MINELRES: September 2004 Edition of the Grassroots Good News: Peace Center Sabur in Daghestan

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Sep 14 16:08:25 2004

Original sender: The Threshold Foundation <luber@dieschwelle.de>

GGN September 2004 Edition

Table of Contents:
1) J?hnde – the 100% green village
2) Peace Center Sabur in Daghestan
3) New Green Ideas


2) Peace Center Sabur in Daghestan

Within the Bremen Peace Award 2003 of the Threshold Foundation the
following proposal has been shortlisted:

The work of the peace center Sabur focus on the geographic center of the
Dhagestan Republic in the Caucaus, where in the region of Kadar there
are a number of societal and international conflict potentials. Sabur
counteracts that problems with workshops where elder people of different
ethnic origin and commitment for non-violent conflict resolution meet
with younger persons. In addition Sabur arranges training seminars for
school children, communities and NGOs to improve the communication and
has launched a “Liberal Club“ which caries out events for inter-ethnic
and inter-religious tolerance.

The chairman of Sabur, Kazimurza Sultanov, writes:

Daghestan Non-Governmental Organization “Sabur“ is working out a
peace-building project in Kadar zone (Buinaksk district) which is famous
for wide spread of Vahabbism (an extreme variation of the Islam) and 
military operations (anti-terrorist campaign of the Russian Federal
Army)  in 1999. The Kadar zone is an area in the heart of Daghestan
Republic. There are 8 villages in it. The total number of population is
about 15 thousand persons.

Disintegration of the USSR  and the following  social and economic
cataclysms  resulted in appearance of extremist trends and ideologies on
the political stage of several Russian regions. The social and political
situation was not being controlled by local authorities. Since early
1990-s  the Kadar zone  became one the strongest centers (all over
Russian Federation) for the Vahhabist ideology which was violently
spread in all aspects of life. Women were prohibited to participate in
social life. They were only allowed to run the house and bring up the
children. The girls were not allowed to go to school. Vahabbist leaders
did their best to isolate  the population of Kadar zone from neighboring
communities thus demonstrating intolerance to representatives of other
cultures. The final stage was anti-terrorist campaign in August –
September 1999 which resulted in considerable material (let alone moral)
damage to local citizens. In a few cases people managed to obtain
compensations for the ruined houses and property. Unfortunately neither
the Governmental bodies nor the local authorities have taken care of
compensating moral damage. No one has ever thought of  working out and
implementing a complex program on integrating the population of Kadar
zone with neighboring communities. It is necessary to promote these
people’s social and psychological rehabilitation. It is necessary to
save them from the label “marginal group”, to prevent their isolation
and restoration of terrorism danger. 

In these difficult and conflictive circumstances Sabur arranges the
following projects: 

Mavlids (meetings of respected old-aged persons of different ethnic
groups aimed at reconciliation and passing peacekeeping experience to
young generation). During Mavlid ceremonies the emphasis will be made on
propaganda of such values as religious and ethnic tolerance, mercy,
generosity, open-heartedness, peaceful disposition.
Sports competitions for the schoolchildren so as to make it possible for
children from different villages (and of different nationalities) to
communicate through sports. At the end of the competition all
participants will be awarded with equal prizes thus not only confirming
the basic Olympic principle (participation is much more important than
victory), but also emphasizing the peace-building function of sports –
“it is always better to compete on the sports ground than on the field
of battle”.  

Training-seminars (for High school students, representatives of local
authorities, NGOs, mass media) aimed to develop skills of conducting
dialogue (in the round table format). The main objective is to form 
experience of discussing and resolving controversial questions through
peaceful and constructive dialogue without extremist and terrorist
methods which had recently become a norm. The seminars will serve as a
significant part of  psychological and educational program of training
teenagers values of  tolerance and peace culture. Arranging a liberal
club mainly specialized in propaganda of cross cultural (inter-ethnic
and inter-religious) tolerance. Volunteer students will help us conduct
social poll of the population and assist at seminars. All the events
unite in one program – the reconciliation ceremony is followed by sports
competition. After that psychological rehabilitation and  intellectual
growth of the new and formation of conscientious members of the civil
society are promoted.

Contact: kazimurza@yandex.ru


Grassroots Good News come to you from The Threshold Foundation

Editor:			Dr Burkhard Luber
Contact:		mailto:Luber@dieschwelle.de
English Website at 	www.dieschwelle.de

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