13 May: Visualizing Syria – Refugees stories from the past, the present and perspective on the future

You are welcome to join us for an educative evening where Syrian refugees share their story together with the Dutch society. During this event we welcome you to think and talk with Salim, Anwaar, Hani, Shuker and Waeel about Syria before and after the war and the impact on Syrian communities. One of the major effects of this war is the move to safe heavens such as the Netherlands. By visuals we want to experience how it is to flee from home, to lose everything and to live as a foreigner in the Netherlands.

There will also be an interactive part where Dutch and Syrian participants mix in game activities. Join us for a journey that through the testimony of several Syrian refugees will take us from the past of Syria to their present conditions as refugees and join them in a discussion aimed to build a future together.

When: 13-05-2015
What time: 18:30 – 22:00
Where: The Hague Peace Projects, paviljoensgracht 20, The Hague.
Entree free, but registration required. Sign up by sending an email to info@thehaguepeace.org

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Another attack on the Bangladeshi freethinkers

Yesterday, LGBTI activists Xulhaz Mannan and Tanay Mojumdar have been brutally murdered in the country´s capital, Dhaka. The Hague Peace Projects is deeply shocked and appalled by the way that violence is being used to silence freedom of expression. We urge the Bangladeshi government to protect the rights of its inhabitants and to protect one of the most sacred rights: the right to live.

Since 2013, eight Bangladeshi bloggers, writers and publishers have been killed by extremists. They were branded atheist by their murderers and by Islamists. A culture of impunity persists, resulting in more killings every few months. Other than these, people with different religious beliefs and non-beliefs are regularly targeted facing harassment, arrests, mob justice and murder.

Like Xulhaz and Tanay, the victims of the attacks are not people who are specifically critical or insulting about religion. They are people who are socially and politically conscious and vocal against many forms of injustice. They are thousands of frustrated young people, asking for justice, living in a country that fails to protect them. It is now time to act.

Art Exhibition: 16 visual artists respond to 11 year old Syrian boy’s drawings

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The Survivors is an art exhibition organised by The Hague Peace Projects which will take place from April 15 to May 4 in Atrium City Hall Den Haag. The art project will challenge and confront a large and varied public to consider the daily reality of the lives of Syrian refugees. 16 artists get the assignment to react on the drawings of a Syrian boy of 11 years old; Taim Safar. They make their own, new work. It shows that something as simple as a drawing of a child can lead to such a unique and innovative art project.

The drawings are collected by the Syrian artist Bassem Alkhouri, a close friend of Taims family.
Bassam is the initiator of the “The Survivors” project and proposed to develop it together with The Hague Peace Projects.

The artists will give their own artistic interpretation on these drawings, all of which will be exhibited in April 2016 in the Atrium, The Hague. During this exhibition the public will become aware of Taims’ story and the 16 reactions to it. The project will give new perspectives on the Syrian civil war and the lives of ordinary refugees.

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The artists in this project are: Saskia Burggraaf, Eva Murakeozy, Rik Smits, Airco Caravan, Wouter Willebrands, Leonard van de Ven, Albert Zwaan, Malou Cohen, Hanna de Haan, Helen Hintjens, Rutger van der Tas, Jakob de Jonge, Suzanne Somer, Robert Roelink, Alexandra Arshanskaya and Bassam Alkhouri.

Place: Atrium City Hall, Spui 70, Den Haag
End: May 4

See here the revies from Kees Koomen, Political Arts and Villa Next Door.

This projects is supported by VluchtelingenWerk Nederland.
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Concert “Op Doortocht” – Moving Cultures

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On 22 April, Kamerkoor JIP organised with the Hague Peace Projects the concert “Op Doortocht” – Moving Cultures. The concert reflected a night full of culture: new and authentic compositions, poetry and visual arts. The audience heard music from people on the move; travelers who choose a nomadic life and travelers who were forced to leave their homeland. The music differed from melodies of the Masai, the Inuit, nomads from Mongolia and Spanish gypsies to music from the Middle East.

Prior to the concert, the journey began with an exhibition of refugee artists and poets. Together with musicians from Syria, the chamber choir JIP carried the audience through music from all over the world and new works by young, talented composers, who have written compositions especially for JIP, inspired by traveling people from different continents.

 

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In memory of freethinker Nazimuddin Samad

“Dear Government, please be vigilant. The way law and order is deteriorating, you will not be able to stay in power for long. There is something called peoples anger. If you don’t want to see such end, take immediate actions against all the wrongdoing and injustice that is going on. Otherwise your time will end soon”.

These are the last words Bangladeshi student activist and freethinker Nazimuddin Samad wrote in his Facebook wall. The words reflect the frustration of young Bangladeshi activists in this time effected by the persistent culture of impunity and injustice in the country. He witnessed how free thinkers, bloggers, writers and publishers around him were attacked and killed over the last couple of years. After each attack, he and his likeminded friends demanded justice. But their demands went unheard.

Over the last weeks he was whole heartedly active in a nationwide anti rape movement asking for investigation and justice for a 19-year-old girl named Sohagi Jahan Tonu who was raped and murdered in a cantonment area. This heinous crime resulted in a nationwide up rise of youth, yet the Government failed to undertake meaningful action, supposedly for the sensitiveness of the issue. And right after the rape case police shot dead 6 villagers who were protesting against a coal power plant being built on their land.

Continuing his demand for justice he made his last Facebook post. On Wednesday the 7th of April 2016 he was hacked with machete and shot dead by unknown assailants shouting Allahu Akbar (God is great). Is he yet another victim of the Islamist extremists?

Since 2013, seven Bangladeshi bloggers, writers and publishers have been killed by extremists. They were branded atheist by their murderers and by Islamists. A culture of impunity persists, resulting in more killings every few months. Other than these, people with different religious beliefs and non-beliefs are regularly targeted facing harassment, arrests, mob justice and murder.

Like Nazimuddin Samad, the victims of the attacks are not people who are specifically critical or insulting about religion. They are people who are socially and politically conscious and vocal against many forms of injustice. They are thousands of frustrated young people, asking for justice, living in a country that fails to protect them.

His attackers made sure that Nazimuddin Samad can no longer demand for justice. But his pledge continues and therefore we ‘Bangladeshi Freethinkers at Risk’ demand justice for Nazimuddin Samad, We demand justice for Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman, Ananta Bejoy, NiloyNeel, Faisal ArifinDipan. We demand justice for Sohagi Jahan Tonu. We demand justice for the six villagers that were killed in Bashkhali. We demand justice for all the victims of intolerance. We demand justice!