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Creativity, arts and innovation, tools for peace building in Majdel Anjar
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Creativity, arts and innovation, tools for peace building in Majdel Anjar

Paintings, handicrafts, canvas, knitted wool dresses and painted glass were displaced for the 550 visitors coming to attend the arts exhibition in Majdel Anjar, Bekaa organized on Friday 16th of September 2016.

For three months, 60 Lebanese and Syrian, women, youth and children were given the opportunity to improve their hidden talents, learn new techniques to develop their art crafts and exchange knowledge and information with experts in the arts and design fields.

This activity is organized by the socio-cultural committee of Majdel Anjar, as part of the Mechanisms for Social Stability (MSS) process, supported by the UNDP “Peace Building in Lebanon” and funded by UK DFID.

The committee of Majdel Anjar is one of several committees established together by local authorities and local actors all over Lebanon, under the supervision of the municipalities, supported by the UNDP “Peace Building in Lebanon” project to address the existing challenges to social stability and peace building as well as those caused by the impact of the Syrian crisis on host communities.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, at the beginning of the launching ceremony, one of the committee member shed light on the importance of education and arts in conflict resolution and prevention. “Instead of holding arms and munitions, participants in this training held brushes and pens to innovate and not to kill”

“I have been drawing for a long time but never had moments alone to draw what I wanted. This training helped me be committed to drawing things I love. I was surprised of myself and got encouraged by the comments shared by the teachers” said Lebanese participant Sara Hamzeh, 25 years old, while standing next to her colorful paintings.

Facing Sara’ paintings, two young Lebanese girls are showcasing fans they made out of plastic spoons and forks. Asmaa’ Abou Haykal and Hala Jounoud became friends during the training period. “We have acquired new skills and techniques. We can proudly share them with our family and neighbors”, said Hala.

For Mohammad Hammoud, Head of Majdel Anjar committee, both of the training and exhibition, initiated interaction between Lebanese and Syrian participants away from all kind of conflicts without marginalizing any person. “We wanted to show the world that Majdel Anjar is capable and receptive of life, joy, compassion and creativity” he added.

Standing next to his Arabic calligraphy artworks, Syrian participant Hamed Abdel Wahad, shared his joy with friends and visitors who came to support him. “It is the first time I exhibit my work in Lebanon. I am surprised, proud and happy by the reaction of people who loved it”.