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Reflection on Non-violent Training Course, Fletcher School June 2011
an article by Ayman Qwaider

The Fletcher School (FSI) is a setting for radical transformative empowerment. It's likely that one might say I am exaggerating to start off my article with such a strong sentence. I have these feelings because I experienced them being a member amongst real united nations, full of inspiration and dedication to bring about change needed to be seen in their realities. Human rights, justice, freedom, aggression, intimidation, equality are part of the discourses I recognized and learned about from very experienced activists for freedom, justice, self-determination and equality.

Participants in the Non-violent Training Course

click on photo to enlarge

I often think that there are several forms of injustice taking place cross our globe, but all these forms of injustice result pain and suffering are at the same level for any nation regardless of its identity.

Through an intense one week training program on nonviolent conflict at Fletcher School, I realized that the result of injustices and oppression are the same regardless of where conflict exists, in Palestine, Tibet, Colombia, Burma, and these are just a small number of conflict affected countries. When there is armed conflict, serious violations of human rights occur, and civilians are significantly the most to suffer its consequences.

Probably, what helped the most to keep me faithful and hopeful after being subjected to an enormous number of human rights violations, is the good people I met in the training course and seeing their dedication and commitment to being at hand and of assistance for deprived voiceless people.

Attending the training course on nonviolent conflict at the Fletcher Summer Institute in Boston was a spark of inspiration which gives me energy to stay hopeful that justice will prevail. Ordinary people have absolute power is an overwhelming statement which always fascinates and empowers me. Having the chance to share real stories from different parts of world on issues of freedom, equality and justice and being introduced to various kinds of struggle, has assured me that people still have power to challenge state power, and people still have the ability to transform realities through nonviolent resistance.

Attending the FSI training program has widened my perspective and allowed me to see issues from different angles. Further, it equipped me with the essential tool of self-empowerment. Nonviolent and civil resistance will prevail against radical injustices. Knowledge is power and self-empowerment. Being a part of the FSI has placed a great responsibility on my shoulders. International Civil society. Throughout listening to people's testimonies firsthand, I felt the suffering they were subjected to in their countries. I was moved by certain stories and highly motivated to end these injustices.


Question(s) related to this article:

Is there a new international generation of human rights activism?,

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Latest reader comment:

CPNN has been enriched over the years by the young human rights activists who take part in the Annual UNESCO International Leadership Forum.  This is truly the hope for our future!

This report was posted on July 4, 2011.