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Organization: Lebanese Association for Civil Rights (LACR)
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: May 24 2010,04:40 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

Beirut, Gemayzeh, 55 Youssef Al-Hani Street, Rizk Bldg, 1st Floor, P.O. Box 17 5227 - Gemayzeh

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution

www.houkoukmadania.org (under construction)

Telephone of organization/institution

+ 961 1 445 333     +961 3 111 445     Fax: +961 1 445 333

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Networks: on the Arab level, we have many friends and we are in different groups, as well as, we have found an Arab Group "Non-Violent Arabs".

On the international level, we are members in "MAN - Mouvement pour une Alternative Non-violente" and in the "World Coalition Against The Death Penalty"...

LACR partnership with local partners is achieved through two segments: Train and support others, and organize campaigns with others.

Regional and International: we have created a partnership with many Arab and international Organizations working on human rights, non-violence, education, etc.

Many international organizations have been in solidarity with our programs and support them financially, such as IKV/PAX Christi Netherlands, the European Union, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, OXFAM Quebec, AECI – Spain, INTERSOS Italy…

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

The Lebanese Association for Civil Rights (LACR) is an active association involved in disseminating non-violence, non-sectarianism, human rights and democracy values and constructive alternatives, through education, awareness, training as well as defending social, economic, political and ecological causes non-violently.

LACR was founded back in August 2003 by Dr Walid SLAYBI and Dr Ogarit YOUNAN who are pioneers and initiators in tackling human and civil rights in Lebanon. With the establishment of LACR, they have institutionalized the 25-year experience and projects; they turned the projects into institutions which achieved the continuity and the stability of the work.

Since 1983, at the stage of war and violent shifts in Lebanon and the region, they set off a realistic dream to build a project that presents a new idea, which its rooted choices and its cumulative achievements affect a structural change in the lives of individuals and society... The “non-violence and people’s rights” project, it was a hard day to day work, idea, writing and training on the ground and through initiatives, proposing alternatives, establishing groups and civic campaigns, supporting groups and individuals... A work that entered in the society a renewed intellectual and human force, briefed in 4 NO: No to Violence, No to Sectarianism, No to Economic Injustice, No to Hegemony; and 4 YES: Yes to Non-Violence, Yes to Non-Sectarianism, Yes to Justice, Yes to Self Sovereignty.
We look at LACR as being a civil movement with national and regional projects and impact.

LACR is known for its innovative grassroots action aiming to change mentalities, attitudes, laws and … from bottom up.

Across Lebanon, since 1983 to date, thousands of youth, women, children, students, teachers, NGOs, workers, political activists, journalists, etc. have been trained through LACR co-founders work.

Three Complementary Initiatives
The founders of LACR are currently working on institutionalizing and empowering 3 fundamental pioneer projects in Lebanon and for the region with hundreds of activities inside each: “AUNOHR” – “BILAD” – “CHAML”.  

+++++ AUNOHR: Academic University for Non-Violence and Human Rights in the Arab World (AUNOHR): (e-mail: university@houkoukmadania.org)
AUNOHR, which is the first of its kind in the region, is an academy for specialization, a local independent non sectarian institution, that provides specialized certificates of Masters Degree, and graduates yearly based on increasing plan tens and hundreds of non-violent professionals from different Arab countries. It:
* Institutionalizes pioneer curricula to teach non-violence, human rights and non-sectarianism in schools and universities,
* And launches “a network of non-violent schools and universities”,
* Prepares non-violent experts for associations, training centers, media, law and civil campaigns,
* Institutionalizes for insistent of high future effect professions and social roles,
* Offers various and highly required labor market for thousands of individuals,

*Curriculums. Medium for dialogues. International library. Publications and Translations.
      An institution and a productive one for educational and academic materials to introduce to schools and universities on non-violence, human rights, sectarianism, humane civic education, educational theatre, mediation… in different Arab countries…

      Medium for intellectual dialogue, that will institutionalize and host within it individuals with unique knowledge and experience, Arab and international…

      Non-Violent comprehensive library, the first in the region, that collects the Arabic and international production and heritage on non-violence, civil education, training, non-sectarianism and human rights.

      Publishing house under the title “non-violence” for the first time in the Arab world, to enrich the production in the Arabic language with publications, new educational tools, films...

      AUNOHR is an educational academic institution, and at the same time, it is an association concerned in developing the concepts, culture, public policies, and civil society positions, with respect to all what is related to violence, sectarianism and human rights violations.

Majors of the University: 9 Fields for Specialization
The Culture & Philosophy of Non-Violence – Culture and Philosophy of Non-Violent Education – Positive Management of Conflicts, Non-Violent Mediation – Educational and Social Non-Violent Theatre – Education of Non-Racism and Non-Sectarianism – Social Training: Philosophy & Active Methods – Strategies of Civil Campaign & Lobbying – Culture and Legal Instruments of Human Rights – Philosophy of Justice.  

Creation of 100 “Pedagogic Houses”: First of its kind in Lebanon and in the Region, it aims at the institutionalization of the education on non-violence, non-sectarianism and democracy through establishing a kind of “informal schools” in 100 villages and cities overall Lebanon.

+++++ BILAD: is a summary of the Arabic phrase

In a country which has suffered from more than 170 years of sectarian conflicts, in a country where sectarianism and violence are deep rooted in pedagogic and political life, in a country emerging from a 15 years-civil war (1975) and still suffering from political and sectarian crisis that is causing violence and strengthened the institutionalization of sectarianism and the “dividing walls,” the institutionalization of education on non-violence, non-sectarianism and democracy, becomes a “more than urgent project”.

Both violence & sectarianism are based on one common principle: Canceling the Different Other… To counter violence and sectarianism, it is not enough to change the constitution or remove political sectarianism or change electoral laws or even civil personal codes. These are necessary changes but they are the upper shelter to a weak foundation that may fall any minute if we don’t change the psychological and social infrastructure and the mentalities. That is why we have to go to the roots, to the sources of the problems i.e. to education, to the behavior and daily attitudes especially with children, youth, educators, women & civil society activists.

Through setting up a network of 100 “Pedagogic Houses,” “BILAD” aims at the institutionalization of a national network of deep-seated “houses,” scattered all over the villages and cities of Lebanon which will act to consecrate these alternatives in the heart of people’s daily life and their social policies, as well as to foster openness and dialogue between different social and communal groups. Each “house,” seated among neighborhood houses close to people, will be in a way, a “school for Life” which materializes “physically” these ideals & concrete methods and “popularize” them. This network will also serve as a non-violent “model” for our partners in the region and link with our common project that is creating a Youth Regional Arabic Non-violent Gathering.

We have already established 8 initiatives for “houses” in 8 different regions: 2 in the South, 2 in the North, 3 in Mount-Lebanon and 1 in the Bekaa. Three of them which are able now to continue the step and experience, will be turned into “model” – permanent institutions.

+++++ CHAML is the English spelling for the Arabic term

It is a youth national gathering, women and men, which act as a new youth civil power in the Lebanese society and through it on regional level by creating many Arabic “CHAML” in Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc.

“CHAML” gathering, which brings together young people from all over Lebanon, is ready to act as a “conscience” of the society by reflecting and defending 5 main values and principles mentioned in CHAML’ Chart: No to violence / No to Sectarianism & Racism / Yes to Justice & Equality / Yes to self Independence & Sovereignty / Yes to Democracy & People Participation.

CHAML was registered in 2007 as an independent association, its first members are young Lebanese citizens, men and women, who have been deeply trained during 2 years with LACR on non-sectarianism and non-violence and on the democratic participation in society, and who are aware of their rights, want to defend them, and have viable alternatives to apply.


The Lebanese CHAML will be the base of Arab and Regional CHAML that was launched in 2008 through LACR support to tens of individuals and civil organizations trained deeply with us on Non-violence since 2004.

+++++ Regional Training on Non-Violence
It is a continuous process toward forming a new Arab non-violent force. It started in 2004 and ended in 2009 by the establishment of AUNOHR.

+++++ Non-Violent Mothers for Civil Peace: the oath expresses the nature of the movement:
We, non-violent mothers
Vow to our children
We will not allow them to kill
We will not allow them to be killed
We will not allow them to fight each other
They are all our children

We, non-violent mothers
Vow to our children
Vow and pledge
We will not raise them on violence
We will not raise them on sectarianism
We will not allow raising them on violence and sectarianism

We, non-violent mothers
Vow to our children
We will not allow them to kill
We will not allow them to be killed
We will not allow them to fight each other
They are all our children

+++++ Struggling Against Death Penalty

It is a continuous struggle by Dr. Walid SLAYBI and Dr. Ogarit YOUNAN to abolish death penalty in Lebanon, it started in 1997 and is till going on till today.
While many people voiced their opposition to capital punishment, it is only until 1997 that an efficient National Campaign was carried out, upon the initiative of the 2 Non-violent activists Dr. Ogarit YOUNAN & Dr. Walid SLAYBI, who coordinated the activities of the Campaign from 1997 – 2004 with a coordination committee composed of 5 associations.

3 Turning points – dates:

1997: Walid SLAYBI signs his book “Death Penalty Kills” (co-authoring with Ogarit YOUNAN), for former Prime Minister Dr. Salim HOSS, at the International and Arab Book Fair – December 1997. The book, which encompasses a scientific research, statistics, history, stories since independence, alternatives to the death penalty, etc. formed an important intellectual and sociological asset as a starting point for a National Campaign against death penalty in Lebanon. The book was among the best sellers within its category at the Book Fair.

1998: The Campaign started “on the ground” at dawn at 4:00 a.m., the 19th of May 1998, near to the gallows where two young men were executed in public in Tabarja square (Kesrwan). A silent demonstration, wearing black and holding a black & white banner with a slogan from SLAYBI book: “We declare the mourning on the victims of the crime & the victims of the execution.” This action has moved things in favor of the abolition.

2001: The first Result was the abolition of the “killer must be killed” law, no 302/94 by the parliament. The First Lebanese Civil Force in favor of the Abolition was also formed and announced in this year: 58 civil organizations & parties and tens of young volunteers, judges, lawyers, intellectuals, journalists and religious… The number of the Lebanese abolitionist Groups, NGOs & individuals was growing.

Perspectives: A perceptible beginning of change in the public opinion. Even though 3 persons were executed on January 2004, the tendency is more & more in favor of an official moratorium. A first draft law was presented (2004) to the Parliament by 7 deputies, encouraged by the Campaign. July 2006: A new draft law was presented by the National Campaign and signed by 7 deputies. 2008: the Minister of Justice proposed a draft law to the government to abolish death penalty.  2009 - 2010: different activities were implemented to revive the struggle against death penalty.

First students of AUNOHR

Non-violent Mothers logo

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

We have crowned the 10 years of working on non-violence by institutionalizing first of its kind university in Lebanon and the region, a university dedicated to non-violence and human rights in the service of the human being and society in Lebanon and the Arab world.

Throughout our work in Lebanon and the region (Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt) within these 10 years and before (through the work of the founders of LACR) we had sensed change in the target people, in children, in youth, in women, in communities… An “Arab Non-Violent Group” was established in the region… A youth active group is campaigning and struggling for the culture of non-violence and non-sectarianism in Lebanon… "Life long" Non-violent non-sectarian houses were found in different Lebanese regions... A "life long" university for non-violence is founded and is institutionalizing pioneer curricula to teach non-violence, human rights and non-sectarianism; and is institutionalizing a network of non-violent schools and universities…

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

Within our march of disseminating non-violence we had faced obstacles, mainly (1) the situation of the country that we live in; the country suffers from sectarianism and continuous political conflicts that affects the security status, especially within the past years and mainly from 2005, Lebanon suffered from war, from internal and political conflicts. (2) The financial support: most of the time, we are exerting a huge voluntary work, while such march needs a good financial support to continue. (3) And in general, the increasing of violence and fundamentalism worldwide that is affecting Lebanon and the region.  DESPITE all this, we didn't stop and we didn't give up, in fact we had made great achievements.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

We will be continuing what we have started because the projects are pioneer institutionalizing projects that will have their effects on the long term in behaviors and attitudes of the target people. The university will continue hosting students every year; BILAD houses will work to cover the whole Lebanese regions; CHAML will continue to be the conscience and a tool in the hands of the youth; the Non-violent mothers will go on to reach as much mothers as possible; and the struggle against death penalty will be increased to reach the abolition of the penalty in Lebanon.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Lebanese Association for Civil Rights (LACR)

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