“What, drawn and talk of peace! I hate to use the word.” And with that, Act One, Scene One, Tybalt, the violent “Prince of Cats” in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a fight that may have been avoided to begin.
A journalist with more than 13 years of experience, for stories of terror, violence, participation in the inquests, the implementation of death knocks and the focus on the emerging field of “trauma journalism”, it came to a point last year when I was ready to take a step back and deep dive into the world of peace and conflict research, came to the walls, every bit of storytelling that I did.
So earlier this year, I have to take three months unpaid leave, to a Rotary International peace fellowship at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
This is interested in a professional development program for mid-career employees in mind, understanding, peace and learn conflict-resolution techniques.
Fifty people from all over the world have been selected for a scholarship funded this year, according to a two-part face-to-face interview process and a long paper, the application of the system.
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An article I had written for the BBC history a few years earlier, on why the people have destroyed cultural heritage, which instigated you had a real interest in identity.
The destruction of the world heritage site of Palmyra in Syria, and Nimrud in Iraq, was of real interest, as we had reached a point, where the monuments were attacked, and why?
My three months would be spent, the audit of the Taliban, had played in the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001, the role of the media and lessons for the future.
Image copyright dhruti shah
Image signature, The fellows began teaching each other about their respective specialist areas in the peace field
Peace and conflict research-study courses on offer at universities and educational centers around the world – it is a popular topic.
In 1948, peacemaker Gladys Muir founded what is probably the world’s first undergraduate degree program in peace studies at Manchester College in Indiana, in the United States.
Abundance of programs
A quick online search for “peace fellowship” brings a wealth of opportunities around the world.
King’s College London is currently offering a scholarship for African women during the United States Institute of Peace the rules.
The peace fellowship, I enrolled receives $3.4 m (£2.6 m) from the Rotary Foundation each year, although the running costs are more than that.
Rotary International President John germ, says the organization invested in the fellowship program, because it is the students allows, “to use a tool, and more – to build a world of hope and peace for all of us.”
The Foundation also supports master’s programs in peace-centres in Tokyo, Uppsala, Sweden, North-Carolina, Brisbane and Bradford, but the centre in Bangkok is currently the only event of this mid-career certificate.
The two cohorts of up to 25 years, the courses are intensive and work on a pass or fail basis.
Image copyright Rotary Peace Chula
Image signature natural conflict is only one of the topics, the students of the peace research can be found on the search
My 23 classmates came from 17 different countries and a variety of backgrounds – a farmer, development consultants, educators, a lawyer, women’s rights activists, government officials, and people with experience in the United Nations and smaller NGOs – all with the same intention, and our experience in this area and learn from each other.
We had to live together, in the same University accommodation and spend a lot of time.
But, as the classmate, Travis Burke, a consultant with experience in Afghanistan, Somalia and the Ukraine, said: “the value of the different voices and thoughts cannot be underestimated in addressing these important issues.”