As an international consultant, trainer, facilitator and mediator, Hannes worked in Africa, USA, Middle East, Balkans and South Asia. He is Chairman and Director of the Peace Appeal Foundation and Director and co-founder of the Media Peace Centre, an initiative which designs and produces worldwide media projects supporting peace-building and conflict intervention initiatives. He is currently facilitating and advising on aspects of the peace processes in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Kosovo, working at track one, two and three levels, and developing innovative interventions designed to help heal ethnic divides. Over the last 5 yrs, he facilitated several joint international dialogue initiatives to help resolve those conflicts and bridge the gaps in perception and understanding. Between 1991 and 1994, Siebert headed the media and youth divisions of the National Peace Secretariat in South Africa, the multi-party body dedicated to reducing violence and promoting dialogue during the tense run-up to the first democratic elections. In the late ‘90s, Siebert was a member of the World Economic Forum’s “Transitions to Peace” initiative on peace-building in South Africa, the Balkans, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Siebert has been an associate and fellow of the Center for War, Peace and the News Media at New York University. In this capacity, he initiated and coordinates the West-Dar al Islam Media Dialogues program, which facilitates dialogue between major media institutions in the U.S. and Middle East. A former newspaper editor and television producer, Siebert still produces children's animation and interactive media projects. He recently helped to launch a children's initiative that supports orphanages in war-torn regions if south Asia, caring for children that are victims of war and human trafficking.
Why I want peace:
Its a life's commitment. Today, we probably have a lot more access to information and knowledge about what cause conflict and what we need for peace... but at the end of the day it is the quality and strenghts of the human relationships that hold every peace process together. Our inherent human imperfectness, greed, weaknesses and our limited ability to look beyond our own needs will probably keep us working on this for generations to come. There is always hope as long as we are human and have the ability to care, show empathy, offer sacrifices ... and walk this journey together.
Interests and activities:
Co-design and joint-creation of peace and negotiations' mechanisms for conflicting parties; facilitation and mediation of multi-party negotiations; production of innovative peace and conflict-related media.
Something you didn't know about me:
For my own sanity, I work on children's animation for peace games and short stories.; also support a few war-orhanages in south Asia.
How I found mepeace.org:
On the Peace and Development Networking site
What I want to achieve here:
Networking; explore collaborations for peace; learn; share and friendship.
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The sting of all problems between Israeli and Palestinians lays in the Old City of Jerusalem. Her status has to be solved in such a way, that all parties fighting for control over her can agree upon.
On June 24, the ‘Big Hug’ will be hold in Jerusalem. Light workers from Israel, Palestine and from all over the world, ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’, will come together to bring warmth and energy to this city, embracing holding hands the Old City. If we bundle all our positive energies and bring these to Jerusalem, we can create peace to this exceptional place.
We are organizing the Big Hug to make the people aware –especially the Israeli and Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem- that there is a very shaped perspective for the city of Jerusalem as a city of peace: a new, undivided Jerusalem, as the capital of Palestine, Israel and at large.
Let go of the conflict concerning her command and dedicate the city to the Omnipresent. The Old City as a whole is His Temple. To give the walled Old City free to God, as a "Status Apart”, as an independent city, will be the most feasible way to come out the current impasse.
The Old City of Jerusalem must become an open city; a House of Prayer for all the Peoples. This perspective is written down in the Holy Books, this is the perspective we, as ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’ embrace as well as solution. But how many people does already notice this hopeful point of view?
What I saw in Jerusalem and also everywhere else where I meet Islamic and Jewish people is, that not so many persons really think about a future for Jerusalem. Most of the time, they stick with old ideas that the Old City of Jerusalem will always remain a part of Israel, or in opposite, that it will be absolutely a part of a new Palestinian state, as stolen land that has to be given back. With these visions, a future Jerusalem will be a divided city with an East Palestinian and West Israeli part, with barbed wire and checkpoints in between, like the situation of the city from 1948-1967. Or, coming closer to an agreement, people suggest -like proposed in the “Geneva Accord” in 2003- to make a complicated dividing of the Old City in a Israeli and Palestinian part. That will mean that the small alleys will be split by walls and barriers too. The idea that a future Jerusalem will become a divided city, is something that we have to prevent.
There are living about 250.000 Palestinian and 500.000 Israeli rather close together in one city. Do they want to make a separation of Jerusalem in parts or do they choose, deep in their hearts, for unity? So my best friends, it is our task to inform the whole city that there is an alternative for the Jerusalem of today.
All lovers of a united Jerusalem will come together to encircle and embrace the Old City of Jerusalem with love and devotion. We have to encourage all inhabitants of Jerusalem to join the coming Big Hug, with the idea of a New Jerusalem that might be realized with their support.
Rob Schrama Phone:0031-646608660 www.loversofjerusalem.org
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