, industry and trade, and the church scout teams in Aleppo.

HOMS, SYRIA: The International Chamber of Youth in Homs held this evening the event of “Kloe Sager Olive … for Syria Peace” on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, which included the planting of more than sixty different olive and citrus trees in the garden opposite the Islamic neighborhood in Al-Wa’r neighborhood. Dr. Alaa Birekdar, President of the Chamber said in a statement to SANA correspondent that the activities of the day are held in cooperation with the city council of Homs and the Islamic community in order to convey a message to the whole world that Syria is a country of good and peace and that with our cooperation we can change and rebuild.

SAHNAYA, SYRIA: The “Bidaya” Center for Development Activities in Sahnaya established “Our Heritage Our Identity” initiative on the occasion of World Peace Day, under the slogan “We must each plant a grain in the land of peace.” The initiative presented various paintings, reflecting the different cultures and environments that live in Syria, such as the Shami and Halabiya environments, Zafat and Zogarid from Suwayda, in addition to Deir al-Zour and Homs. The Syrian coast also has a share, along with Arab cultures living in Syria such as Palestine and Iraq. “It is one of the commandments of Christ to love each other, and love is only in peace,” said the priest of St. Elias’s Church of St. Elias.

QAMISHLI, SYRIA: Several civil society organizations in Qamishli, in the northern countryside of Al-Hasakah, organized a festival on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, aimed at promoting coexistence among the components of the region. The Rosanna correspondent in al-Qamishli Hassan Hussein said that the festival, entitled “We Love Mahamshili” was organized by Doz with the participation of many civil society organizations last Friday, September 21, World Day of World Peace. “This initiative started in 2017 and this year we have been working in the form of teams and each group has a particular theme, water security and sport against extremism, art and culture,” said festival coordinator Hanaa Ahmed. She added that “the goal of the festival peaceful coexistence among the components of the region and peace in Qamishli city of love and peace.” Participating in the festival were the Char Development Organization, the SMART Center for Psychological Support, the Arab National Authority, the Human Rights Organization, the Common Ground and the Union of Kurdish Writers. The city of Qamishli, where Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Syrians live, is in a state of tension between the army of the Syrian regime and the forces of “self-management” Kurdish, with sporadic clashes between the parties from time to time.

SYRIA: On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, Damascus and several Syrian cities witnessed a 12-hour marathon, in which about 15,000 people from different age groups took part. The marathon began at 8 am in Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Tartous and Sweida, where the participants ran simultaneously for a distance of 3 kilometers, before a number of them went to participate in another evening marathon in Damascus, concluded by a ceremony held by the Umayyad Square in the Syrian capital [with CNN video of event].

TUNIS, TUNISIA: The International Day of Peace was celebrated at the Faculty of Juridical, Political and Social Sciences on September 21. The meeting was addressed by the head of the faculty, Mme. Neila Chaabane, the representative of the Club of International Humanitarian Rights, Mme. Takwa Tayari, and the representative of the UN Information Center, Mr Jihed Gannem. A film was shown in memory of Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The “Sawab” Center launched a new campaign on its social networking platform yesterday by marking #AfterTerrorism in Arabic, English and French on the “Sawab” platforms in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in conjunction with the activities of the International Day of Peace. The new campaign will shed light on the stories of victims and survivors of extreme violent terrorist attacks around the world, such as those in France, Burma, Norway and elsewhere, said the center, the joint US-US Digital Initiative platform to combat violent extremist ideologies across the Internet and promote positive alternatives. In celebration of the International Day of Peace, the Center will also include the voice of strong figures such as: Pakistan’s Malala Yusufi, South African President Nelson Mandela, and the late Pope John Paul II who survived violent extremism and later became symbols, supporters and heroes of the industry. Hope, and spreading the message of forgiveness, love and tolerance, and peace, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.

ADEN, YEMEN: On 25 September 2018, the Commission for Development and Rights in Aden organized a celebration on the occasion of World Day of Peace in partnership with the Development Symbols Foundation for the Deaf and the Yemeni Organization for Permanent Peace. The celebration included a number of events and events with the participation of 25 media and media and 30 deaf children. The committee provided psychosocial support to Deaf children and launched a friendly space for them at the Symbols Foundation for the Deaf and worked as a special workshop and drawing them towards peace. To get them out of the cycle of violence they are living. Fayrouz Wahban presented a briefing to the participating media about psychological support and its importance to societies that have experienced wars and violence. The media coordinator also called on all media and media outlets to shoulder their responsibilities to protect the social fabric that has been torn apart by wars and violence in society. The aim of this event is to spread a culture of social peace and to encourage people and society to preserve it and guide them towards peace, development and construction rather than demolition.

In addition to the above events, One Day One Choir lists participating choirs for the International Day of Peace in :
Ethiopia (ADDIS ABABA)
Israel (TEL-AVIV)
Jordan (AMMAN)
Lebanon (BEIRUT)
Tunisia (TUNIS)

And the map of Montessori schools singing for peace on the International Day of Peace includes schools in:

Algeria: Ooredoo hosts the 32nd Arab Scout Camp


An article by Mouloud Ahmed in Algerie Patriotique (translated by CPNN)

The telecommunications company Ooredoo is hosting the 32nd edition of the Arab Scout Camp, which is held in Algiers from August 25 to September 5, 2018 under the slogan “The Arab Dream”.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question for this article

Two movements: scouting and culture of peace, Are they related?

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Placed under the patronage of His Excellency the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, this pan-Arab demonstration, organized by the Algerian Muslim Scouts (SMA), gathers more than 1200 participants representing about twenty Arab countries.

The camp, hosted by Algeria for the third time, aims to promote living together, the culture of peace and solidarity and fraternity between peoples. A rich program has been planned by the Organizing Committee for the benefit of the participants, including cultural and educational activities, sightseeing tours, water activities, entertainment games and thematic conferences.

By hosting this 32nd Arab Scout Camp, Ooredoo confirms its status as a civil organization resolutely involved in supporting events that contribute to the influence of Algeria.

Historic leap in Tunisia: Women make up 47 per cent of local government

. . . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . . .

An article from UN Women

Seven years after the 2011 Revolution and four years after the adoption of the Constitution, women now make up 47 per cent of the local council positions in Tunisia following the May 2018 elections. The dramatic increase in women members is the result of a 2016 electoral law that includes the principles of parity and alternation between men and women on candidate lists for all elections.

Ichrak Rhouma participated in the Political Academy Project. She was elected on May 6th, 2018 in Sidi Hassine council, Tunis. Photo: Aswat Nissa

In May, Ichrak Rhouma was elected to the Sidi Hassine Council in Tunis, the capital city. Prior to being elected, Rhouma participated in the Women’s Political Academy, a joint project by UN Women and the Tunisian women’s rights organization, Aswat Nissa (Women’s Voices). The Academy trained women candidates on local governance, missions and roles of municipal councils, as well as media relations. Rhouma says that the Women’s Political Academy “allowed us to deepen our knowledge on women’s rights in general, but also to learn new concepts such as gender-sensitive budgeting.”

In addition to the Academy, the project has conducted research on women’s expectations of municipal council’s activities in five regions across the country. The study’s results informed candidates’ electoral campaigns and shaped regional development planning.

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Question for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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Prior to the 2018 elections in Tunisia, UN Women and its civil society partners conducted capacity building sessions and supported the updating of the gender-sensitive election observation manual. UN Women also provided capacity building to 75 election observers who were trained on the importance of women’s participation in elections and how to observe gender-related issues during the voting stages.

UN Women also supported the Tunisian League of Women Voters (LET) to run awareness-raising campaigns to increase voter participation, especially in the regions of Sousse, Bizerte and Nabeul, which had registered the lowest rates in 2012 elections.

“The objective was to invigorate a participatory democracy and political culture within women and youth. Our awareness campaigns trained and engaged young men and women who went door to door explaining the importance of women’s participation in the political scene,” explains Nejma Ben Kheher, Project Officer at LET.

Khedher added, “Now that we have this high number of elected women in local and regional councils, we hope to continue supporting them with targeted training, such as access to information or gender-responsive budgeting to help them succeed in their mission.”

“The increased women’s representation in the municipal councils offers an opportunity to impact territorial policies in Tunisia,” said Leila Rhiwi, UN Women Representative in Maghreb. “UN Women will continue supporting the councils to integrate gender concerns into their communal development plans that foster good governance and women’s leadership.”

Tunisia is one of the few countries in the world to establish the principle and practice of equal representation of men and women across candidate lists (horizontal parity – where women should head 50 per cent of candidate lists), as well as down the candidate lists (vertical parity – alternating men and women through the list), in its electoral law. While gender parity has been achieved regarding the municipal lists, according to the High Authority for Independent Elections, more work is needed to support horizontal parity, since women only made up 29.6 per cent of positions at the head of party lists.

Tunisia will hold its parliamentary and presidential elections in 2019.