Enhancing conflict resolution in Tripoli through food and arts - Foundation Office Lebanon
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On Sunday, November 6th 2016, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA/AL-JANA) organized a one-day festival in Tripoli (North Lebanon) during which 80 women from Al-Kobbeh and Jabal Mohsen cooked together and shared the food with the entire community. Throughout the event, local artists exhibited their work and local musicians played music, thus creating a harmonious and peaceful atmosphere.
This was not the first time these women met. In fact, this festival is the result of a 3-month project that started when 40 women from each area were selected to participate in an activity aiming to promote peaceful coexistence between two communities that have been, since 2008, the subject of a severe sectarian conflict which was considerably aggravated due to the war in neighboring Syria. As such, each of the participants was invited to spend a day at another participant’s home, learning new cooking skills whilst sharing and developing ideas about dishes to prepare for the Food Festival.By immersing women from different sects and political backgrounds in the non-discriminatory and neutral act of cooking and sharing ideas about recipes and methods, differences started to be overcome and friendships to be built between the communities. However, it was noted that some of the participants were not yet ready to overcome obstacles with the other community and therefore, a continuous effort is very much needed to ease the tensions and create long lasting bridges.