Project Update

Strengthening Resilience in Ninewa: Successful Conflict Resolution Training with Simulation Games

In close collaboration with Ambero and CMC, CRISP has successfully concluded the final training of the "Young Enumerators and Mediators (YEM) Capacity Development Project.”

Text    The primary objective of this study trip was to introduce the youth to a different post-conflict setting and expose them to national conflict resolution and reconciliation environments. The training emphasized networking with relevant stakeholders and engaging in experience-based learning through simulation games.

The study visit took place in Broumana, Lebanon, with Cohort 1 attending from May 30th to June 4th, and Cohort 2 from June 6th to June 11th. The participants comprised Iraqi university students, recent graduates, and young professionals from Ninewa's five districts, including both urban centers and rural sub-districts. This diverse group represented various ethnoreligious identities, contributing to a rich and multifaceted learning experience.

The workshop kicked off with a 2-day simulation game where participants took on the roles of various stakeholders involved in a land dispute between two communities in the fictional city of Qadira. The exercise challenged participants to negotiate and agree on anti-discrimination measures and solutions to the land dispute, fostering a deep understanding of the dynamic nature of conflict and the complexities of sustainable conflict transformation processes. Following the simulation, participants and trainers from CRISP engaged in reflective discussions to analyze the dynamics of the game and consolidate their newly acquired knowledge.

The workshop also included a field visit to Saint Joseph University in Beirut and insightful talks and Q&A sessions with prominent Lebanese peacebuilders. These sessions provided participants with exposure to the Lebanese experience in conflict resolution, offering invaluable insights from seasoned experts:

  • Sheikh Firas Ballout: Head of the religious department at the Tripoli Waqf Department and active in interfaith dialogue.
  • Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour: President of the Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue (FDCD) and Secretary General of the Arab Group for Islamic-Christian Dialogue.
  • Mona Hassouna: Consultant and human rights advocate with a focus on conflict transformation, leadership, and peacebuilding.
  • Fadi Abi Allam: President of the Green Party, founder of the Permanent Peace Movement, and coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (MENAPPAC).
  • Jana Abi Morshed: Expert in using theater for education, nonviolence, conflict resolution, and mediation.
  • Dr. Makram Owais: Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the Lebanese University, specializing in conflict resolution and democratic development.
  • Dr. Rita Ayoub: Consultant and university teacher with extensive experience in interreligious dialogue and post-war reconciliation.
  • Fighters for Peace: An organization uniting former warriors from different political, religious and social backgrounds working together for a peaceful state.
  • Dr. Eliane Mansour: Executive Director of the Professional Center for Mediation at Saint Joseph University.

This workshop marked the third and final training track in our series, following previous tracks on Enumeration and Field Data Collection, and Conflict Management. The study trip successfully provided a risk-free environment for participants to think creatively and freely, experiment with mediation techniques, and enhance their decision-making and rapport-building skills.