Wahdatouna Khalasouna (Our Unity is Our Salvation)

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Wahdatouna Khalasouna national civil society network in Lebanon.

Wahdatouna Khalasouna (English: Our Unity is Our Salvation) presents itself as a national network for civil society, and a platform to spread democracy, peacebuilding and unity at grassroots level. It also aims to influence policy making. For instance, it was very active in raising awareness against the extensions of the Lebanese parliament's mandate and leading demonstrations against it in the period between 2013 and the latest elections in 2018. It was among the first voices in civil society that embraced the October 17th 2019 uprising, describing it as the biggest popular revolt in Lebanon's history since independence in 1943, and reaffirmed its commitment to protect the fragile civil peace in the country.

It is a powerful pressure group since its 27 member organisations and individual members join hands and share expertise. It covers many areas of peacebuilding, ranging from reconciliation, social peace and immunizing society against violence, to women's and children's rights, economic empowerment and accountability, legal awareness and supporting the independence of the judiciary, as well as preserving Lebanon's cultural heritage, environment and natural resources. Many of the organizations united under this umbrella support refugees as well, both Palestinians and Syrians.

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Being a platform for democracy and active citizenship, it has always pressured for a "Lebanese made" solution to the problems the country faces, including the political deadlock which left the country for almost three years without a president and long months without a cabinet up til 2018;  and works to protect Lebanon from the effects of sectarian tensions all over the Middle East. It calls, through the individual and collective work of the organisations, to fight the rise of confessional and sectarianism hatred, as well as growing violent extremism and racism against Syrian refugees who are more than one million in a country of four million people.

Every year, on 13 April, Wahdatouna Khalasouna, remembers the day on which the civil war started in Lebanon in 1975. Through a series of activities and media campaigns with religious figures and young people, it works to raise awareness on the horrors Lebanese people endured, in the hope of preventing future conflict. Old repentant fighters speak out, denouncing violence under any pretext, especially with the rise of armed religious fundamentalism. In 2015, there were activities on 40 days to remember the passing of 40 years on the beginning of civil war that left 150,000 people dead and ended officially in 2000. Lectures, workshops and interactive plays continued until April 2017 in different locations all over the country.

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Wahdatouna Khalasouna uses its extended network all over the country to help families of 17,356  Lebanese to uncover the fate of loved ones who disappeared during the civil war, many of them believed to be still kidnapped by the Syrian regime.

Its work with young people runs throughout the year, including cultural events and workshops, and lectures and other activities at schools and universities. It calls for national unity through peace education and believes that having a unified national history book could help build bridges among young Lebanese and end the conflicting narrations of the past, as well as minimizing negative stereotypes of fellow citizens they might be receiving form their parents or the media.

Wahdatouna Khalasouna has established an observatory of civil peace. It issues weekly reports on all the happenings in the country, how they are viewed in local and international media, and analyses its potential influence on civil peace. It serves as a up to date well documented and objective source for researchers of Lebanese society and politics.


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