In Beirut, Lebanon we work with the leaders of the country’s political youth wings to help challenge a history of sectarian division by building bridges across political lines.
"If you look at the cities now, there are cities that are purely Maronite, or purely Shia, or purely Sunni. So people end up not knowing the other," reflects Nadeem, from the Lebanese Forces Party. "This creates a kind of fear of the unknown."
"In the dialogue process that we have been part of at International Alert, we can see how the representatives of the parties who sit together come from different communities, different religions, different cities, and year after year we are getting more and more comfortable talking to each other and getting closer as friends and as political party representatives.
"So sitting with the other and getting to know them is a big step towards a peaceful city, country and region. We are all Lebanese and we all belong to this country."
Alert's 'Doing politics differently' project aims to help develop a political elite that has the will and capacity to seek peaceful change. We use a combination of dialogue, learning and outreach activities which encompass the dual themes of youth leadership and peacebuilding. We primarily work with the leaders of political party youth wings, as these individuals represent large constituencies and a population particularly vulnerable to conflict. Find out more about this work here.
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