At the generous invitation of the UNESCO Regional centre for education in the Arab states (Beirut office), the Bahrain Women Association for Human Development participated in the project implemented by the organization, in collaboration with the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, on the promotion of culture of dialogue between cultures.
Upon that participation, a training workshop titled “Culture of dialogue for peace” was coordinated with the Office of UNESCO starting from the 24th to the 26th June 2013 at the headquarters of the organization of socio-cultural renewal, presented by the President of the Bahrain Women Association Dr.Wajeeha Al Baharna, and board member and head of Media Meena Kadhimi.
The workshop aimed to enable trainees to acquire various training skills, to absorb and understand the culture of dialogue and its mechanisms and rules for the establishment of a peaceful culture, and to disseminate and implement them through their social relationships and careers, and to continue on working with this group (considering them as the first batch attending these workshops) to enable them to train other groups, further promoting the practices of the culture of dialogue within the community.
The Association was prudent in enabling the participation of the social triangle (the government sector, private, and civil society) and to select participants from the three sectors with various occupations and specialties, in addition to an equal number of University students. The total number of participants was 25.
During the first two days several aspects were discussed, the most important being the definition of dialogue, which was identified as a refined, sensitive and tricky topic and a difficult demeanor, which is to search for the correct opinion, both in the affairs of operations or in the affairs of theories; on the other hand the culture of dialogue is the sum of the values and beliefs held by individuals in the community, and the ways of life and behavior that are sought to be obtained and practiced for the promotions of the virtue of dialogue. Added to that, an important topic was discussed about the achievement of an effective dialogue, through a real practice of dialogue, in order to better dialogue in the event of disagreement, we have to practice dialogue even in contentious cases. As for how to establish an environment for dialogue, it is achieved by looking within oneself in order to reshape a person’s personal convictions that are linked to dialogue, and the associated syntax of initiatives, and which ensures the formation of the external reality. The reasons for our lack of a culture of dialogue was discussed as well, and most importantly the belief that the function of the dialogue is to overcome oblivious controversy and its role in deepening communication between the interlocutor parties, and regarding the requirements of dialogue there was emphasizes on the key factors by which dialogue is considered absent without, which are: the importance of knowledge in the central factors of the dialogue, the focus on rational arguments relevant to the topic and that require in-depth research.
The workshop concluded with the participants providing their presentations of relevance to the main aspects of the workshop, and they were assessed by the participants themselves. Furthermore, the participants placed suggestions on how to maintain the communication between the group participants, which included the repetition of the workshop to other groups in order to spread the culture of dialogue for peace.
For pictures and details of the workshop, please visit the Association’s page on Facebook at the following link: