As a part of the four-country project Strengthening Resilience of the Youth Against Radicalization in the Western Balkans, Hata Kujraković, Nejra Lilić, and Tarik Velić, recent graduates and student of the Department of International Relations and European Studies, participated in a week-long Summer School on Interfaith Dialogue in Shengjin, Albania in the end of July.
After preliminary research into the vulnerabilities of youth towards radicalization and selected young leaders’ visit to Slovakia for the GLOBSEC 2019 Forum, other project participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia took part took part in a summer school on the topic of interfaith dialogue, consisting of trainings, simulations, and lectures.
Following the summer school, an online campaign against radicalization using short videos from each of the participant countries in which project participants and key stakeholders, especially including youth leaders, declare their views on radicalization and a final promotional event will be organized in all four participant countries.
Topics discussed at the summer school include discrimination as a driver to radicalization of youth and extremism in a socio-economic context. Speakers included Peter Kövesci-Oláh from the Migration Research Institute in Hungary and Dr. Michaela Ujházyová, a human rights education trainer from Slovakia.
The research that was conducted in earlier project stages was also presented to summer school participants by project leaders from each of the four participant countries – Veroncia Kusyová, Jasmin Hasić, Migjen Krasniqi, and Samet Shabani – and Ján Cigel, the head of the European Neighborhood Program at GLOBSEC.
Participants also learned about strategies to address hate crimes and experiences of interfaith dialogue in Albania and Poland, as countries where in interfaith dialogue is at a high level, as well as visited cultural and historic sites in Albania and participated in a panel discussion aimed at survey key stakeholders’ views.
The participants also started preparations for the next phase of the project, filming short videos with their messages about youth radicalization. “We enjoyed taking part in the summer school, as well as the project, and in that way, contributing to the reduction of youth radicalization in the region,” Kujraković, Lilić, and Velić agreed.
“I felt as if we were more prepared than our peers from others, at least in part thanks to the courseload we had. In particular, the course Ethnicity and Cultural Politics helped me view the problem in a multifaceted and more nuanced way and, as a result, approach its solutions in such a way,” Lilić commented.
The Albanian Helsinki Committee, Humanity in Action from Bosnia and Herzegovina, innovActive Center for Social Improvement from Kosovo, and GLOBSEC from Slovakia partook in the project, while SlovakAid, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Višegrad Fond contributed to the financing of the project.
Kujraković, Lilić, and Velić were and are some of the most successful students at the Department of International Relations and European Studies. We are glad to have supported Kujraković, Lilć, and velić, as well as other students who participated, in their project and are very proud of our Hata Kujraković, Nejra Lilić, and Tarik Velić.