In the 14th episode of the non-violence as a life approach, implemented by Pal-Think for Strategic Studies and FXB France, within the “The Palestinian Consortium for Non-violence: towards a regional movement on Non-violence “, the focus was on the role of creative initiatives in promoting a non-violence culture in Palestinian society. By highlighting the activities of two initiatives that have made creativity possible to create spaces for psychological discharge. These two initiatives were carried out in Jerusalem and Gaza.
The dialogue started by the program manager of Al-Aqsa Sports Club, Fadaa Sobh, who is the coordinator of the initiative “Let’s draw our lives in the times of Corona”. Sobh said, in the context of successive crises in Palestinian society that increase the violence, all local civil society organizations have had to embrace marginalized and vulnerable groups of children and women.
She pointed out that children are the most vulnerable but have the greatest ability to deliver positive messages and to inspire a culture of non-violence to their peers and to the larger groups. Besides, they can empower themselves. Which will enhance non-violence culture and resolve conflicts among society members’.
Regarding the initiative activities and its implementation, Sobh said that Al-Aqsa Club worked within four years on refining children’s drawing skills, as this strengthens the children’s ability to express their problems, what they get in their souls and what they aspire through paintbrush and colours. This assists the club and psychologists to help children solve their psychological and social problems.
Then she added, what made them implement this initiative is children’s need to vent. Due to the emergency, they were forced to end the school year early and stop the usual summer activities such as camps, trips, playing with peers and practising hobbies, which suddenly changed their routine.
In addition, she stressed that the initiative targeted 30 children between 10 to 18 years old, from various regions of Mighraqa and Nuseirat. Those children gathered in several meetings to discuss peace and non-violence concepts. Plus, their opinions about alternative ways for solving disputes, whether in the family, school or the street. After that, they draw many paintings focuses on the life of non-violence and prevention of COVID-19 themes. Also, they talked about Ways to eliminate violence against children or members of their family.
She also noted, children’s paintings were posted on the club’s Facebook page and an exhibition was held to display them. As well, we honoured participants children.
Into the bargain, she explained that the interactions with the paintings and exhibition were positive and gained a lot of support. As a result, children managed to deliver their messages to other children, parents and society members.
Non-violence as a life approach initiative was implemented by Al-Razi cultural and social association in Jerusalem. The initiative coordinator, Rawya Zyada, said that the initiative is to issue a magazine by school students in Jerusalem which aims to disseminate a culture of non-violence among the school students. It is worth mentioning that students attended a number of workshops on tolerance, the language of dialogue, objectivity, acceptance of the other, civil society and participation.
The workshop also described the use of force against the Palestinian people, including the use of force to protect the rights of Palestinian women and the right to return to their homes and properties.
Zyada indicated that Al-Razi association’s partnership with Pal-Think has been in the works for more than three years because both institutions have many common goals and concerns regarding the disseminating of a non-violence culture in society and positive change in the awareness of society. This underscores the important role of our joint initiatives, especially when seeing the positive impact of the various groups distributed here and there in all of Palestine. At that, these partnerships bring about community harmony among different local groups.