Message from Dr. Riad Jarjour, President,
Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue
In this bleak context, hopes to achieve peace and stability remain afar, and it is therefore impossible to assuage fears, to comfort the people, and to improve the situation at the social, economic and security levels. It only seems that we are getting one step closer to a World War Three, which takes the Middle East as a battleground, and its people as victims.
In the midst of a turbulent, not to say blazing East, the FDCD spared no effort in sowing the seeds of peace, disseminating the culture of coexistence and dialogue, and being the glimmer of hope to the youth and to the generation of war, thus urging them not to migrate, but to love, resist and stay in their hometown.
The forum launched more than a just a single initiative in its endeavor to consolidate the values of active citizenship, counter violent extremism, and eradicate exclusive discrimination. This is why the initiatives upheld the concepts and principles of human rights, which underpinned their work in its entirety, whether planning, implementation or assessment, in each targeted society, and extrapolated the true meanings of justice, equality, coexistence, tolerance and solidarity, thus instilling in the new generation the value of active citizenship, and the will to always strive for civil peace.
Based on the “open arms” policy, the forum’s activity was primarily focused on cooperating with civil society organisations in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq that disseminate the concepts of religious freedom. It has elaborated, in a joint effort with its local and regional partners, a unique declaration entitled “the Charter of Religious Freedom” that addresses urgent matters, such as the need to promote and protect religious freedoms in a moral and rightful manner, to empower people by consolidating their faith, creed, and personal culture, active and innovative participation in society.
Using the available tools and capacities, and in close collaboration with its partners, the forum has provided assistance to those who suffered from war, and were forced to leave their home and livelihoods, so that they could live with dignity, hold on to their land and culture and never leave their hometown.
The forum, albeit small in size, draws on the relentless efforts of its staff, and on the cooperation with its volunteers and friends who are always ready to help, to be the paragon of hope, proving once again that civil peace and the culture of dialogue are the only path to coexistence, to a prosperous and safe future in the Middle East in which we are living, and where we will stay.
This is our promise to you. We will, forever, keep delivering on that promise, with love.