Hale Silifkeli

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Affiliated Organizations

What are contexts and issues that you work on? How are you using peace education to address these issues? What keeps you going?

I was born in a divided country. I grew up hearing stories and imagined how the other side looked (picturesque), smelled (jasmine), sounded (lively) and felt (home). Our role and work in Peace Education include promoting meaningful contact between the two communities and in this respect, the implementation of Imagine -Education for a Culture of Peace project proved to be a success in bringing students and teachers together across the divide. More frankly, the “Imagine” project has reengineered the minds by responding to the 21st century educational needs of teachers, students and the society at large.
Having witnessed the enthusiasm of the participants motivates me to do more in the field of Peace Education. I am hopeful for the future as we are aware of the tools to use to bridge this division.

What has been your most meaningful or noteworthy moment in your peace education career?

I can never forget the very first time when I volunteered for the "Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace" project. I arrived at the Home for Cooperation with joy and excitement. There were the programme trainers, teachers and students from across the divide. After a couple of activities, the students were working together, exploring the Cosmos and truly looking beyond the borders while creating their own joint “golden record”. Since then, I became more eager in helping Peace Education projects reach farther.

How and why did you start working in peace education?

In 2003, with the opening of the first checkpoint, our lives began to change. The talks began. We felt more responsible to act and we were brave enough to say that “we want to unite”. The activists across the divide came together and contributed to the establishment of a unique multi-communal, non-for- profit, non-governmental organization: the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research. One of those activists was my high school teacher, who has always inspired me with her strength and commitment in creating opportunities for her students’ development. With her encouragement, I have been involved in the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research peace building projects. In each and every project, I have experienced great teamwork that has given me a reason to carry on promoting peace education .