Who we are?

We are a group of Lebanese motivated youth that believe in the power of art and education to make positive social change. As a youth-led organization we have a deep understanding of local conditions, and the ability to reach out and work with people that others cannot. We have been active in Lebanon as a registered non-governmental organization since 2016 under the registration number 654/2018. We started in North Bekaa with the strategic objective: “a community where art and other non-violent means of communication are employed for the betterment of society.“

Why starting from North Bekaa?

Baalbeck – Hermel is the biggest governorate in Lebanon; a poor, deprived, marginalized rural area suffering from the government’s negligence and several conflicts. (The last conflict was an ISIS attacks in 2016.) It is a miniature sample of a mixed Lebanese population structure.
The impact of the Syrian crisis was dramatic on our region bordered by Syria from the North and East. It is considered a red zone by many embassies, where tourists and visitors are recommended not to visit due to an increased rate of crimes and kidnapping.
Many youth are involved in organized crime, violence, drugs and weapons dealings, and armed conflicts because of the absence of any alternative or any public spaces that promote peace, acceptance, or relaxation. In addition to the feeling of insecurity and marginalization the exclusion from decision making by the government has placed our mixed community on the outskirts of community wide changes and funding. Therefore there is an urgent need to change this situation for the better at the civil society level.

Our Mission:

Positive Young Changemakers

Peace of Art is a local organization that uses art and culture in place of conflict and violence as tools to promote peace. We create groups of young changemakers to be the future leaders in art and transform a culture of violence, discrimination, extremism, and ignorance into tolerance, acceptance, development, and freedom. We do this through designed programs that focus on art trainings (music, theater, photography, film making, and drawing) and civil training (citizenship, acceptance toward others, leadership skills, conflict mediation, and resolution)

Sustainable development

We believe that by investing in art, education, and capacity building of our youth contributes towards a just, equal, and peaceful society that will return our community bonds and inspire youth to be our future leaders and entrepreneurs.

Our vision

Peace of Art aims to build a young generation that believes in art and education as a way to solve community problems, and to contribute to establishing an open and tolerant society where young voices engage with each other towards the democratic transformation of the region. Peace of Art’s goals through art, education and culture:
- Create a safe space for youth, women and children in marginalized areas and places of conflict to meet with intellectuals, artists, civil society organizations, and with local people to express themselves through art, in an environment of dialogue.
- Promote acceptance of the other i.e. different backgrounds, nationalities, political views and fight discrimination, racism, and tribal mentality.
- Break stereotypes about people from specific backgrounds (refugees, people coming from rural areas, people who look or act differently, marginalized groups), and contribute to ending hate speech toward them.
- Contribute to peace building and creating a new, aware generation.

How we work?

In places of conflict, where art is the last priority, we use it to make positive social change using different tools:
- Art trainings (music, theater, photography, video production)
- Civil trainings (conflict resolution, peace building thought art and education, leadership skills, tolerance, acceptance toward others)
- Capacity building for youth & women (preserving cultural heritage, carpet weaving, musical instruments, local handmade crafts, and language courses)
- Organizing Youth training programs, and art events (music festivals, photography and drawing exhibitions, film screenings).

Why Art?

Arts have proved to be a useful tool to express oneself when all other means have failed to. We are promoting arts as an alternative to guns, drugs and violence in the complete absence of any other options where youth can make a positive invest of their energies.

Focus

Our main focus is on the young generation, but also women and children, who are the seeds to our future. Committing to the empowerment of the area by embracing the local cultural identities and diversity enhances our social and community life, development, conflict prevention, and conflict resolution. We are building a large network of volunteers who are becoming highly respected, positive role models in North Bekaa and who are breaking the stereotype of youth in Baalbeck-Hermel as narrow-minded, violent individuals from rural areas who are most likely drug addicts with guns in their hands.

Global Partnerships for peacebuilding

We are building partnerships to further achieve our goals in peace building and youth empowerment through art, education, civil trainings and contributing towards a global positive change through the UN Agenda 2030; specifically, SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), and SDG 17 (Partnership for Goals). We believe, and contribute to advancing the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), that young people play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. Today we are an official member of the United Network of Young Peace builders (UNOY), representing Lebanon among a network of 80 youth organizations in 50 countries. We are united around the vision of a world free from violence in which young people play an active role in contributing to peace. And we’re focused on furthering the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, Pillar 1, which includes initiatives to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among civilizations, cultures, peoples and religions, and to promote mutual respect for and prevent the defamation of religions, religions values, beliefs and cultures. We are also a partner of the “In Place Of War,” a University of Manchester Research Project, which is a global organization that uses creativity in places of conflict as a tool for positive change. And we have many partnerships with local and international organizations working on capacity building, art, peace and the advancement of human rights.