Teenagers gather for discussions on peace

image064Throughout the month of August 2007, 18 teenagers from the JMP–L Community Development Program area took part in the “Sawa 2” program, aimed at developing the culture of peace among young people and raising awareness about Lebanon’s religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.

The project was organized by Peace Initiatives, a newly founded local NGO, in three different areas: Bourj Hammoud, Beddawi (Tripoli), and Haret Hreik. It brought together around 80 Lebanese children and teenagers from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

The Armenian teenagers gathered three times a week at the Mesrobian College schoolyard to participate in group discussions and activities on the themes of peace and dialogue among cultures.

The group had the chance to meet with the rest of the participants from the two other areas while visiting religious sites, such as the Cilicia Museum and the Armenian Genocide Memorial Chapel at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, a mosque in downtown Beirut, St. George Church, and many other places.

Besides the educational and recreational activities, the young participants wrote and shot short animated films, documenting their experiences and conveying a message of peace. Watch a 30-minute video (wmv, 61.7MB) about “Sawa 2” prepared by the project’s organizers.

The closing ceremony of the “Sawa 2” program was held on September 21, 2007, at the UNESCO Palace.

In August 2008, JMP–L is planning to participate in the follow-up activities of the “Sawa 2” project. Read more.