The Cultural Dialogue Forum of the Coptic Evangelical Organization received Ms. Rachel Leslie, the Cultural Attaché at the US Embassy in Cairo, to get acquainted with the forum’s activities in Minya, in a meeting with a number of forum participants on the C-Boat.
The dialogue revolved around the forum’s programs and activities, and its objectives. The participating leaders presented examples of the forum’s work, such as the exchange of experiences between religious leaders from Egypt and America and examples of the values and skills they learned through the project. One of the church servants and a female graduate of Al-Azhar University presented their joint initiative to instill awareness in Children with the values of citizenship and acceptance of the other.
The members of the community committee for the integrated development model in the village of Saft al-Laban talked about the effects of the forum in the village and how an atmosphere of positive living and understanding was created between Muslims and Christians in the village, especially among young people and women, and how this helped them work together as community leaders to solve many developmental problems that affected their village.
The meeting also included the participation of young civil society and religious leaders who share what they gained through capacity building programs and how this was reflected in their various initiatives to spread the values of dialogue and acceptance of the other using art and play; and in reformulating popular idioms to be a motive for positivity and understanding the other.
Ms. Rachel stressed “the importance of dialogue, especially in the local communities in El Minya Governorate, and the richness of the experiences that were presented,” noting that “they are developing work strategies in the cultural field, and that the initiatives and experiences that I heard from the participants are very important and have a tangible impact in reality.” She also presented examples of the cultural work carried out by the US Embassy in Egypt.