“Politics Are Not Sectarian”, a Seminar for Rashad Center

Adyan Foundation’s Rashad Center for Cultural Governance organized a seminar around the role of Lebanese youths in political life, and addressed the impact of sectarianism and the pursuit of change in the presence of 120 participants that included interested parties, members of the media and activists who through their presence and contributions reflected the diversity of Lebanese society with its various political inclinations. The seminar was held on Thursday the 24th of January 2019 at the Gefinor-Rotana Hotel in Clemenceau.

In his opening statement, president of Adyan Foundation Father Fadi Daou considered the seminar as “akin to a popular parliament, for the people need to reclaim the conversation about their fate, particularly at this time when the situation has come to pose a threat to the future of our generations and the fate of our homeland, and politics have become and arena of struggle for “cuts” and personal interests.”

Project coordinator Talal Zeidan then presented the results of the survey on “the impact of sectarianism on the electoral choices of the youth”, which was based on a sample of 100 participants. These results showed that 50.8% of the respondents said that they partook in the parliamentary elections, while the candidacy of their party to the elections was the leading cause of their decision to vote by 28.9%.

The seminar included two sessions. The first was titled “The perspective of the youth on the role of civil society in the progress of political life” and moderated by Mr. Ayman Mhanna. Speakers were Lebanese MP Paula Yacoubian, “Beirut Madinati” member and lawyer Nayla Geagea, Dr Tala Zein, Secretary General of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, and Dr Ali Fadlallah, professor in International Law.

The second session was titled “The impact of sectarianism on the political activity of Lebanese youth and the challenges of citizenship building” and was moderated by Mr. Ziad Sayegh. Speakers were Lebanese MP Dima Jamali, Adyan Foundation president Father Fadi Daou, Political Science and International Affairs professor at Notre Dame University – Louaize Dr. Elie Al Hindi, and Mr. Maher Abou Chakra.

The seminar was part of the project  “Different Voters For One Nation”, which was realized through a grant from the United States government.