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Bridges of peace - bridging the gap between the minorities and the majority

The economy crosses social barriers

Photo of azzam
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project seeks to bridge the gap in the minorities (Druze and Christian) in Syrian society and the majority (Islamic) in the areas of internal displacement. During the period of the conflict since March 2011, the majority of the internally displaced were Sunni and often the places where the minorities were located are the areas where the displaced are fleeing the war. There was a clear division between the two sides, where both sides held the other responsible for the devastation of the country. These led to a kind of tension between the two parties, especially with the material and human losses incurred by both parties over the past seven years, above all that the security chaos and the poor economic situation led to cases of kidnapping and the request for money in exchange for the release of the kidnapped All this led to the restraint of each party on himself and not open any door to communicate with the other party. This state of congestion creates a coming explosion unless it is handled properly Based on the idea ( economy is the main engine of social relations) the idea of the project has emerged by linking the conflicting parties with bridges of economic interests that break this division and open the way for each party to know each other and the natural differences between them. In addition, the economic projects will provide jobs opportunities that reduce the economic pressure in the region and will use the local resources. So we work on 2 levels: First one is to break barriers through vocational courses for (host and displaced community) Produces an establishment of micro-economic projects in the region, Which maintains the friction and the interests. The second is raising awareness about the mechanisms of peacebuilding (conflict resolution- Controversy and disagreement. etc.) We hope to achieve sustainability of this project through an economic cycle which repeats itself to achieving the impact continuously

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Direct beneficiaries: (age 20-40) (707 beneficiaries) 7 beneficiaries will receive Training on (Peace building, Conflict resolution, Accepting others, Disagreement and difference, TOT ) 450 men and women (host and displaced community) who are living in the areas of Swaida and Damascus countryside will receive vocational training and peace building, accepting others awareness sessions ) 240 beneficiaries will receive awareness sessions and debates on the topics of )Human rights, environment, acceptance of difference, citizenship( Indirect beneficiaries: - Families of the beneficiaries through the income that will be achieved. - The region population through the alleviation of tension in the region and the return to social and economic life cycle in addition to natural pollution mitigation.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

What distinguishes the project idea from other projects in the same field is three things: 1- On the side of alleviating the tension and isolation experienced by minorities the project seeks to address this phenomenon without colliding with it directly by creating economic conditions that impose communication and create mutual benefit. 2- The project works to achieve sustainable impact through the life cycle of projects that operate themselves in a sustainable manner even after the end of the project. 3- On the side of the environment: We aim to guide the projects to achieve an added value to the resources of the region in addition to pollution control, especially the plastic waste produced by the packaged materials. That we can see the Waste collection yards located in a large and alarming in the Swaida Without having any treatment for the subject

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Building and consolidating peace in society

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

In many cases of kidnapping and ransom demand in Swaida, kidnapped were released by people with personal connections These relations were mostly commercial

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The idea of the project is directed towards the rural area, where the majority of production within the agricultural sector either industrial production is very limited and depends on the agricultural product and we can simply explain the context as follows: A rural community with a large majority of minorities (Christian and Druze) received numbers of people displaced by the war from neighboring areas where the majority of expatriates from the Sunni community The local community suffers from environmental pollution problems (untreated waste dumps - water pollution) Peace is affected by the situation (economic, security and sectarian) in the region, which are clearly threatened in the project area. The design of the project came in response to the previous three factors directly in addition to the issue of environmental pollution, which is an urgent need in the project area, especially after the great pollution caused by the war.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The community and the displaced will be the real partners in the implementation of the projects Ared initiative in Al Sweida Life Initiative in Jaramana Interactive Club in Sahnaya

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Despite the poor conditions imposed by the displacement, it provides large numbers of human resources that are in great need of work to secure income for their families. also, the project areas (Swaida) is an agricultural area that achieves a large output that can benefit greatly from small economic projects. The society suffering from the state of pollution, which increased significantly that led to the awareness of the importance of taking the environment in consideration in any future

Geographic Focus

Syria in three regions: - Sweida Governorate - Damascus countryside Sahnaya/jaramana

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

We work on the a program implemented in the three regions in parallel For one year and repeated for another two years

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of James Patton

Hi Azzam,

Thanks for your contribution. There are some great ideas in this project. As this project aims to engage communities from different religious backgrounds together to raise awareness about peacebuilding and conflict resolution, what role do you see the religious leaders from each community playing?

Photo of azzam

Hello Mr. Patton
Thanks for the support, in my opinion, religious leaders role is very strong but we are working away from them because we believe that they have the interest to keep the status quo, to maintain their power over society, So engaging them in the solution that will dedicate the dependency status to them.

Photo of James Patton

Thanks for your response. Acknowledging that their role is very strong, have you put any thought into risk mitigation? If they are not supporting your project, do you have any concerns about them discouraging their followers from participating?

It might be helpful to include secondary religious leaders, like teachers or informal religious leaders to work around those religious leaders who are interested in keeping the status quo. Best of luck!

Photo of azzam

Hello Mr. Patton
The strategy used to mitigate the influence of clerics is not to confront them directly, because confronting them is the best way to make them stronger.
We are working to create the natural conditions to establish normal social relations between people. Religion has its normal size (between people and God) with nothing to do in interpersonal relationships.
Thanks for your suggestions, we will take it into consideration to discuss at the next meeting with the team

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