About CAFCAW

 

The Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) brings together scholars, young graduates and activists in civil society to share research, experiences and insights.

Focusing on Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine, but also with a concern for Syria and Iraq, the Forum was launched in Beirut in December 2014 by DIYAR Consortium, based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

It released a document titled “From the Nile to the Euphrates: The Call of Faith and Citizenship.” The document sets forth 10 critical issues confronting the Middle East today, and expresses a statement of commitment to engage proactively in addressing those challenges.

Because of an unhealthy, and sometimes conflictual, relation between religion and state in the Arab world, the Forum seeks to educate for, and promote, a culture of full citizenship for all among the Arab people, especially youth, in order to create more peaceful, democratic and prosperous societies built on strong pillars, such as: just constitutions and the rule of law, the full dignity and security of every person, a healthy quality of life for all, gender justice, a hopeful future for youth, etc.

This initiative captures a new approach to a vital and active faith that employs critical thinking for participatory and fulfilling citizenship.

For more information, check the CAFCAW’s Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/CAFCAW/?pnref=story

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AUD Professor Leads Discussion on Religion-State Relations in the Middle East

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh talks democracy, democratic institutions, citizenship and advocacy

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at AUD and a member of the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) Executive Committee, met her peers during a workshop on Lebanese Youth and Citizenship held in Beirut recently.

Dr. Chrabieh comments, “The gathering of Middle Eastern Christian and Muslim scholars, religious leaders, media figures and politicians, initiates a regional dialogue between academicians from diverse backgrounds and identities, who debate issues related to religions-politics’ relations, interfaith dialogue, Christians’ roles and situations as well as theology of public life, and propose alternative worldviews, narratives and projects facing the culture of violence.

The CAFCAW forum was part of the ongoing academic work of the Executive Committee on the Religion-State relations in the Middle East, and on the roles of diverse stakeholders and activists in diversity management. The workshop gathered more than 25 young Lebanese and included trainings and conferences tackling the subjects of democracy, democratic institutions, citizenship and advocacy.

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This meeting and workshop followed 4 previous events held in 2014 and 2015 in Amman, Istanbul, Beirut, and Cyprus. Future initiatives include a Middle-Eastern Youth Conference in Cyprus in April 2016 and the publication of the July 2015 Conference proceedings.

About the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW)
CAFCAW is a forum that aims to provide a more public voice for Christians and interreligious dialogue in the Arab world. The association was established at its inaugural meeting in February 2014 in Istanbul under the Diyar Consortium, a Lutheran-based, ecumenically-oriented organization serving the whole Palestinian community, with emphasis on children, youth, and women. CAFCAW convened its second meeting in Istanbul in June 2014. CAFCAW’s third conference held on 5 and 6 December 2014 in Beirut served to create broad support among Christian and Muslim academics, stakeholders in interreligious dialogue, civil society and policy makers.

For more information on CAFCAW please click on the following link http://www.cafcaw.org

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– Source: AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN DUBAI NEWS http://www.aud.edu/news_events/en/view/1068/current_upcoming/aud-professor-leads-discussion-on-religion-state-relations-in-the-middle-east#sthash.MsOUvd7o.dpuf

Because it’s 2015!

P.M. Justin Trudeau gives Canada a first cabinet with ethnically diverse ministers and an equal number of men and women, and in my home country, Lebanon, women can’t even confer their nationality to their husbands or children.

As a naturalized Canadian citizen, I am proud of the gender equality under the law in the land of maple, poutine and hockey, and as a native Lebanese, I am more than ashamed of the discriminatory laws that deny women their basic rights in the land of the alphabet, the cedars and the thousands of years of rich history.

I am ashamed of the mountains and rivers of trash, of the abysmal State, of the wasted opportunities for change, and more, of the non-recognition of women as full nationals and citizens.

“Because it’s 2015″, Trudeau said, when asked about why parity was important to him, but in Lebanon 2015, the denial of basic rights places women in a subordinate second class position, and leads to marginalization and social exclusion.

Citizenship “is both a status (or an identity) and a practice or process of relating to the social world through the exercise of rights/protections and the fulfillment of obligations” (Meer and Sever, 2004).  Citizenship should be inclusive, incorporating the interests and needs of all citizens, and an active concept, a relationship that promotes participation and agency, such as in Canada. But in Lebanon, the identity ascribed to women is in relation to men – passive, eternally immature and dependent – even if there are/were women who are/were able to re-shape their identities .

As long as most women are not able to make claims as citizens in their own rights nor to fully exercise political, economic, social and cultural rights, a Lebanese half-female cabinet is just a mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance.