Middle East & North Africa

While the characteristics of violence in the Middle East differ, the root causes remain the same – it is a learned behavior that can be unlearned. The Cure Violence Model has been adapted to treat violence in Iraq and Syria and is actively pursuing possible new programming in Syria, the West Bank, and Israel.

Syria

In 2015, Cure Violence began a new partnership with Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) and a coalition of Syrian civil society organizations that has as goals to promote a peaceful and democratic Syria, to provide training and related support to individuals and civil society organizations from inside Syria in NP’s civilian protection and to teach/train Syrian community leaders using the Cure Violence interruption methodologies. Together, we will train 45 Syrian civil society organizations and/or leaders across the entire political spectrum. These individuals/organizations will then train up to 2000 more people/organizations inside Syria. Additionally, up to 45 communities will receive additional support to implement a locally-tailored violence interruption and/or civilian protection programs in their local communities with support from NP and Cure Violence. Periodically, we will bring participants together to reflect on their experience, identify lessons learned, and strengthen relationships among each other.

In 2013, Cure Violence had a partnership with American Islamic Congress and FREE Syria, over 103 Syrians were trained in conflict mediation, behavior change, and norm change.  Over 70% of the participants reported using the Cure Violence methodology to interrupt violence in their hometowns inside Syria within three months of the trainings.  New trainings and programming are being planned for 2017-18.


Iraq

Ambassadors for Peace (A4P) was the Cure Violence partnership program with the American Islamic Congress (AIC) in Iraq from 2008 to 2013. It was implemented in five sites – three in Basrah and two sites in Sadr City-Baghdad.  The program resulted in close to 1,000 interruptions and over 14,000 people reached through outreach activities.

The A4P partnership utilized AIC’s personal relationships, presence in Iraq and cultural familiarity and Cure Violence’s innovative methods of reducing urban violence – specifically our approach of using credible messengers who are not representatives of the authorities but are respected in their neighborhoods and have clout with potentially violent elements. In Iraq, these credible messengers are people with the right connections in the religious, tribal and ethnic communities as the violence facing Iraqi communities is largely inter-tribal, inter-militia, sectarian or domestic.


Israel/West Bank

25 volunteer workers have undergone extensive training with Cure Violence and have begun to implement projects and spread the methods in four areas: Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus/Jenin, and E. Jerusalem.  New trainings and programming are currently being planned.

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