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Social Media as a Space for Dialogue

Social Media as a Space for Dialogue

The Social Media as a Space for Dialogue programme originated from a set of recommendations made by high level religious leaders at the November 2014 United Against Violence in the Name of Religion conference.

In 2015, more than 120 participants from religious communities, civil society and interreligious organizations across the Middle East met in Amman to develop new strategies for using social media to promote dialogue between different worldviews, cultures and religions. The meeting produced a manual and an action plan to organize regional social media capacity building workshops for religious institutions.

The training manual, which informs users about dialogue tools, the value of social media in promoting dialogue and social cohesion, and how to use social media to implement dialogue, was used in trainings in Jordan (April 2016), Egypt (May 2016), Iraq (August 2016), Tunisia (February 2017), and Lebanon (August 2017). A team of experienced trainers and field experts further developed the manual based on the lessons learned during the trainings. Training venues were chosen throughout the region to bring together participants from surrounding areas, to ensure the inclusion of representatives from all around the Arab region.

The trainings’ outcomes include, raising awareness about the Other, instilling a culture of dialogue, and training people on the best practices creating a space in social media for interreligious and intercultural dialogue to bring about peace. Also in 2015 participants were trained to become trainers themselves to be able to promote social cohesion in their own communities through their respective organizations.

This programme is carried out in partnership with local organizations at the respective locations, and has trained approximately 400 participants on using social media effectively as a space for dialogue.