The Forum for Intercultural Dialogue (FID) has launched a program for experience exchange among young religious leaders, both Egyptian and American, within the context of building their capacities in issues of citizenship, dialogue, and accepting the other.
The program comprises 30 sheikhs, ministers and priests, nuns, and female Islamic preachers from both the Egyptian and American sides. It started with a series of workshops on the skills of dealing with conflict created by difference. It also tackled how religious leaders can contribute to building peace. The workshops depended greatly on the participants’ own experiences.
The workshops also addressed mechanisms such as recounting stories and experiences that allow the participants to review their own experiences and the challenges they have faced in light of others’ experiences.
The program continues through a number of seminars in which the participants meet with a number of Egyptian and American intellectuals to discuss several issues. A meeting was held with Dr. Mohamed Abou El-Numeir, an expert on dialogue and peace building and the director of the Peace and Development Foundation at AUC. He shared his practical experience in dealing with conflicts, peace building policies, and the importance of the presence of religious leaders when formulating these policies. During discussions, participants also shared their viewpoints on these issues.
During the coming period, the program will conduct a number of other seminars with intellectuals and religious leaders.
This program is implemented within the framework of cooperation among FID, Hands Along the Nile Development Services, Inc. (HANDS), and the American Embassy in Egypt.