In the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings, countries in the Middle East and North Africa continue to face political, economic, and social challenges. As differences keep polarizing, and political reforms struggle to take off, many people are resorting to violence to resolve what they view as being intractable conflict.
Our campaign #PeaceRising engaged MENA youth and civil society in conversations about conflict transformation and nonviolence in the region. Participants in the campaign – activists, journalists, academics, artists and more – produced eight articles and five videos to highlight the positive results of non-adversarial approaches to conflict.
The articles tackled many issues of importance to regional communities, including preventing electoral violence in Tunisia, integrating Syrian refugee communities in Lebanon, combating sexual harassment in Egypt, confronting Islamophobia and anti-Western sentiment, and facilitating dialogue among fragmented societies within individual countries.
The videos sought to inspire the peaceful resolution of conflict in Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and regionally. Four cartoonists with diverse political and religious backgrounds collaborated on a speed drawing video, entitled Dialogue for Peace. The cartoonists started working on a script and storyboard during our 4-day workshop, which focused on conflict resolution tactics.
In September 2014 we began an intensive, highly visible outreach campaign in English, French and Arabic, to promote the results that #PeaceRising achieved. Our efforts reached audiences in over 25 countries, amplifying the voices of local peacemakers and reinforcing the values of dialogue and collaboration throughout the MENA region.