Arab American University held a celebration and a lecture on the MoU signed with the Korean Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) on the University's Ramallah campus, in presence of Prof. Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, University President, Dr. Osama Salmeh, University VP for Planning and Development Affairs, Dr. Abdulrahman Abu-Libdh Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and Prof. Dr. Ayman Yousef Political Science and Conflict Resolution lecturer at the University.
Prof. Dr. Abu Zuhri gave a speech stressing on the importance of communicating with international and governmental organizations in the field of conflict resolution and peace, since the university in the only one in Palestine who has developed a Master program in Conflict Resolution. It’s a program with multiple knowledge fields as its part of development, cultural communication, strategic planning and public relations fields.
Prof. Dr. Ayman Yousef said it’s known that the Korean Foundation for Peace has a wide range of branches, including international law experts and legal activists not only within Korea, but also in different parts of the world. They participated in drafting “the Universal Declaration to Stop War and Peace”. It also focuses on its women and youth sections, especially in peace educating, as it relays on the international conventions and The Geneva Conventions as well as international law and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
He pointed, this Korean model in making peace is very similar to the intellectual and philosophical theses of the German thinker Immanuel Kant, especially his thesis on lasting peace in which he said world peace is possible if all countries turned into a democratic model, adopted market economy, and respected international law. This vision means democracy doesn’t fight democracy in the long and medium term.
He added, by tracking the written and non-written sources and reviewing the website of the Korean Foundation, we can say there are three important aspects which the University can engage positively with the Foundation through; the Conflict Resolution and Development Program and the Policy Research and Conflict Resolution Center. It’s possible to appoint some students or academic lecturers to be part of the world peace ambassadors to broadcast the message of peace, human unity and human justice. The second is launch lobbying, advocacy and anti-war and bloody conflicts media campaigns. Using soft tools, especially; technology, social networking sites and nonviolence philosophy. The third area is the possibility that the university will be an important part of the Korean Global Advisory Council, especially as it has experts, researchers, academics and field activists from over than 100 countries. The fourth cooperation possibility is the possibility for the university to participate in the preparatory committee for drafting the declaration of peace and cessation of war because it clearly symbolizes the role of states, governments, public sectors and political elite, and doesn’t consider the role of non-governmental and youth organizations, women associations, and religious leaders on the grounds that the state is the most important factor and influential in war and peace issues.
Dr. Yousef concluded, The Arab American University, through its conflict resolution and development, cultural communication, and strategic planning programs, has a positive relationship with the Korean Peace Foundation because there are many courses, issues, tools and skills that we teach to our students and serve the networking process and build partnerships with this institution. It’s obvious in courses such as conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and peacemaking, as well as the skills of negotiation, mediation, facilitation, arbitration, communication and public relations. The program should include students of the aforementioned programs, academics and lecturers, aiming to build a Palestinian model in peace and fighting violence based on the values of justice, equality, development, and meeting the basic needs (Japanese and Korean models). As well as the freedom, social liberation and national liberation values (Canadian-Norwegian Model). This Korean experience will also facilitate building a Palestinian strategy to deal with the occupation, especially as we’re a nation that has been under occupation. The peaceful resistance with its various tools can invest in this area by building national strategy based on internationalization, non-violence, state-building and the self-determination right.