On 12th of February, the House of Europe hosted a forum dedicated to education as a tool for promoting peace and fighting radicalization in the Middle East. The event was organized by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and hosted by the head of the Bulgarian delegation to the EPP- European People’s Party group, Andrei Kovachev.
During the event, an exhibition by the Israeli photojournalist Ziv Koren with photos from the horrific attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7.
In his opening speech, Andrei Kovachev said that in recent years, the ENP has repeatedly raised the topic of Palestinian textbooks and emphasized the need for a clear observer, not only of the content of textbooks, but also of the way teachers teach adolescents. Because these teenagers will live together with their neighbors and must live in peace with them. “If they continue to live in hatred, in violence, then it would be extremely difficult to find a long-lasting peaceful solution to this conflict,” he said.
At the opening of the conference, Israeli Ambassador to Bulgaria, Yossi Levi Safari, commented on the current situation in the country, noting that the level of violence since October 7 could not have been reached without years of radicalization training.
The special guest at the forum was Marcus Chef, executive director of the Institute for Peace Monitoring and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se). In his address to the Bulgarian audience, he pointed out that the institute is working with many governments in the Middle East and North Africa to stimulate public debate on curricula.
In his presentation, Marcus Shef presented both solid examples of various studies on Palestinian textbooks published by UNRWA urging youth radicalization, as well as positive examples from Arab countries, such as the UAE, where a new education system based on more tolerance and reaching out to different, has been created. other peoples and cultures.
The event was moderated by the president of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, Solomon Passy, who said that “the war begins with hate, and hate begins at school, in the first seven years at home, from the mother’s womb and in fact this hatred continues to be studied throughout life.”
Distinguished guests at the forum included representatives of the people, representatives of the diplomatic corps, European institutions and academia.
Photos from the exhibition: