12 Novermber: Time to talk – Turks and Kurds in dialogue

After our first successful dialogue session in The Hague we will organize a second meeting for Dutch Turks and Dutch Kurds. In this meeting a diverse group of individuals can listen to each other and talk about the problems between and among their communities.

‘Time to talk’ takes place in Het Verhalenhuis, Rechthuislaan 1 in Rotterdam on the 12th of November from 3 to 6.

We will start the program with an introduction to the conflict of Kurds in Turkey by  dr. Michiel Leezenberg.

After this, various representatives of both groups share their story and vision. Thereafter we shall split in small groups, in which the public can engage with the representatives of the Turkish-Kurdish peace initiative, and with each other.

For more information, check out facebook event.

 

Kick-off Integration Caravan Den Haag

“If you have a positive attitude, you will get there!”

Last Saturday four Syrians and one Bangladeshi went with The Integration Caravan to the Loosduinse Hoofdplein to start conversations with people passing by about everyday things. While enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea, things were discussed such as “What tips do you have about the Dutch culture?” And “what brings you to this square?”.

There were beautiful talks about how important it is to speak the Dutch language. But as a lady said: “It is certainly not easy because Dutch is difficult to learn”. People who were passing by and joined the conversation stated that Dutch citizens are quite open to refugees, but that the first step of contact sometimes must come from the ‘other side’. “Sometimes Dutch are a little bit hesitant but once they know you they are very friendly.”

All in all it was a very successful afternoon and we are very motivated to take this further. Check our calendar to see where we’re going next time!

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Vacancy: Designer

Vacancy: Designer

The Hague Peace Projects is looking to strengthen its team with a new colleague who will specifically work on designing. In an international team you will be the one who can design logo’s (like this), flyers and reports (like this) and many many more. Our current designer is on parental leave, but when she will come back you can work together and divide tasks.

Tasks & Responsibilities:

  • Designing promotional material for events
    • Design logo’s for new projects
    • Doing the lay-out of our report of the Great Lakes Region Conference in November
    • Work together with the communication and fundraising team about how visuals can help them
    • Help communication team with visuals for the newsletter

Qualifications:

  • Experience with designing programs
    • Pro-active attitude and being able to work both independently and in a team
    • Affinity with the main theme of The Hague Peace Projects: conflict and peace building
    • Preferably speaking Dutch and English

What we offer:

  • An insider experience of a young and growing organization
    • Access to The Hague Peace Project’s professional relations
    • Being part of an enthusiastic and dedicated team where you are involved in decision-making and planning

Please bear in mind that HPP is currently unable to offer paid positions. Send your motivation letter and CV to info@thehaguepeace.org before the 28th of October.

 

8 October: Integration Caravan is coming to The Hague

The Integration Caravan, a project created and organised by our Syrian working group, is visiting The Hague on saterday 8th of October. This will be the kick-of of a tour around the Netherlands.

We create spaces where community members just like you can meet a refugee and engage in constructive dialogue. Also we give the Dutch people an opportunity to get to know refugee ask important questions such as ‘how is it to start a new life in the Netherlands? what should the refugees learn about our country? And what do we have in common and what can we share?’

We believe that healthy communities are the ones in which its community members can talk to each other despite their different backgrounds. You can hear stories you don’t find in the news papers.

 

 

Elections in Somalia: Towards sustainable peace?

On Saturday 1st of October, about 30 people participated in our event about political changes and the potential for peace in Somalia. The first speaker, Ismail Moallim, gave a short explanation about the history and politics of Somalia. He explained  the emergence and functioning of the 4.5 clan-based system, a power-sharing system in Somali politics between the 4 major clans and a fifth “0.5” group composed by minority clans. He shows that it is on the one hand an unfortunate system because it gives too much value to clans, while this is just one of the many identities Somali people have. Also it discriminates towards all the minority voices who altogether have half of the voice and votes  that the four major clans have. On the other hand: it is currently the only system which is more or less functioning at the moment, and finding a working alternative is not so easy.

bijgewerktIn view of alternatives to this system, former BBC journalist Nafisa Osman Nur talked about federalism and the possibilities this system entails for Somalia. Also the federal system does not seem to solve all the problems that Somalia faces: this system could just repeat the same clan-divisions on a more local scale. Also many people in Somalia live nomadic lives, so they will not easily stick to one province or another but keep moving around. This makes a reliable federal administration system very difficult.

Ali Yahye, director of the Dutch Somalian peace organisation Nabaddoon, was the third speaker. Together with some songs by poet Jawahir Shire, he presented his hopes for the future of Somalia and the way the Somalia diaspora could contribute there.

During the discussion, many root causes of conflict were mentioned: the clan-system, the years of dictatorship, the lack of leadership, foreign intervention, corrupt elites, etc. The advantages and disadvantages of the 4.5 clan system and federalism were further brought up and discussed. Many participants agreed that clan identity plays a crucial role in Somali politics. And although its role isn’t always positive, it is a factor that simply cannot be neglected. Nafisa emphasized that strengthening the role of women was of the utmost importance. The audience discussed possibilities for change and whether or not grassroot peace activism, or a top-down approach would be more effective in creating a sustainable and long lasting peace. One participant remarked that before any state system should be discussed, first there should be a large and honest process of reconciliation, in which each and every victim is able to express his or her suffering and perpetrators can be judged or forgiven. Only after such a process there will be enough basis to really start building a truly democratic state. Many agreed that previous attempts to organize a reconciliation process were flawed by a lack of real political will and a lack of honest intentions by the organizers.

dsc_1013In addition to the discussions and talks held, the participants wrote messages of peace on the wall, there were songs in Somali and a poem by Qali Nur about peace. The result was a very fruitful meeting of active, engaged Somali’s in the Netherlands who are eager to work for peaceful change. The Hague Peace Projects aims to facilitate the process of collaboration further by creating an inclusive working group of Somalis in the Netherlands. This could become a platform for exchange of ideas, dialogue within the  diaspora, and the development of new initiatives and projects for sustainable peace in Somalia.

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