Interfaith Workshop 2019
After last year's first Workshop the Interfaith Workshop 2019 took place from April 12th to 16th at the workshop site "Seminarhaus Neumühle" close to Bad Camberg. With more than 40 participans there were twice as many participants compared to last year. The participants represented a variety of world views such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Unificationism, Atheism and Humanism. The goal of this project is to contribute to a respectful culture of dialogue between young people of different world views.
On the first night the organizational team, which itself represents a variety of world views, introduced themselves and gave an insight into the program of the next few days. The introduction was followed by icebreaker games and a talk by Leandro Haubold, YSP Germany board member. He talked about the vision of YSP and the "Peace Starts With Me" peace approach which is targeted by the Interfaith Workshop.
For the voluntary yoga session in the morning we had Elisaveta “Sundari” Gergner, a professional yoga teacher, with us. It was a great way to start the morning in a peaceful and balanced manner. It was fascinating for the participants to learn more about the backgrounds of the yoga tradition, also in between certain workshop sessions.
The social workers and counselors Janine Förster and Jonathan Makkonen who also host the YouTube channel "Das Relationship" introduced themselves as MCs of the workshop before jumping into the next part of the program: The "faith trial courses". In two sessions the participants had the chance to take a closer look at different world views that were presented by other workshop participants. The group leaders didn't only talk about theoretical aspects but also shared very personally about their beliefs and answered questions.
In the afternoon it was time for the first main speaker Dr. Marin Rötting who already joined the workshop last year. His main focus was his research on different "maps" that accompany our lives and that shape our world views. Sharing about personal experiences he stressed the importance of respectful dialogue between different minded people and how our "maps" can benefit from that on our paths of life In the evening we played the "Who-are-you-game", which allowed the participants to get to know each other a little more deeply, focused on their commonalities.
On the second day the social activist Ali Can gave an interactive talk about the topic "A language that grants us appreciation." He motivated the participants to be couragious, creative and passionate about their ideas that foster peaceful human connections.
In the afternoon we had creative workshops where people had the chance to express themselves in a creative or athletic way or through a self-made peace project guided by YSP's "Peace Designer" method.
The evening was framed by the participants themselves. Zana Tahlo and Issam Hanosh from Syria as well as Ronak Rajabi from Iran shared their partially humorous and partially very personal and emotional refugee stories. A lot of tears of compassion were shed that night.
The third and last day started with an impressive session from journalist and activist Khola Maryam Hübsch, who stressed that we all strive for something deeper in life. The search for our purpose in life is important for anyone, can prevent conflict and helps us understand each other on a deeper level. In the afternoon this topic was discussed in a panel discussion with the stress on the role of religion between war and peace. To conclude the workshop a cultural music night was held with a lot of laughter, singing, dancing and long conversations with new interfaith friends.
The Interfaith Workshop 2019 was another small step direction more understanding, more friendship and more peace. There were many activities but the most special thing was the moving and familiar atmosphere within the participans. Thank you for everyone who helped to make this workshop possible. The Interfaith Workshop Team is looking forward to more projects, more interested people and of course to the next Interfaith Workshop!