27 April to 25 May
Tuesdays, 17:30 to 19:45 BST/UTC+1
Qualities & Strategies of Peacemakers (QSP-online) is a week-long course of five modules, each based on a documentary film, followed by interactive analysis.
The films show examples of reconciliation after conflict in a variety of contexts: inter-national, inter-religious, inter-ethnic and post-colonial. After an introduction and viewing of the film, participants take part in an interactive analysis facilitated by Dr Omnia Marzouk and/or Peter Riddell.
QSP is for anyone over the age of 18, in particular those who want to respond to past or present instability in their countries. It aims to enrich their understanding of peacemaking, and stimulate new ideas for ways forward.
QSP is free of charge, but voluntary donations to extend the programme are appreciated.
This course meets each Tuesday, 17:30 to 19:45 BST/UTC+1, from 27 April to 25 May. (North & Latin America, Europe, Africa, Middle East)
Please plan to join the course 15 minutes prior to the starting time. All sessions are held on Zoom – we advise that you ensure your Zoom application, whether on desktop, browser, or mobile device, is the most current version. Please see Zoom Updates for more details.
Please use this link to access the Introduction, Course Content and Application Form.
We can all think of examples of relationships that are not in a healthy state, between humans, or between humans and our natural habitat. It goes without saying that everyone wants to live in a peaceful environment. But how to bring peace? Perhaps examples of outstanding peacemakers can stimulate fresh ideas of steps that we can take.
The course consists of five short modules based on documentary films of peacemakers in very different contexts. In each module, a viewing of the film will be followed by facilitated interactive analysis, when participants will together reflect on:
Questionnaires will be sent to participants before each module to note their observations while they watch the film, and there will be time to reflect further after the film.
The course is an introduction to an approach to peacemaking that was developed by Frank Buchman, the founder of what is today known as Initiatives of Change.
So it is natural to start with a recent film about him, ‘The Man Who Built Peace’, as it sets the context for all the other modules. The facilitated analysis focuses on the evolution of his strategy in different situations, from founding a hostel for street kids in the early 1900s, to ‘turning round’ a failing college, to creating an international network for moral and spiritual renewal, to being decorated by the governments of France and Germany, as well as of Japan and the Philippines, for his contribution to reconciliation between them after the Second World War.
The second film, ‘For the Love of Tomorrow’, takes a particular example of Buchman’s approach, which took place in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. The discussion after the film focuses on the roles of a team of people, trained by Buchman, who worked together to enable an embittered French politician become a significant agent for post-war reconciliation with the Germans.
The third film, ‘The Imam and the Pastor’, also shows how a change of heart in individuals can lead to initiatives which have a far wider impact. In this case, the context is religious conflict in northern Nigeria in the early 1990s, where two rival militia leaders came together to train a task force of imams and pastors to travel to mediate in flashpoints.
The fourth film ‘An African Answer’ is a sequel to the previous film and focuses on healing ethnic conflict. Here we see the imam and the pastor in Kenya applying the mediation approach that they developed in Nigeria, after serious post-election violence in 2007-8. In the discussion, participants will analyse the mediation process step by step.
The final film, ‘Beyond Forgiving’ is a story of post-colonial reconciliation from South Africa. Shortly after the end of Apartheid, a black guerrilla commander ordered a revenge shooting in which a white girl died. Some years later, the girl’s mother finds an opportunity to confront the guerrilla commander, and they speak of the painful realisations for both of them as they begin to journey together.
The main aim of the course is to absorb as much wisdom as possible about the healing of broken relationships from these stories of remarkable people.
The course relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
The course is free of charge, but please consider a voluntary contribution.
Peter Riddell has worked with Initiatives of Change (IofC UK) organising trust-building programmes between people of different faiths based on shared ethical values, in particular with people who have suffered due to Britain’s colonial legacy.
He is currently Convenor of IofC UK’s Agenda for Reconciliation programme, supporting refugees who wish to contribute to rebuilding their country of origin, with safe space for sharing, training and accompaniment.
He is also Coordinator of Learning to be a Peacemaker, a course designed by Imam Ajmal Masroor, on Islamic approaches to peacemaking for young European Muslims and their non-Muslim peers.
Dr Omnia Marzouk is originally from Egypt, was born in Spain, and has lived most of her life in Australia and Britain. She recently retired as Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, having served as Clinical Director of the Emergency Department and as Associate Medical Director.
Omnia was also the first woman President of Initiatives of Change International from 2011-2016. For many years, she has been engaged in trust-building initiatives and intercultural and interfaith dialogue within the UK, as well as in other parts of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.