NEWS: “Multakana – Youth Voices For Peace 2023” forum

On 30 and 31 March, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona will host the Multakana – Youth Voices For Peace 2023 Forum, organized by NOVACT alongside The Fundació Autònoma Solidària (FAS) and the Associació Kudwa.

It’s a meeting with over 35 young people from Catalonia, Syria, Kurdistan, Iraq, Colombia, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine and Italy with experience in human rights defense, at volunteering, academic and/or professional level, who are entering the world of activists and participate in social transformations.

“Multakana – مُلْتَقانا: Youth Voices For Peace 2023” forum has the objective to promote the role of young people in peacebuilding processes. Multakana means a “place of meeting” in Arabic.

This activity is part of a project entitled “ASÎTÎ: Fomentant el rol de les joves desplaçades internes i refugiades dels conflictes de llarga durada de Síria i el KRI i de la joventut de les comunitats d’acollida de Jordània i Catalunya en la construcció de la pau i la consolidació de la democràcia i els drets humans a l’Orient Mitjà”, which is funded by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation.

The forum is divided into two parts. The first part consists in a month-long activity in which participants attend an online course focusing on the following themes:

  • “The Sociopolitical Context of the Mashriq Region” by David Perejil, journalist and international relations analyst and NOVACT’s Mashreq coordinator.
  • “Nonviolent Fight” with journalist Thais Bonilla, and NOVACT’s specialist in strengthening human rights defenders.
  • “Gender and Conflicts” with Nour Al-Hussen Villa, politologist and PhD student specialising in the civil society of war-torn Syria.
  • “Climate Impact on Conflicts” with Moussa Bourekba, researcher at the CIDOB.
  • “Activists in Exile and Identity Transformation”, with Georges Azzi, activist for LGBTIQ+ rights at the KUDWA Association.

The forum will also allow participants to build networks, exchange experiences on peacebuilding and activism, and practise what they learn through online training capsules, as well as from the experiences of other fellow activists.

There will be 20 UAB students participating in the forum, 5 of whom hold UAB refugee grants for people from conflict zones and 10 volunteers from the FAS Welcome Refugee Programme. The organisers have also helped 2 young activists from Syria and Iraq with a grant so that they could attend the forum.