We'am Khattar - Lebanon

Summer 2012 Study of the U.S. Institute on
Religious Pluralism in the United States

"Through my participation in the SUSI program, I was introduced to a new kind of diversity that I could never find in my countrydifferent cultures, religions, perspectives and mentalities. It made me more open to different opinions and has widened my perspective about the world. It has challenged me to tolerate ideas that might not only be different, but be completely against mine."

After his participation in the SUSI program, We'am took the opportunity to further enrich his training in the field of dialogue back in Lebanon.

He first got involved with Dialogue for Life and Reconciliation, a non-governmental organization founded by fellow DI program alum Dr. Ziad Fahed and fellow SUSI alum Ramzi Merhej, among others. He participated with DLR's "Shadow Ambassadors" project, and later became a facilitator with DLR's "Let's Play" project, working to promote dialogue through soccer (football) games for high school students.

During the following summers, as he finished up his studies in Communication Arts (Radio/TV) at Notre Dame University - Louiaze', We'am participated in "International Work & Study Camps" run by the Forum of Development, Culture & Dialogue. The first summer focused on the theme of  "Promoting Peace Through Interreligious Dialogue," and the second on "Dialogue and Religious Diversity Facing Extremism." He also completed a training of trainers on "Public Speaking & Psychology of Extremism" through the same organization.

More recently, Weam participated in a one-month training in Finland with the European Voluntary Service, focused on intercultural interaction with youth from different countries around the world to promote understanding, tolerance and peace.