Shafik Abdel Rahman im Gespräch


Shafik Abdel Rahman ist Projektmanager bei der ZFD-Partnerorganisation UTOPIA, die von Beirut aus arbeitet. Im Interview berichtet er über das Leben im Libanon, die damit verbundenen Herausforderungen und die Zusammenarbeit mit dem ZFD (englisch).

What motivates you to work for peace and prevention of violence in your country?

Shafik Abdel Rahman: We live in a world where the sound of guns has become louder than the sound of reason, where violations of human rights are part of our everyday news, where peace has become a luxury. Lebanon is not far from this truth. In fact, violence has become so normalized to the point that we no longer notice it; people are getting shot and killed by "mistake" or over dumb reasons like an uncooked meal or a parking lot spot, to mention an example. We are living on the edge and our lives have become so cheap, the price of a bullet. Terrorism is all around us and day by day nuclear bombs and chemical weapons are becoming normalized as well. It is therefore our job as the youth of this country, the new generation, to make peace not war, to fight for our basic human rights, to be free and safe.

How does the CPS support you? Which CPS supports help you most in your operations?

Shafik Abdel Rahman: The CPS supports Utopia on different levels. For instance, Utopia has acquired new experience in working with, training, coaching and mentoring youth members from the host community as well as the Syrian refugees’ community and in supporting youth community structures to acquire knowledge and experience related to civil engagement. Furthermore, the CPS helped Utopia in building new connections with other NGOs and partners around Lebanon.

Has the situation improved by working with the CPS? What has been achieved by the work of the CPS so far?

Shafik Abdel Rahman: Of course, it did.  It was achieved through providing more adequate intervention to reduce nationality based tension between youths from the Syrian refugees’ community and from the host community, and the religion based tension between youths from Jabal Mohsen and Tabbaneh area. This was achieved through different activities bringing youths from different backgrounds and cultures together, such as the camps, the workshops, the photo marathon and the art symposium.

What would have to happen to increase the success of your joint work?

Shafik Abdel Rahman: It is very important to extend the period for our projects in order to maintain sustainability in our interventions and impact on the youth communities. It is of course desirable to have more activities that target a larger range of beneficiaries.

How can the CPS support you to achieve even more?

Shafik Abdel Rahman: As mentioned above, the CPS supported Utopia on different levels, however, there are still other points that CPS could support Utopia with. For instance, offering Utopia more capacity building opportunities for the staff in terms of conflict resolution and peace building, as well as psychological and psychosocial support that would help our staff to maintain positive attitudes and communications. In addition, the CPS could also support in linking Utopia inside and outside Lebanon with other organizations that have a similar mandates as Utopia to exchange lessons learnt and experiences.