On Wednesday 6 April the Youth Peace Initiative co-organised a discussion evening together with Het Grote Midden-Oosten Platform on ‘Alternative Roads to Peace’ with a focus on Syria at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam.
“Peace talks of political leaders capture the attention of the media. We hear much less about alternative roads to peace. Yet grass root initiatives all over the world have proven to be important for lasting peace agreements. Why should media pay more attention to grass root peace initiatives that rise from civil society? What do these insights signify for the audience, the media and policymakers? How can we support peace activists and civil society? What is the role of young peace-makers?”
The discussion was moderated by Petra Stienen, Middle-Eastern specialist and diplomat and winner of the Aletta Jacobs Emancipation Prize 2016. She started by interviewing Rafif Jouejati, Co-Founder and Director of the Foundation to Restore Equality and Education in Syria (FREE-Syria). Rafif elaborated on the goals and achievement of FREE-Syria. She explained that the organization tries to give Syrians a voice by means of the Freedom Charter. She sees civil society playing a crucial role in peace building and promotes gender equality in all its activities.
Thed Brouwer, our Chairman, was also invited to join the discussion panel. He talked regarding about the work of YPI and the steps YPI is taking towards our new project on Syria.