While billions are celebrating Easter, there are some other human beings in Baghdad and Lahore who are living 24/7 bloody nightmares in their war-torn countries, are sick and tired of burying their beloved ones.
Let’s remember that media’s selective outrage should not be the reason why to stop condemning ALL terrorist acts, in every single region of the world.
Let’s not forget the over 300 Muslims who have died in the past 48 hours and whose life is apparently not as important as Westerns’ who have succeeded to attract the exclusive sympathy of the international media and decision-makers.
Let’s notice the so-called leaders of the worlds’ inexistent speeches to condemn and take actions against what’s happening in Muslim countries because of the rats who were trained and financed by them.
And please let’s not forget that Muslims by far outnumber any other religious group when it comes to being targeted by the so-called Islamic State.
Let's not forget Palestine whose case is forgotten and normalized because of all of what's happening to the rest of the world.
Let's picture Palestinians collecting rain water to survive another day of water and electricity restrictions on their very own land.
Let's not forget about refugees drowning, shivering, crying, dying, and getting accused of exaggerating, faking, dramatizing wars.

Let’s not normalize our mournings. Let’s not filter and classify the value of people by their religion, gender, and/or color. 

Let’s keep in mind that everyone’s life is precious and only love and unity will take us out of these hard times, hopefully.

May every soul rest in peace. 

Creating World Peace. Is it that hard?

-More than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by fragility and conflict — a majority of which is under the age of 30.

-35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.
-70% of women in the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

-It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.

-350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.

Shocking ha? 
These numbers were taken from official statistics done by international organizations that probably know only half of the real number of violent acts happening in the world's most remote areas, or even within some households. 
These numbers indeed can be enough for us to raise our voice against the governments, the so-called leaders, and the mindsets that are still refusing to face reality and bound the efforts in order to decrease the alarming rates of violence victims. And by efforts, I do not mean the world leaders bureaucratic efforts that have proven to be far away from being successful, but the efforts of the world's young potentials who are proving day-by-day their commitment to participate in World Peace building. 

Although portrayed to be indifferent, victims, irresponsible parts of their societies, young people are struggling to shut down all doubters and consistently fight for their right to not only be included in policymaking, but also to lead the peaceful process in the world. 

Thankfully, international efforts like the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and Search for Common Ground (SFCG) started acknowledging the importance of including youths in the process of world peace building thanks to their Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding initiative. This guideline that included is considered an important step toward the recognition of youths as main partners in the development of the peace building education in the world. 
However, if you are still wondering what can you do to promote peace starting from yourself, to your family, until you reach the whole world, here are small but effective practices that we can all do to step out of the margin and contribute to the World Peace.

1- PLEDGE to never use verbal and/or physical violence.
2- SMILE, it is a charity.

3- BE KIND to kids, to elderlies, to homeless people, to animals, to plants, to mother nature.

 4- Start the Self-development program by Peace Revolution. 
This will be a life-changing experience that will introduce to you the true meaning of life through meditation and Inner peace thanks to a 42-day training guided by monks and Peace coaches.
5- TRAVEL and get to know the world's different traditions, cultures, and religious practices. Travelling is without-a-shadow-of-doubt one of the best answers to your questions related to existence and perception of life.
6- START a club, a movement, an organization 
7- Say 'I love you more often'. It's very important to stop considering showing love as a sign of weakness or commitment. You never know how helpful a simple word can be to people who are having a bad day, or going through psychological issues. Love and spread love, please.
9- SUPPORT everyone who is contributing to making this world a better place.
10- FORGIVE those who once have harmed you. Remember that forgiveness is the first step to your mind and soul's freedom and inner peace.
11- WRITE THIS LIST DOWN and feel free to share it with your family, friends, and colleagues.

Social entrepreneurship: How can national and international institutions help?

  When asked about social entrepreneurship, I would primarily define it as an approach taken by individuals or organizations to meet the social needs not yet accomplished by governments or trade sectors.
Social entrepreneurship is a creative and effective phenomenon that experienced a remarkable growth over the past 15 years, which helped several countries leaders accelerate the process of solving the world’s most pressuring issues. 

In a world where more than 4 billion people lack access to critical financial services, supporting social entrepreneurship requires a holistic view of the origin of the proposed ideas: how they are ideas developed, how to make to make sure we chose sustainable ideas, and how to encourage social enterprises to come up with more ideas. Each of these questions challenges national, regional and international institutions to think outside of the box of providing venture capital.

In fact, social enterprises are sharing the same interest with those institutions. Their goals are mainly based on launching projects that are able to identify sustainable and effective solutions for social issues including education, health, human rights, poverty, security, employment, etc.

A number of successful social entrepreneurs have generated a better equilibrium by moving institutions and governments from the sidelines to a far more constructive place in the system. This new role influences the effective use of citizens’ taxes or, when talking about emerging economies, the development aid coming from wealthy countries, making government services more valuable.

Now the question is: Is all of the effort made by entrepreneurs to include all stakeholders in the process enough?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. In order to implement their ideas; social entrepreneurs are still in need to have the support of more local and /or international investors who are interested in funding their projects, although in February 2004, entrepreneurial firms created about 70 percent of new economic growth.
Personally speaking, I think that raising the upcoming young generations on the culture of social entrepreneurship is essential to radicalize social change since early age.
Educational institutions for example can integrate social entrepreneurship on curriculums to promote positive social development through literacy standards and sustainable thought-provoking tasks.

That’s not all, funding and facilitating the organization of conferences and educational events in universities and youth complexes is an effective strategy to introduce key entrepreneurial skills like project managing, public speaking, and fundraising.
Innovation Exhibitions also grant the opportunity for all stakeholders to not only share success stories of social enterprises, but also let participants test out careers with a networking environment that paves the way for them to find jobs and internship opportunities.
Supporting social entrepreneurship can be achieved by launching competitions to challenge all potentials to creatively address the world’s toughest problems. That will therefore bring out the participants’ inner skills and motivate them to come up with the most concrete and sustainable ideas.
As an example, the Clinton Global Initiative, in partnership with the Hult Business School is launching its yearly social entrepreneurship start-up competition that gives a $1 million prize for the winners to launch their start-ups.

Policymakers too can empower local investments by facilitating access to loan funds, which will lead to growing the social venture. Indeed, this will not only encourage investments, but also empower the unemployed to help the community enterprise sector grow and succeed the challenges.

 Finally, it is undeniable that social entrepreneurship is one of the main contributors to the next social movement in our world. It is becoming an unquestionable initiator of the sustainable value of all of its stakeholders— entrepreneurs, workforces, investors and the wide community. That is why, it is becoming a must for all world leaders and institutions to support anyone with an idea that can benefit the society by integrating social entrepreneurship in school curriculums, organize more Innovation Competitions, and offer funds, guidance and trainings to both future and existing social projects.

Meditation because some questions cannot be answered on Google.

"الأمنيات التي لا تتحقق بسرعة تمنحنا وقتا للدعاء والتأمل" 

"Wishes that don’t come true at once grant us time for prayer and meditation"
Yaser Harib (b. 1978) - an Emirati writer

Meditation: …
For me, it was just another fancy word that represented a bunch of people somewhere in Asia where they enjoyed uhhhm’ing for a couple of minutes, hours maybe? Maybe it was a religious practice that made them feel better, think better, and act better.
Inner peace: …
Waw, is this a thing?
Peace for me was simply the opposite of war and the absence of any armed conflicts. Inner peace though, I think it is somehow related to meditation. Another fancy word.
Breakups, cheating, , and hard life choices. This was pretty much the cycle of the feelings I had during my first college year. I was between two choices, either surrender and stay inside my bubble avoiding all possible disappointments, or stand up for myself and know that I am simply enough.
I am enough to life, to love, and to build
I started praying, getting closer to Allah gave me the stamina of mind and soul. I found myself relaxing and I simply started meditating.



To engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

  I was introduced to the practice of inner peace and meditation through a 42-day program called Peace Revolution.
Let me be honest, it not easy for me to sit for half an hour, not even for five minutes, and clear away all thoughts that have enjoyed the stay in my mind since a long time ago. No, it was not a simple process of ‘uhhming’ and forcing my eyes to stay still.
It was about dedicating some of my time for my very own self. It was for the first time  in a very long time, it was about me.

The 1st 10 days of my self-development program were like continuous personal tests about my self-confidence, my willingness to focus all of my energy on being a better human being to myself and to the ones surrounding me...

To be continued...

Palestine, through their eyes.

(This article was also published in The Peace Lens magazine)

“When I was in Palestine, I didn’t need to hear stories from people. What I’ve seen was enough to understand what’s happening with Palestinians.”, as stated by Brittany Renee Arneson, an activist and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has always been a general consensus held by student activists on campus. Many of them obtained their viewpoints by either getting the chance to visit Palestine, or getting involved with local and international peace organizations, like Izzaddine Al-Zaytawy, co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and a social activist.

Izzaddine Al-Zaytawy
Izzaddine,  just like any other half-palestinian, spent his life teared up between a painful summer witnessing his family being discriminated against and suffering from daily water restriction, and seeing the occupation obtaining more and more power everyday.
This is the catalyst that fueled not only Arabs or Muslims like most people tend to think, but also Americans who took the initiative to educate themselves about the conflict, away from the biased media.
We had also the chance to talk to one of the Peace and Justice Studies intern, Alex Atwell.
Alex is going to Palestine after he graduates with a BA in Anthropology (Ethnology focus).         "The Anthropology of Occupation" class offered students the chance to spend two weeks in the Occupied Territory of the West Bank to approach the field school with a post-colonial critique of the Israeli military occupation.
“This experience is the pinnacle of my undergraduate career. I am very excited!”, said Alex.
Wednesday 15, April 2015 was the day the “Divestment Resolution” got passed through the steering and rules committee to the full senate.

Brittany Renee Arneson
Divestment is the D from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It is a social movement that it’s used to ask the University of New Mexico to divest and take off the support for corporations that profit from oppressive policies and human rights.
“We are simply asking UNM to wipe its hands off of the blood and not use US tax dollars to support human rights violators.” said Izzaddine.
64 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians died in 2014.
However, in the same year, 1.8 million people are living in Gaza. 4,505 per square kilometre.475,000 living in emergency shelters. 17,200 homes destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli attacks.
244 schools damaged.
And the number is still increasing everyday.

If you are asking what can you do about it, the majority of activists that we interviewed agreed that education can be the most powerful, non violent, and peaceful weapon against all kinds of trauma and crimes against humanity. Education has always been used to empower any individual to stand up for both peace and justice for Palestine and for any oppressed nation in this world.