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Great Lakes Region: This is what we do

The Great Lakes Region Working Group is a group of Diaspora citizens from the conflict countries on the region i.e. Uganda, Congo, Burundi & Rwanda. All these countries have common historical experiences of war and violence. As a group, we meet to learn a lot from each other about our turbulent past and how we can use that to bring sustainable peace in the region.

Because of the geo-political problems caused by the regional despots, the conflicts tend to spread tension in all the region inform of refugee influx, cross border violence and wide spread insecurity. Whenever someone from Uganda or Burundi mentioned challenges, someone from Rwanda or Congo could share a similar experience.

Therefore as a measure to create a voice for the diaspora citizens from the GRL, The Hague Peace Projects established this group in 2015. Up to date the group has conducted two annual conferences and other smaller activities to raise awareness, inform and provide host nation, government departments, media, school institutions and the civil society with information about the region.

We strive to strengthen the commitment among the Great Lakes diaspora communities to organize for peace in the region, be involved in lobbying for human rights and take part in networking through meetings. We lobby through our programs to enable the diaspora to contribute to good governance, peacebuilding and accountability in the region.

We advocate for the inclusion of the diaspora in conflict resolution and peacebuilding in the region. Currently the news that comes from the region is dominated by conflict rather than peace. We want the world to know – despite the prevailing conflicts in the region – some peace efforts have been made although the real impact of the efforts are not yet felt by the people.

We are more and more recognized as serious partners, consulted by policy makers. We aim that in Europe, NGO’s, governments seeking to promote rule of law in the Great Lakes region, or the IND seeking expertise in the region, the voice of the diaspora should be heard.

To achieve our objectives we organize different forms of events in the Netherlands ranging from workshops, conferences, social cultural activities and forums to inform, educate and generate solutions.

Presently we have monthly thematic evenings, normally the 2nd Friday of the month, where we invite different expert speakers to help us understand the different dynamics around peace building. Our subjects are peace, elections, gender, minorities, responsible information sharing, human rights issues, civic space and democratic governance. These meetings are open to public and you are warmly welcome to attend the next event, we normally publicize the events beforehand.

 

Muslims represent

Op 16 maart organiseren we ‘Muslims represent!’ in Utrecht. Tijdens dit evenement willen we graag in gesprek met verschillende Nederlandse moslims. Net zoals we met ‘the Hague Peace Projects’ een platform bieden voor het diverse geluid onder diaspora die de verbinding opzoeken, zo willen we ook een platform bieden aan de diverse moslimgemeenschap in Nederland. Entree is gratis maar vergeet je niet aan te melden.

Islamofobie is in de laatste jaren sterk toegenomen, zowel islamofobe incidenten als islamofobe berichtgeving. De grote diversiteit binnen de moslimgemeenschap in Nederland is niet terug te zien in de media en het publieke debat. De moslimstemmen die aan het woord worden gelaten zijn vaak beperkt tot de knuffelmoslim of de boze salafist. Door een podium te bieden aan de diversiteit van diverse moslimstemmen in Nederland hopen we bij te dragen aan een platform voor inclusieve, verbindende maar ook vooral kritische moslimdenkers.

Centraal staat (zelf)representatie van de moslim in het publieke debat en in de media. Het gebrek aan zelf-representatie is van invloed op de toenemende islamofobie en staat de emancipatie van de moslims in de weg. Tot slot willen we ook kijken of er mogelijkheden zijn voor een inclusieve en kritische platform van Nederlandse moslims.

Aanwezige sprekers zijn ondere andere:
– Abulkasim Al-Jaberi, Schrijver en activist met Roots uit Irak. In het verleden gewerkt als journalist in Egypte en momenteel actief in de anti-racisme beweging en de Palestina solidariteitsbeweging.
– Dino Suhonic van Stichting Maruf, een platform voor queer moslims in Nederland en daarbuiten.
– Dr. Margreet van Es, momenteel werkzaam als postdoctoraal onderzoeker bij Universiteit Utrecht. Onlangs is haar boek verschenen “Stereotypes and Self-Representations of Women with a Muslim Background: The Stigma of Being Oppressed”, naar de invloed van stereotype beeldvorming op de zelf-representatie van vrouwen met een islamitische achtergrond.
– Drs. Yusuf Celik, expert hermeneutiek, promovendus aan Edinburgh University.

Moderator
– Nawal Mustafa, werkzaam bij Amnesty International.

Verder is er live muziek met Emine Bostancı op de klassieke kemençe en Cengiz Arslanpay op de Ney.

Locatie: Theater Kikker, Ganzenmarkt 14, Utrecht
Datum: 16 maart ’17,
19:00 inloop
19:15 paneldiscussie
20:15 pauze
20:30 muziek
20:45 vervolg paneldiscussie
21:30 naborrelen
22:00 afloop
Entree is gratis maar vergeet je niet aan te melden.

 

HPP on air: Turks and Kurds in the Netherlands

Our colleagues and program coordinators, Mirko and Tayfun were on the radio last week, not once but twice. In the first session they talked about the interaction and relation between Kurds and Turks in The Netherlands; what is the current situation, what do they have accomplished last year and what are their plans for the future. The item was well chosen called: the way to reconciliation.

Here’s a link to the radio broadcasting

The second interview was with Tayfun and Entrepreneur Cemil Yilmaz about the tensions among Dutch Turks after the coup in Turkey in July.  Yilmaz noticed that the tention is also between Turks and Dutch society, because very quickly people and media are portraying people as ‘Erdogan-hugger’, traitor or as poorly integrated. Tayfun concluded with stating that “it is time to work on Dutch citizenship. It’s time to invest in people.”

Listen here to the show

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