"Long Live KAICIID!", Say Fellows Around the World
Following a motion passed on 12 June in Austrian Parliament to withdraw from KAICIID’s Council of Parties, members of the International Fellows Programme were among the first to voice their support for the Centre. They highlighted the personal and professional transformations they have experienced as a result of participating in the programme, while appreciating the Centre’s continued support to the Fellows and interreligious dialogue projects in their communities even after their graduation.
The Fellows, numbering more than 200, are religious and community leaders who have been trained and supported by KAICIID to build peace in their communities through dialogue. Coming from dozens of different countries and from 9 world religions, they are on the front lines in promoting peace in diverse contexts, and are responsible in their communities, institutions and congregations for leading people in overcoming communal divisions, prejudices, fears and hate.
This is what they have to say:
"I think KAICIID is a place to engage on human rights, gender equality, rule of law and religious freedom. It is essential in the dialogue between the Western and Arab world, working towards encounters between people of faith. In my case, as a Rabbi, it has led to a greater encounter with the Arab world, the Sunnis and Shia worlds and people of faith throughout the world.
It enables an atmosphere for discussion and dialogue by champions of human rights and equality. For sure, scrutiny of human rights records goes on in this atmosphere. Closing down that discussion is counter-intuitive and counterproductive. In all the human rights interventions that I have successfully made, campaigns that have included diplomacy and dialogue can make real change...
What’s more useful?
- Rabbi Alexander Goldberg; Chair, Coordinating Council of Jewish Organisations at the United Nations; Lead Chaplain, University of Surrey, UK
Over the years, KAICIID has formed a global network of religiously motivated leaders who work tirelessly to make this world a better place. To close the Centre would mean to deprive positive influencers and change makers of power, resources and inspiration.
Having obtained the Fellowship in 2017, I was among many other people from all over the world who benefitted from the Centre’s rich and meaningful activities. All of the Fellows have implemented interreligious initiatives that impacted hundreds, even thousands of people all over the world.
- Dr. Taras Dzyubanskyy; Libertas Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Ukraine; Lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Ukraine); Recipient of BMEIA intercultural achievement Award 2018
As a teacher of religion, I find KAICIID models on interreligious and intercultural dialogue useful in my religiously and culturally diverse classroom. Indeed, KAICIID does a tremendous job of training religious and political leaders, community activists and teachers to be ambassadors of peace and social cohesion in our world of religious and cultural diversity.
In Africa, KAICIID has helped a lot in collaboration with local partners in creating a platform for interreligious dialogue – especially in war-torn areas like the Central Africa Republic, Chad and Nigeria.
Long live KAICIID! We aspire to live in the global world which cherishes diversities through dialogue.
- Shijja Kevin Kuhumba; Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The resources that this Centre has provided so far have had an incalculable value, and from it, I draw new life for the initiatives, projects and ideas that today are so essential. I feel valued by KAICIID as a woman who is an intercultural and interreligious mediator. Without the Centre, I would lose an important part of my development that I hope many others will have the opportunity to experience.
- Claudia Giampietro; UISG International Union of Superiors General, Rome, Italy
As a 2016 International Fellow, I can't begin to express how enormously helpful the KAICIID Fellows training in interreligious and intercultural dialogue, and the last three year's follow-up experiences, have been in my life and in the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people whom I've been in contact with since graduation.
KAICIID was the first organization I've worked with that embraces people of all religious backgrounds and works tirelessly and effectively in religious as well as sectarian conflict areas around the globe to promote peace building through dialogue.
Since 2012, KAICIID has provided 7 years of brilliant programming from leading educators. Its alumni are in more than 40 countries. The phenomenal online presence, high-level platforms connecting leaders across continents, and its hands-on experience have created so much goodness and optimism during a time when we have seen some of the most horrific acts of civil war and heartless terror. Its high-profile Board of Directors representing major religions and academic institutions from around the globe are without reproach.
- Rabbi Jeff Burger; Lecturer, Montefiore College UK
KAICIID is a unique institution that through its remarkable programmes gathers many religious leaders, academics and dialogue practitioners from all over the world. For me and for fellow academics, KAICIID is a place where we constantly expand our horizons, where we can learn about the importance of global dialogue and about how to raise the impact of our work in today’s world. KAICIID showed us what we have in common and how to overcome our differences through sincere and meaningful dialogue. After all, the differences shouldn't be greater than what binds us together.
- Dr. Aleksandra Djuric Milovanovic; Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
I think KAICIID is the only interreligious organization that wants to accommodate all the belief systems that exist in this world. As a Confucian, I was openly invited to become a Fellow from KAICIID. There are almost no interfaith organizations in the world who want to recognize Confucianism as a religion. The governments of Austria, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the Vatican should be proud of KAICIID's presence and we hope that more countries will join KAICIID to create a better world.
- Kris Tan; Chairman of Young Indonesian Generation (GEMAKU)
KAICIID has equipped me with knowledge and skills on interreligious and intercultural dialogue through the training given to me in 2018. Indeed this knowledge has improved my relationship with people of other religious and cultural backgrounds, I can freely mix up with them without any segregation. I'm more tolerant towards people of other faiths and cultural backgrounds than before.
May God continue to use KAICIID in a mighty way and help people to coexist peacefully by appreciating their religious and cultural differences. God bless KAICIID.
- Sister Kyaligonza Rose; St. Augustine University of Tanzania
I find the training and network that KAICIID offers is excellent, and is very much useful in my ministries. The professors, trainers, staff and especially the Fellows from different nationalities I met during the training were amazing, and I was inspired by the initiatives of the Fellows. Together we can do so much more.
We are going through a period of time where human beings hate and kill each other, and make life miserable for millions. Organizations like KAICIID are necessary to promote the noble goal of living together in harmony.
- Reverend Jose Nandhikkara CMI; Catholic priest; Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for the Study of World Religion, Dharmaram College, Bangalore, India
KAIICID changed my worldview completely on issues such as perception, dialogue, and living with difference. Through trainings on dialogue, resource mobilization, capacity building, and identity I learnt much about conflict resolution, dialogue facilitation and respect for humanity. KAIICID is an organization that is helping achieve sustainable development around the world through sustainable peace and coexistence. It is an organization that is helping to eliminate religious fundamentalism and radicalism, hence a practical organization in my life. My life has changed to a greater extend through KAIICID initiatives and today I am positively impacting my community in Zimbabwe.
- Reverend Canon Dr. Ishanesu Sextus Gusha; Deanery of St Mary and All Saints Cathedral Harare; Senior Lecturer of New Testament Studies, University of Zimbabwe
The interreligious perspective offered by KAICIID through its programmes amplifies the voices of religious minority groups in the world. In Indonesia, a Muslim predominant country, KAICIID trained many – but not only – young Muslim activists and scholars. They are becoming the key figures in promoting freedom of religions or beliefs, including for minority groups such as Christians, Buddhists, Confucians, Hindus, local religions, and other faiths. KAICIID and its visions deserves to be stronger in the future.
- Dr. Suhadi Cholil; Lecturer at the Graduate School of State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Interreligious dialogue activist
Through KAICIID training (directly or indirectly) most practitioners and educators in the field of IRD have come to the realization to the fact that religious unity should be seen in the simile of a salad bowl where different ingredients come together to for a nice meal without these ingredients losing their identity. By this concept, religious people could come together, contribute their quota to give world the peace it deserves, without losing identity or religious persuasion. And that is what KAICIID stands for.
- Mohammed Kassim; Director, Academic Administration, Islamic University College, Ghana
Thanks to KAICIID I know how to separate the fault from the offender – what an approach for a good peaceful solution. The Fellows training I received in Abuja in April 2018 allowed me to reconcile the two Muslim and Christian communities in my community who now live in perfect cohesion. I am willing to testify around the world about the change in my community to raise awareness. Thank you all.
- Ougba Ben Nafi Ahmadou; Muslim youth representative, 6th district of Bangui, Central African Republic
I have been associated with KAICIID from 2015 and this association has enriched my understanding of dialogue in numerous ways while at the same time providing me with an exposure to like-minded people from other faiths whose endeavours for the realization of peace and harmony through sustained interaction and empathy for the other has taught me much about the dynamics of human relations. In my humble view, the social and academic impact of KAICIID's endeavours ought not to be measured in the light of mere political decisions.
When I talk about Pakistan and other similar countries, KAICIID made many many positive effects in our societies towards peace and stability among religions and sects. In short if I say, they have provided great services and opportunities to humanity without any distinction of color, sex, religion and affiliation.
- Dr. Muhammad Ilyas; President, International Dialogue Research & Awareness Centre, Islamabad-Pakistan
Most probably like everyone, when I was a child, seeing a rainbow would make me happy. In the last week of May 2016, I was unprecedentedly elated to see a different rainbow – a rainbow of diverse religions, cultures, and countries. Amidst the chilling winter of Vienna in December of the same year, I was able to see a potential super rainbow in the world – an unparalleled gathering of almost 70 Fellows at KAICIID Dialogue Centre. These dialogue ambassadors who come from almost 30 countries the world over believe that amidst the current deluge of internecine wars, religious bigotry, and violent extremism, there is hope.
- Prof. Dr. Mansoor L. Limba; Associate Professor III at Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines
I believe it would be a mistake and a grave loss to restrict or threaten the contribution that KAICIID makes to a larger vision of a harmonious diverse world. In the years since completing my fellowship I have continued to dialogue with KAICIID affiliates, all of whom have impressed me as serious, committed, ethical people representing a wide range of religious affiliations. Fruitful exchanges across social divides is a crucial endeavor in this age and it is KAICIID's primary mission.
- Dr. Jenn Lindsay; Professor of Sociology and Communications, John Cabot University, Italy
I believe KAICIID is a unique center where people of all faiths come together, trust each other and be friends for life. At KAICIID you can be a Lutheran pastor sitting next to a Muslim Imam on your right and a Catholic priest on your left where you have a Buddhist monk talking to you from the front and a Hindu joining the team. The amazing part is that all of them are your friends and have one common passion of respect to humanity.
- Rev. Dr. Geleta Simesso; Faith and Development Manager for World Vision Ethiopia
While I have long been active in interreligious and multifaith efforts in North America, I never felt connected to the global community. And for that, I always felt like our efforts were limited in scope and impact. KAICIID gave me the initial entry point of connection with similarly oriented interfaith activists from around the world. The Fellowship programme helped me plug in with folks in a more global way, and the relationships and networks I have gained through KAICIID has proven incredibly fruitful for me, both personally and professionally. I am deeply appreciative of the peace-building work KAICIID has done and continues to do, and I am hopeful to stay connected with them in the years and decades going forward.
- Dr. Simran Jeet Singh; scholar, activist, and writer
The KAICIID International Dialogue Center is needed now more than ever: In a world filled with challenges of religious extremism, violent conflicts, hate, lack of tolerance and acceptance of one another, I see KAICIID since it's inception as a bridge-builder to the above-mentioned emerging global challenges.
KAICIID in the short period of its existence has brought the entire globe together to the dialogue table, fostering relationships, and building trust and acceptance through deeper understanding through dialogue.
Our various communities have also adopted the same through the various trainings we rendered through the support of KAICIID.
We now have a common slogan in our communities: when they have problems they say “Asa santa” or "Please use dialogue" in Hausa. This is KAICIID.
- Elder Justina Mike Ngwobia; Executive Director, Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Movement; Founder Women Peace Builders Network in Nigeria; Co-chair, Women Peace Mentors and Mediators Forum, Nigeria
In September 2015, I participated in KAICIID’s conference in entitled "United Against Violence Through Social Media” in Jordan for the first time. This conference helped me to change my views about the other, by opening my mind and social connections I became a personal and community figure. In addition, I attended the Fellowship program in the Arab region. I got knowledge about and the chance to meet Jews, Hindus and other religions from different countries representing different cultures. The KAICIID Center worked day and night to collect this rich diversities under the heading of humanity and coexistence with the other without any kind of discrimination. The initiatives that were funded by the Center have had a great impact on the local community, I have gained experience, work and training, and I have personally invested in raising awareness and spreading all these to my community. I highly appreciate KAICIID’s mission which is working to consolidate it. I wish to KAICIID more success and progress. The whole world needs the work and efforts of the Center.
- Media D. Marcelle Jwaniat, Jordan
The world today is so divided. We live in a globalized world, but at the same primordial identity is being strengthened. It is true that physically, people across the globe may use the same or similar product, however, ideologically, people are so distant and fragmented. We need a room where dialogue without any barriers and burden can be performed. The more dialogue we have, the wider is the space that we will have for finding similarities among human races. KAICIID is one of the best international institutions that play this role.
As an International Fellow at the Center in 2017, I have gained many benefits from KAICIID. By participating in the Fellows Programme, I have enriched not only my cognitive knowledge on dialogue and peace, but more broadly, I have been able to engage in practical experience in dealing with diversity in real life. KAICIID is an excellent exemplary model. We need more centers in the world that work on the concerns that KAICIID has pioneered.
- Dr. Pradana Boy Zulian; Lecturer, University of Muhammadiyah Malang, Indonesia; Assistant to special staff of the President of Republic of Indonesia for International Religious Affairs
Honestly, I really didn’t know dialogue before 2015 and didn’t understand what dialogue means and why we need it. Since then I feel that I have an enlightened heart while before, I was full of ignorance. Now there is light in the darkness because before, I didn’t care for others.
Without KAICIID, I wouldn’t be an interreligious dialogue trainer because KAICIID trained us, supported us, and built global networks with wonderful people. It was a great opportunity being a part of KAICIID. We need you. The world needs you like light or pure water. If we lose you, we lose loving kindness and peace.
- Ashin Mandalarlankara; KAICIID Fellow, Buddhist monk, Myanmar
I stand with KAICIID! I believe in its vision and mission of providing programs and platforms where people of different religious and cultural backgrounds come together, learn the values of dialogue, and promote those values when they go back to their respected communities. In the process, it creates positive impacts on societies, especially in some of the troubled places of the world. Its ordered closure will inevitably jeopardize not only the implementation of its programs and initiatives but also the tenure of many dedicated men and women working for the Center.
- Cirilo Boloron Jr.; KAICIID Fellow and Pastoral for the Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria
KAICIID is a powerful and necessary institution needed in the current fast-changing era. It has provided many opportunities and spaces for dialogue practitioners and scholars to meet, to network and to collaborate across religions, cultures and continents. It also strengthens dialogue practitioners and scholars in facing the challenges and obstacles in the field. KAICIID has truly provided a strong foundation for me to continue working to create spaces and to build bridges for dialogue – especially among women – and to promote the importance of interfaith and intercultural dialogue as an urgent tool in keeping and creating peace in a multireligious and multicultural society like Indonesia. Thank you KAICIID!
- Wiwin S.A. Rohmawati; Co-founder and coordinator of Srikandi Lintas Iman, an Interfaith women’s community in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Having worked with KAICIID in the field of migration and refugee aid for a humanitarian organization in Vienna, I strongly believe that interreligious and intercultural dialogue is the core of long-term integration and social cohesion in our local community. KAICIID’s programme for the Social Inclusion of People Seeking Refuge has contributed to a better cultural understanding on all sides and has encouraged trust and mutual exchange.
By bringing together different actors from European countries, all working at the grassroots in the field of migration and refugee aid, KAICIID provides an unique chance to merge the expertise in humanitarian work with the expertise in interreligious dialogue. By doing so, the impact of integration work can be broadened throughout all other local communities.
- Elisabeth Palugyay; Section head, migration and refugee aid, Austrian Red Cross, Vienna
Being a member of the KAICIID Fellows Network offers me an opportunity to know more about interreligious dialogue and what means to be an interfaith activist. With the growing network all over the world and with so many implemented grassroots interfaith initiatives from its Fellows, it gave me a great opportunity to learn more the different approaches and the complexity of social diversity. Today we are living in the world where the challenge of hatred is always there, and sometimes religion has been taken as source of legitimation to spread hatred. KAICIID as organization is necessary to promote goal of respecting diversity.
- Kamilia Hamidah; Head of Peace Promotion Centre at Institut Pesantren Mathali'ul Falah; Islamic community development lecturer; social and interfaith activist
The KAICIID Fellows Programme has given me the privilege and space to relate to people of different cultures and faith traditions. This experience has been giving me the confidence to say to the world that it is possible to live in harmony and peace regardless of our differences. I am now working in the southern part of Thailand, and I have been enriched by the uniqueness and beauty of the faith-traditions of our Muslim and Buddhist brothers and sisters. Thanks to KAICIID who has deepened my commitment to Interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue through its various programs and activities. I pray that KAICIID will continue to be a solid instrument of dialogue, peace and harmony in the world. Indeed, I am privileged to be an alumnus of the Fellows Programme.
- Father Hermes Sabud; Society of Mary; Chairman of the Marist Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Reconciliation, Ranong, Thailand
To many, dialogue is synonymous to KAICIID, and I proudly attest to the reasons why one would think so. I’ve worked with several organisations that work in similar fields, but I put forth with immense conviction that none value youth and women the way KAICIID does. The uniqueness of this organisation lies in the fact that it values diversity and integrity of all sorts, and it lives up to its mandate in its truest sense – mediating peace and justice in several pockets of the world. KAICIID is not just an institution – it’s a community. A global one. A community that dreams of a better and inclusive tomorrow. Since my association with KAICIID, I’ve only seen it grow and touch very a many lives, including my own. I realise I’d be lesser as a person without KAICIID.
- Sneha Roy; Doctoral candidate, University of Wales Trinity Saint David specialising in the role of women in political activism and conflict management
KAICIID gave me the opportunity to see the people of the world differently and with value. The skills I acquired from the Fellows program in 2018 enhanced me greatly in the field of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and the KAICIID initiative I implemented in my community I believe contributed to non-violent elections in 2019. Please do not shut down KAICIID! Instead, KAICIID should be encouraged to continue!
- Reverend Samaila Yahaya; House on The Rock Kaduna, Nigeria; Deputy Chief Coordinator, Youth With A Purpose Initiative
In this very difficult time when we, as the whole society, are in despair, fear, anger and uncertainty, I have been desperately searching for a safe and nurturing space, the safe space where I can express my difficult feelings and emotions in order to be heard and healed, and the nurturing space where I can get the unique opportunity to walk into others’ lives and reconnect with their feelings and emotions. Through the many moments of dialogue with hearts, we start to feel the depth of our collective suffering, come to realize how we are interconnected, and gain the strength to envision our future together.
Our years long works on creating safe and nurturing space to heal the society won’t have happened without the intellectual support and guidance from KAICIID International Fellows Programme team and KAICIID.
KAICIID Fellowship Programs have strengthened the hearts, skills and knowledge of peace weavers around the world.
- Nang Loung Hom, Myanmar
KAICIID serves as an effective catalyst in diffusing extremism of all religions around the world. Through its Fellows Programme, it has created an army of peace and dialogue ambassadors who have transformed their communities and benefited thousands in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. KAICIID has been instrumental in creating a movement of effective change makers and social influencers where otherwise it was not possible.
The KAICIID Fellowship Programme as provided us in Nigeria (and elsewhere) with a growing network of competent and committed bridge-builders across our many cultural, regional and religious divides. These trusted local peace and dialogue experts are increasingly becoming significantly valuable influencers and resource persons at every major interfaith gathering and engagement. Thanks to KAICIID’s ongoing support also, the voices of peace are getting louder and stronger where they were once silent. We have an increasing number of friends and insider-mediators on all sides of the dialogue table with whom we can more easily work through our various hot and thorny issue. This is a tremendous source of hope and optimism for me in a society where the divisive voices of hatred, extremism and exclusion have seriously undermined peaceful coexistence, social process and the advancement of our common humanity.
- Nuruddeen Lemu; Director Research and Training, Islamic Education Trust, Minna, Nigeria
Nowadays, due to religious extremism, violent conflicts, hate, lack of tolerance and acceptance of the other, KAICIID’s presence is more than needed.
KAICIID’s role as a peace builder and global hub of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, should be strengthened rather than stopped. Last but not least, through dialogue, KAICIID has managed to foster relationships as well as build trust and acceptance through deeper understanding through dialogue.
- Dr. Vicky Missira, Expert on Democratic Education in Europe
KAICIID is a bridge builder, motivator, peace seeker and peace enhancer under God. The opportunity and training from KAICIID has equipped me to function well as a lecturer, trainer and facilitator of peace wherever I go. Similarly, the relationships and opportunities for me and many around the world are so numerous that all who come in contact with me get touched. Without exaggeration, there is no organization like KAICIID all over the world that is all out for peace using all at its disposal to foster peaceful coexistence and touching lives of those affected by violence all over the world. KAICIID should be encouraged, empowered and supported by all lovers of peace.
- Rev. Dr. Zaka Ahuche Peter; Executive Director, Zaka Centre for Peace and Dialogue Foundation, Nigeria; Acting Head of Public Theology Department, Theological College of Northern Nigeria, Jos, Bukuru
Being an inter-governmental organization, political governments across the world have had a natural ally in KAICIID for building bridges across religious communities. The only problem with work of this nature is that it can be misunderstood – extremely divergent religious communities are coming together across a table. That is not easy at all! While the connecting principle is mutual respect and coexistence, the daring, bold yet cohesive work of KAICIID may not be seen for what it is, a true role model for peaceful religious coexistence! The world needs this desperately. Being an international Fellow, 2016, I have experienced first hand, the complexities that this important work demands of us, religious leaders and we owe this, to our communities.
- Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati; Teacher, Aarsha Vidya Foundation
I stand with KAICIID that has provided me with invaluable knowledge and expertise in realizing programs of interreligious dialogue or interfaith dialogue in several regions in Indonesia, especially in regions such as East Java that have experienced misperceptions and prejudices that can ignite religious tension/conflict.
In this age of global disruption and turmoil from technological change and identity politics, there is a constant need for more dialogue and mutual understanding across communities. Improving social cohesion is critical to addressing many global challenges. KAICIID wants to enrich this dialogue process and contribute to the forward thinking on how nations can realise peaceful co-existence and harmony in diversity.
- Yusuf Daud; Peacebuilder and Director, PhiloSufi Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue Surabaya, East Java
KAICIID has made a number of significant achievements in the field of Interreligious Dialogue (IRD) in Europe. IRD is what creates trust between refugees and Europeans. This trust is crucial to building a cohesive and peaceful society. KAICIID is key to making progress towards this goal. To remove KAICIID from Vienna would be to interrupt the vital work of a purposeful organisation. We support KAICIID, its staff and its leadership for the excellent and pioneering work they do. In my view, the Dialogue Centre is steps ahead of several international IRD organisations. The dedication, professionalism and inclusiveness of the Centre’s staff, together with the equal participation of women, is something other IRD organisations struggle to match.
- Farha Iman; General Secretary, Sarva Dharma Samvaad (All Religions Dialogue), New Delhi, India
I’ve been involved in interfaith work for over 15 years, having led one of the UK’s largest interfaith organisations, now called the Faith and Belief Forum. I’ve known KAICIID since its inception. I know the interfaith field and I recognize KAICIID as a safe, balanced and open space for dialogue. KAICIID, as an organization, "walks the walk and talks the talk". They work hard for balance - from their programming, to their governance structure and staff. They have a specific focus on raising women's voices in a sector dominated by men. They include Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs in their programming, which is unusual in a sector dominated by Abrahamic religions. This shows a true commitment to creating earnest interreligious dialogue. In the interfaith field, we talk about contact theory, where anxiety over the "other" is lessened by direct contact with the “other”. I encourage those who have issues with KAICIID to enter into a dialogue with them, to discover who they truly are.
- Stephen Shashua; Founder, Plan C: Culture and Cohesion
Interreligious and intercultural dialogue is an idea of immense significance all over the world, including my country: Pakistan. The volatility of a number of parts of the world have shown how necessary it is for followers of all faiths to cultivate a culture of tolerance, peace, patience and interfaith harmony. Pakistan is a multi-religious and multi-cultural country. We are also bordered by major nations like Russia, Iran, India, Afghanistan and China. We’ve always needed dialogue. Yet, it was not until KAICIID came into being that the idea of interreligious and intercultural dialogue became a reality. I stand with KAICIID.
- Dr. Muhaimin Abdul; Head of the Department of Islamic and Religious Studies, the University of Haripur, Pakistan
I’ve been blessed to undergo one of the KAICIID training programmes and can only wholeheartedly support the Centre, those who work there, the KAICIID mission and the way it is carried out. Seeing what the training did for me and my fellow trainees left me awestruck and inspired. The Dialogue Centre is a guiding light in the interreligious dialogue landscape. Please allow KAICIID to continue to contribute to the betterment of the world and the alleviation of suffering caused by interreligious conflict.
- Alexander Wrona, PhD Candidade, Kings College London
KAICIID has given me invaluable knowledge and expertise in creating interreligious dialogue programmes in several parts of Indonesia. Particularly in regions marked by prejudices that can ignite religious conflict. I participated in the 2016 KAICIID program on Asia. I was proud to stand tall in the struggle for harmony between religions in both Indonesia and Australia today. Closing the KAICIID office in Austria would be naïve. The Centre must be judged by the quality of its programmatic content and the strength of its track record in the field of interfaith dialogue. KAICIID’s work is so important, in a world divided by religious radicalism and fanaticism.
- Ridwan Al-Makassary; Researcher and Peacebuilder in Papua, Center for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS) University of Western Australia
I’m very proud of the effect I can now have on my community, my country and my region, thanks to interreligious and intercultural dialogue training from KAICIID. Here in Uganda, I’ve been able to focus institutional efforts on gender responsive peace building, thanks to what I learned from KAICIID. The training I got as a KAICIID Fellow has greatly supported the country’s National Dialogue process right from the grassroots, to having our President, H.E. Kaguta Museveni, agree that dialogue is key to international peace and security. More than that, dialogue helps us to uphold human dignity, to reflect inwardly and to work towards restoring social harmony. KAICIID has galvanized many people to become a much-needed change in our communities. I stand with KAICIID.
- Tegulwa Nageeba Hassan; Peace Educator; Executive Director, Restoring and Empowering Communities, Uganda
The best training I have ever received about leveraging religion for the purpose of human rights and peace-building came from my fellowship with KAICIID. An inter-governmental organization, KAICIID helped me, a rabbi, understand how violent groups and movements can manipulate and coopt religion and intensify conflict. KAICIID taught me how to use my role as a religious leader to pave the path to peace by humanizing the other. With fellows from across the globe, from some of the most war-torn and violent regions, KAICIID created an oasis for encounter. Christians and Muslims clerics from Nigeria. Buddhists and Muslims from Myanmar. Sikhs and Hindus from India. Israeli Jews and Muslim and Christian Palestinians. Individuals who have fled their homes and homelands out of fear for their lives come to KAICIID. They sit side by side with those who enjoy privilege and seek to use their power to build a more peaceful world. In a global reality of war zones, dividing walls, travel bans, visas denied, assaults on journalists, KAICIID plays a crucial role in healing our world.
- Rabbi Naomi Kalish; Rabbi Coordinator of Pastoral Care & Education at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
As a Rabbi and a 2019 KAICIID Fellow, I would like to express how much I am gaining from attending KIFP. Meeting faith leaders of different religions from countries I do not often have the opportunity to be in direct contact with has allowed me to learn more about other people's religions, cultures and ways of thinking. My participation in this beautiful programme was an important step in encouraging me to set up a Madressa / Beit Midrash learning programme for Abrahamic Faith Leaders (Jews, Christians and Muslims) from the West Midlands in the UK, and has contributed much to developing interreligious dialogue in my city. I hope and pray that KAICIID will continue to get its support so it will be able to develop further interreligious and intercultural dialogue around the world.
- Lior Kaminetsky; Rabbi of Birmingham's Central United Synagogue
Being a KAICIID Fellow has equipped me with knowledge and skills to reach out to my community with peace building efforts through training, mentorship and dialogues. Considering the growing concerns around interreligious and intercultural borders in my country Nigeria, being equipped for promoting peaceful coexistence as I have through KAICIID training is priceless. The Alumni network and online trainings also enable Fellows to connect globally for a continuous learning from KAICIID resource and from each other.
- Stella Francis; Co-vice President, Interfaith Peace-building Network of Nigeria.
Recognising and accepting others in most Arab societies is a qualitative leap and a serious step forward in the right direction and path to achieving peace. KAICIID, with its tremendous commitment to building those bridges of peace, is one of the most prominent and important centres that have managed, and continues to manage to bring different people together, by training them to communicate with each other, accept their differences, and move on to spread the messages of peace, love and diversity. I have witnessed first hand, how KAICIID has given us a tremendous positive energy that has helped in creating friendships from all backgrounds, whom we started to respect, communicate with and rely on. Moreover, KAICIID has given us a clear understanding of the mechanisms of dialogue, and how to embrace inner peace and move on to spread the message.
As I focus on Kaiciid, I have to say that I have found in this respectful institution, a genuine will for calling on dialogue and encouraging people to practice it, teaching tolerance and moderation, and accepting others as they are, without any hidden agenda. And I can comfortably and happily say, that all members of KAICIID, have truly committed themselves to serve humanity, and spread the messages of love, peace and coexistence. These are the goals and principles that we have seen and felt at KAICIID.
- Zainab Alamin, Al-amine foundation for acquaintance and dialogue