Baraza is delighted to announce that at our Annual General Meeting held on 29th January 2024, Prof. Dr. Anke Weber was elected as our new President. The membership very much looks forward to this new journey for the association as it continues to evolve. Prof. Dr. Weber is a Professor for Intercultural Research Methods and Statistics at Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences. Congratulations to her! We are also equally pleased that our former President - Georg Popp, was elected to serve Baraza as a Vice President. We express our enormous gratitude to Georg for his efforts ever since we were formed in 2017.
In January 2024, our Secretary General – Riaz Ravat was invited to speak at a conference organised by The Open University (OU) & Culham St Gabriel's Trust. The event enabled participants to hear more about the OU’s transnational RETOPEA - Religious Toleration and Peace project as it evolves into its next phase. The gathering heard about the efforts Baraza has made to work across national boundaries through its UNITY scheme and the lessons it has learnt in that regard.
At the end of November 2023, Baraza was invited to deliver a guest lecture to 20 students as part of a Master’s degree course at Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences.
The programme ‘Intercultural Business Psychology’ is led by Prof. Dr. Anke Weber who is Professor for Intercultural Research Methods and Statistics at the institution.
Baraza’s Secretary General – Riaz Ravat, taught the session which was titled ‘Project Evaluation’. This began with an outline about the history and mission of Baraza which was then followed by a case study of a recent international, interfaith project which Baraza had completed. Students subsequently discussed elements of how and what a successful evaluation tool would look like within the parameters of a small organisation with limited resources.
It is hoped that over the coming period, Baraza will continue to work with some of the students to deepen the dialogue by applying some evaluation frameworks against work delivered.
As a member of the Anna Lindh Foundation - German Network, we were very pleased to have taken part in the 'Celebrating Our Diversity Forum' which took place online in November 2023 with nearly 50 colleagues from Germany, Lebanon and Sweden. We very much look forward to working with partners in the coming months as we explore opportunities to share good practice, skills and knowledge to promote inclusion.
At the end of August and early September 2023, as part of our involvement in which falls under the umbrella of the CCP (Cross Culture Programme) Synergy Fund
On 15th November 2023, the ‘Tandem for Tolerance’ project of Baraza in cooperation with Al mana Centre Muscat, Oman, concluded with a series of interactive and engaging visits.
The project was dedicated to enhancing European and Middle Eastern cooperation
Earlier this year, Baraza began participating in the Cross Culture Programme supported by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) based in Germany. Baraza was linked up with the Al Amana Centre from Oman with view to a series of exchanges to share good practice and to mutually learn about governance, operations and wider contexts.
In August 2023, Baraza welcomed colleagues from the Al Amana Centre to Munich, Germany for a range of interactive encounters. In November, a reciprocal trip to conclude the project took place. The meeting enabled partners to reflect on the project as a whole and to explore next steps.
The Baraza delegation visited a mosque, church, Buddhist and Hindu temples and a gurdwara. They met worshippers who described their migration patterns and experiences of living as minorities. Both Baraza and the Al Amana Centre have pledged to continue their dialogue and to examine ways of deepening their cooperation. All parties were extremely thankful to the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) for their support.
Juma al-Maskari, Vice President of Baraza said, “The most powerful way of bridging divides is to get people to connect with one another. The more we open our minds, the more we have the possibility of opening our hearts. This Cross Culture scheme has strengthened our institutional relationships, enhanced our intellectual capacity and provided us with energy to continue to collaborate”.
On Tuesday 4th July 2023, Baraza led a roundtable meeting with experienced NGO partners of UNESCO and other invited guests in Paris, France. The discussion enabled participants to identify their respective areas of work and to commit themselves to exploring areas of collaboration. Georg Popp, President of Baraza opened the meeting by highlighting the history and remit of Baraza. Riaz Ravat, Secretary General of Baraza then delivered a presentation about the UNITY life skills programme for children and young people which has been run in Germany, India and the UK.
NGOs in attendance at the meeting were New Humanity, Pax Christi International, International Council of Jewish Women, the International Fellowship for Reconciliation and the World Fellowship of Buddhists. Other individual guests were in attendance including Jan Figel – former European Commission Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion outside the European Union, Monsignor Guillaume Bruté de Rémur – Rector at Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Lebanon, Beirut and Prof. Dr Anke Weber - Head of Studies for Intercultural Business Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences, Hamm-Lippstadt in Germany.
The engagement heard that dialogue between people of different religious traditions and those of no religious convictions must bring out universal values for the good of all humanity. These values, which form the basis of many of our societies, must be passed on to younger generations.
A strong call for deepening dialogue with action was made following an important global conference and workshop to coincide with the United Nation’s International Day for Tolerance.
The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman in cooperation with Baraza committed themselves to advancing their partnership for peace. The events which were titled “Deepening Dialogue”, ran on 14th and 15th November at the Bandar al Jissa Resort in Muscat, Oman.
The context of the symposium was Oman’s flagship exhibition ‘Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence - Oman’s Message of Islam’ which toured the world for a decade from April 2010. The discussions which took place this time involved the construction of ideas and schemes to advance to the next stage in an increasingly polarised world. Through its network, Baraza gathered 15 global experts who contributed effectively by generating a series of education, cultural and community project proposals to consider.
"council" or "meeting place" in Swahili. A baraza can be an informal meeting or an official council. In spatial terms it is a place where people meet to chat, exchange ideas, and solve problems.
an independent, non-profit organization, founded by the same team which is responsible for the concept, realization and implementation of the international touring exhibition "Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence."
Have fun learning about the world's major religions with creative designs and simple challanges! For kids age 5+
Currently available in 6 editions (4 different languages each) and 16 languages:
English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Kiswahili
➤ Colouring Book for Kids - "World Religions"
UNITY is an exciting and inspiring life skills programme for young people. UNITY will build self confidence and provide an encounter-based learning environment which will create citizens who are open-minded, skilled and resilient to face some of society's challenges. Topics covered include critical thinking, values and democracy. It is a scheme which will equip young people for life.
SABEL Schulen Munchen is hosting the first
BARAZA is producing a series of case studies which showcase thoughts, actions, and initiatives undertaken by persons, institutions, municipalities or nations encouraging mutual understanding and acceptance. Each compendium contains essays, previously published articles, speeches, and descriptions of projects which present positive and effective examples with articles authored or contributed by BARAZA's Advisors and Associates.
► Download pdf: Towards United Values - Case Study Oman
BARAZA's international team provides a global platform for transcultural and interfaith dialogue.
We believe in ideals of Acceptance, Understanding, and Coexistence. Supported by our network of knowledgeable experts, we invest in education, we create real-world encounters, and we build thriving partnerships.
Through education and encounter-based projects, a future where actions are rooted in common human values.