• Maher Btaiche

    Lebanon | Master Student in Philosophy and Theology

    Experiencing Differences , a title that comes directly to my mind when thinking about the leaders for interreligious understanding. First, I thought it could be like one of the entire workshops that I am used to attend or facilitate, but gradually I discovered that it can never be as such. Why? Because the differences that I am talking about are not usual to each one of us. It’s not only a religious or geographical difference, it is also a cultural difference that makes sometimes dialogue a difficult or impossible. But no, it wasn’t the case, we as the New Generation of Leaders for Interreligious Understanding, decided to surpass our personal subjectivity to meet and discuss with a colleague who seems so different, in language, in thoughts and way of living. It is the story of success that every one of us had to live, while starting by accepting first himself as different, and acknowledging the huge richness of the other. For this, LIU is not only a seminar or a program; it is a learning process, an invitation for a personal change in which, I personally committed in walking with the other to discover his faith and his way of practicing it, to discover his belief in non-religious values and his way of serving the other through these values. This process won’t stop today, but it will open a long term commitment and a personal engagement in discovering and dialoging more and more

  • Nady Labib

    Egypt | Pastor Protestant Church, Mokattam, Cairo

    I attended the LIU 2013 in its two phases, and it was very beneficial to me, as I learned about managing conflicts as well as directing all the embedded potential efforts into a form of mutual/multilateral cooperation. In accordance, I coordinated an initiative to be implemented in cooperation with the Mosque at my Church’s area. The Imam of the Mosque and I have engineered a textile production project that is called “Noel” which has attracted a significant number of youth from both institutions to get trained and work together, which in turn, would deepen the warm relations among all of them. I sincerely appreciate being part of the LIU. Through participating there, I deepened my convictions that there is a common ground among the human society that has to always be prioritized and considered to achieve human progress. I learned as well that the “integration” and “assimilation” among the “different” sides – can not be achieved via “good intentions” but, instead, should be planned for, procedurally.

  • Anna Arendrup Nielsen

    Denmark | Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    On a personal level I have benefited greatly from the LIU program engaging with such a diverse group of people that I would not have had the chance to meet otherwise including in my local group. It has been a really good opportunity to be in a forum where all sorts of questions have been allowed and I have been challenged on my own attitudes and values as well as my pre-perceptions. On a professional level it has been a great opportunity for me to meet people from the Middle East hearing their personal stories and testimonials of the events that have taken place during the LIU program. This has been a very emotional as well as inspirational experience and I am proud to know so many courageous and strong people. You are all in my thoughts and I hope the best for you, your families and your countries.

  • Mirey AlFarah

    Syria/Spain | Phd Candidate – Education and Communication Operations Manager – CallReps Company

    LIU Program was one of most important experience in my life. The fact of meeting with other participants, from 4 different countries and more than 10 different ethnic backgrounds, which have the same welling, is just amazing. It is one of those unique opportunities that life gives you. The program presents a virtuous cycle where you gather knowledge and fun in the same place. Thanks to the online course I had the opportunity to learn more about Religious Integration from the professional materials provided by the professors and from the real time interaction with my colleagues on the virtual discussions. LIU Program proved me that still there is a hope and that together we can arrive to a mutual understanding beside our differences. I think that this king of youth leadership programs is a mandatory in our times, especially in the Middle East region. I encourage every young and ambitious leader to follow this program and to enjoy the unique experience.

  • Rushbah Rashid Højbjerg

    Denmark | Journalist and Author www.rushy.dk

    I joined LIU as journalist and found out that by engaging my co-fellows at LIU I can qualify and promote the religious dialogue… I I joined LIU as journalist and found out that by engaging my co-fellows at LIU I can qualify and promote the religious dialogue… I have taken the opportunity to discuss religious issues – with the hope of getting one step deeper in these topics than it is the case in general in the Danish media… For example by taking my co-leaders from LIU to highlight the situation in Egypt – Syria and Lebanon… which gave an important insight in how the situation is being seen from inside… – FB is fantastic… it is a easy and great way to keep up with you guys… some times the updates in English are good to have as a parallel to the local European media-coverage. I hope in future we can continue the dialogue and relation to promote a better understanding… Thanks for giving me a chance to be a part of this program…

  • Ghada Ghazal

    Syria | Teacher at Al-Andaluse Institute for Islamic Studies

    Syria is passing through crucial times, and we need to be prepared to bring people together again, help them to overcome feelings of hatred and revenge and start building together a peaceful society. My contribution would be based on what we learned in LIU, to organize workshops and seminars for inter-religious dialogue, stimulating encounters between people from different religious backgrounds teaching the courses I followed in LIU, without forgetting to publish in various media channels (blog, TV …) about this experience.

  • Henry Holm

    Denmark | Headmaster of a Public School

    In my school, we have around 800 students, 1% of them are immigrants. There is a widespread belief among Danes that foreigners, mostly Muslims, are the source of problems by organizing meetings for the students and their parents, raising awareness among them and inviting them to stay away from social blindness and false stereotypes, quoting my experience in LIU and what I learned and discovered in visiting Cairo and Beirut. I invite them not to hesitate to mingle with others and to choose the Middle-East for their family trips.

  • Karla Sfeir

    Lebanon | Coordinator of Student activities at Notre Dame University

    In my catholic University, there are feelings of belligerence among some Christian students towards their Muslim colleagues They think they have the right to no allow the Muslims to wear any symbol reflecting Islam. I try to work with them on a daily basis and encourage them to work together more closely in the University/ies clubs. I have ensured to have a Social Committee in the dorms with members from different religious backgrounds Many of them took part to the LIU workshop and they are disseminating there positive experience among others.

  • Khaled Saied

    Egypt | Imam of a Mosque in Alexandria

    LIU Program is a good example and a model for action in our societies after the “Arab Spring”, where people need to know each other and to know how to build their inter-religious understanding and relationship. Moreover, through LIU I felt I am practicing some basic Islamic values, as this Coranic exhortation: “We have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13).