SVF completed a summer academy for youth in the West Bank city of  Nablus, funded by the European Union. The program aimed at enhancing concepts of dialogue and community-based reconciliation in cooperation with Almostaqbal local society of Nablus on June 16, 2013. More than 70 youth participated at the summer academy

All participants expressed various viewpoints towards a better future building and engaged in a civilized dialogue regarding some positive community values that would help build up a better civil Palestinian society.

From his part, Hassan Alkhatuib, coordinator of the SVF’s activities in the West Bank, maintained that the summer university program is a part of community outreach program for the reinforcement of dialogue  and community-based reconciliation across the occupied Palestinian territories, being funded by the European Union and aimed at reaching community-based conciliation and enhancing concepts of community peace.

Alkhatuib also emphasized that the summer academy was important for youth to meet up and reinforce among them some constructive thoughts and values that would in turn help them develop their various capacities towards a better future.

Alkhatuib pointed out that through some youth initiatives, implemented in Nablus-based villages, the SVF sought spreading the summer university idea as far and wide as possible, based on some practical and theoretical concept of community-based peace and dialogue. They also included, according to Alkhatuib, training youth on how to organize conferences and  engagement in voluntary works. Alkhatuib added that all well-qualified academics and trainers trained the participants.

In a related note, Alkhatuib made clear that the summer academy included implementation of some voluntary individual and collective campaigns like graffiti, media campaigning via social networking websites and reinforcement of rhetoric of dialogue and pluralism. All such campaigns have aimed at spreading culture of community-based peace.

Dr. Fakhry Dwaikat, a lecturer in one of the summer academy sessions, believed that the summer university idea itself is such a very distinguished one that targets an important category of the society and representing the community. He made clear that such an initiative help creating a new generation of young community leaders and open up new prospects for more youth innovation and creation.

Dwaikat added that the workshops implemented in the summer academy time, aimed at creating an efficient generation of Palestinian state building, based on values of tolerance and dialogue. The lecturer praised the diversity of activities, conducted during the summer university in a way that made the summer university itself,  alive and interactive.

Participants,  including Saner Abu Ghdaib abd Asala Hejazy, believed that such initiatives and new ideas greatly would reinforce concept of community-based participation among Palestinian youth and give them a broader scope for more creativity and connectivity inside their local communities.

Participants recommended the following :

  • Passing special legislations and policies regarding youth, in a way that would help them maintaining some well-established leadership roles and help them taking part in decision-making.
  • The need for respecting youth political rights and helping youth assume some leadership roles inside their political parties.
  • Enabling women to assume some high-ranking political posts including decision-making.
  • Urging other various institutions to follow the summer university initiative for the sake of experience exchange and embracing some concepts like culture of community-based peace. Setting up a strategic plan that would aim at reinforcing community-based peace and ensuring some basic material and managerial capabilities as well as holding some related training courses for the sake of community-based peace.
  • Adopting ways of proper social upbringing for the upcoming generations and finding ways to develop media in relation with women reality and ensuring a proper cooperation by some other relevant bodies like courts. All should aim at enhancing concepts of community-based peace in accordance with international standards.
  • Satisfy the need for respect of pluralism inside the Palestinian community as well as respect of others’ viewpoints.
  • Urging media outlets to help promoting political participation through some media programs or campaigning within the aim of reducing incitement towards violence or internal fight.