Exchanging experiences between young Egyptian and American religious leaders

An exchange of experiences between young Egyptian and American religious leaders was concluded. It was done in partnership with Hands Along the Nile Development Services, Inc. (HANDS) and the Intercultural Dialogue Forum at the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services and the American Embassy in Cairo, with the aim of building the capacities of leaders on issues of citizenship, dialogue and the acceptance of the other, and getting to know each other’s experiences in contribution of building peace in their communities.


The closing meeting included words of thanks and appreciation to the participants from Ivana Smucker, program manager at Hands Organization, and Ms. Samira Luca, senior director of dialogue at the Coptic Evangelical Organization, for their interaction and commitment to attending the program. They also praised the ideas that were presented as community initiatives that reflect their ideas towards applying what they learned during the program and the mechanisms for spreading it in their local communities.


Ms. Rachel Leslie, the cultural attaché at the US Embassy in Egypt, expressed her appreciation to the participants, the program, and the partners from the Evangelical Organization and Hands Along the Nile. She also announced the names of the five winners of the best community initiatives that were presented, since 14 participants submitted initiatives, and the five winners from the Egyptian and American sides are (Megan Strouse, Nermin Nabil, Trevian Smith, Refia Tonguc, and Ahmed Rashad).


Each winner presented a brief idea about ​​his initiative, which varied between preparing educational curricula on peacebuilding to be taught to school students, building children’s awareness of the values ​​of peacebuilding using art and culture, confronting the phenomenon of revenge in Upper Egypt, providing opportunities for dialogue and discussion between religious leaders of different religions or sects, and finally, at the end of the meeting, certificates were distributed to the graduates.