Faculty of Graduate Studies at Arab American University Ramallah branch in partnership with Taawon Organization arranged a training meeting entitled “Conflict Resolution between Theory and Practice”, targeting the Conflict Resolution and Development Master students, aiming to enhance their skills and consolidate the concepts and tools of conflict resolution.
Taawon Organization’s Executive Director Hani Smeirat hosted the meeting, expressing his happiness to visit AAUP in Ramallah and meet Master's students, he said Arab American University plays leading role in developing distinct bachelor and master disciplines to meet the local and regional markets’ needs, one of them is Conflicts Resolution and Development Master, which helps consolidate the concepts and tools of resolve conflicts and development.
He focused on Academic and Civil Society Institutions important role to combine peace, dialogue, reconciliation and non-violence concepts in the programs, plans and policies of public and private Palestinian institutions. He talked about Taawon Organization’s big challenges and problems faced from 2002 to 2007, especially on Conflicts Resolution concepts and its connection with Palestinian awareness in-directly with Palestinian-Israeli conflict concepts and count it’s kind of normalization. Also explaining that these concepts belong to the Palestinian government and community, conflicts resolving tools within Palestinian community because the community with all its political, social and compositions spectrum suffers from various forms of conflicts and disputes that should be resolved in a peaceful, non-violent way.
During the meeting, Smeirat presented cases and practical examples helps to define conflict, pointing that there is two different point of views on conflict. He said conflict resolution first rule is to focus and try to understand the conflict and not to copy others opinions before you start taking a negative perception, and act on the basis, especially as the conflict concept still takes the negative side in the eyes of Palestinian society, it’s often inverted on our views, choices, ways of thinking and analysis foundations to come up with realistic, economical solutions.
An important issue raised, which is the problem core is in the conflict context not in the conflict concept itself, therefore to solve we must change our view to the conflict concept and look at it positively through understanding conflict core and take it as an opportunity to make positive change and find alternative solutions to resolve it within the community equations and general conditions that prevailed in conflict regardless their nature and content because conflict has misleading sides and misunderstood ones, therefore it’s human nature to confine thinking in conflicts resolving non-violent ways, ruling out automatically and spontaneously options and few other alternatives are low price and cost.
Various cases and practical examples presented from Taawon Organizations work especially with the family, police, municipalities and public and private organizations. Students interacted positively with conflict analysis methods.
Dr. Ayman Yousef, University Political Sciences Dr. and the course instructor, welcomed the guest Smeirat, talked about civil society organizations and grassroots organizations importance in solving community conflicts, consolidate conflict concepts and alternative tools to solve it. Also he pointed to the importance of linking theoretical side the university provided with practical side by these institutions.
It is worth mentioning, Taawon Organization for resolve conflicts developed a strategic work plan in 2007 through networking with several institutions in the Arab countries works in conflict resolution and mediation, social business units were set up and 13 mediation units in Palestinian universities to deal with students, their problems and alternative ways to solve them peacefully. Also tribal conflict concept has been linked with community mediation concept in tribal reformers approach and thought, and importance of finding alternative mediums to resolve conflicts through training seminars and workshops.