KAICIID Dialogue Days were launched in November 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya, and New Delhi, India, to raise awareness of interreligious dialogue as a tool for peace, broaden KAICIID’S service to religious and interreligious dialogue leaders, and pilot new KAICIID training material in the field.
In 2014, as a reflection of KAICIID’s programmatic focus on the Image of the Other in the Media, Dialogue Days activities centered around the theme of how the media impacts interreligious relations.
Dialogue Days in Nairobi was held from 15-18 November in cooperation with Arigatou International—Nairobi (Global Network of Religions for Children), and with the support of KAICIID’s Expert for Africa Programmes, Ambassador Mussie Hailu. Dialogue Days in New Delhi was held in cooperation with Sarva Dharma Samvaad. In each city, events began with two parallel training courses for religious leaders and dialogue practitioners, Media Wise and Speak Up. These were followed by high-level panel discussions on the impact of the media on interreligious relations, which brought together national figures from the realms of religion, policy, and media.
Nairobi and New Delhi were selected as the locations in which KAICIID would premier Dialogue Days because they are located in regions with complex and dynamic interreligious relations, and because of the presence of trusted local partners in each city.
The initiatives brought together religious leaders, dialogue practitioners, policy makers and media experts for training and discussion on these groups’ roles in shaping perceptions of the religious Other in East Africa.
In Kenya, one senior participant, who had changed his plans last-minute to fly in for the trainings from Tanzania, said in an address to participants that he had definitely found the effort worthwhile: “If I had missed this, I would have missed a lot.”