Wi’am

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

Wi’am has expertise in a range of areas, including:

Main Aims and Objectives

The Center focuses on helping to resolve disputes within the Palestinian community by complementing the traditional Arab form of mediation, called Sulha, with Western models of conflict resolution within Palestine. The Center provides services for women and children, and seek to educate the local community on human equality and basic rights. The work of Wi’am is on the grassroots level of Palestinian society to provide a means of peaceful reconciliation of conflict. Through educational workshops for the community, especially for women and children, Wi’am seeks to instil a culture of nonviolent conflict transformation in society.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

The work of Wi’am incorporates the understanding that conflict is a part of society and a necessary social process of change. Wi’am does not seek to erase conflict in the community, but through the work of Sulha mediation it seeks to bring constructive reconciliation to community disputes. Because Wi’am recognizes that the root causes of conflict in Palestine lie in the deprivation of peoples’ basic rights and needs, Wi’am seeks to empower citizens with tools of non-violent conflict transformation in order to create a better future for themselves.

Wi’am specifically addresses the traditionally marginalized groups of women and children through special workshops and programs, such as linguistic and technology training programs for women and summer camps for young people. Additionally, Wi’am has weekly training sessions in nonviolence and alternative methods of dispute resolution. Wi’am seeks to remind participants that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is part of a larger historical conflict and that the cause of oppression is not the Jewish people but rather the policies of the Israeli government.

Where and with Whom

Wi’am works primarily with a focus in the West Bank, with all members of the community.

Young participants in Wi’am’s peer mediation program bring this training back to their schools by facilitating informal conflict resolution forums and fostering peer mediation programs at their schools.

Wi’am’s staff have facilitated workshops on nonviolence in different parts of the West Bank as Toquo, Surif, Ramallah, and Jericho. Staff and participants in programs from Wi’am have participated in nonviolent protests and demonstrations in cities and towns such as Bilin, Na’lin, Almassara, Beitumar, Nabi Saleh, Cremisan, and Atwani.

Wi’am’s staff regularly participate in interdisciplinary conferences and workshops worldwide. A small selection of examples from last year includes a church conference in Canterbury, England; a mediation conference in Indonesia; a professional development workshop in Berlin, Germany; and a trip with four youth and one advisor from Wi’am to the Dunoon Grammar School in Scotland.

Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation

Conflict Transformation is simply the umbrella for the interdisciplinary work conducted at the Wi’am Center. Wi’am’s activities include mediation based on restorative justice, facilitation, training workshops, advocacy, and empowerment.With its work in Sulha mediation, a traditional Arabic style of mediation, Wi’am works to reconcile traditional Arabic principles with contemporary perspectives on conflict resolution. Wi’am sees many cases of conflict in the community and provides mediation or facilitation services, depending on which is appropriate. Wi’am provide these services free of charge.

Another service Wi’am provides is the hosting of interdisciplinary workshops for community members in such topics as nonviolence, empowerment of women, and alternative conflict resolution. Wi’am specifically focuses on providing educational empowerment to women and children, since these groups have historically been under-represented in social change processes and are traditionally the targets of displaced anger. Wi’am seeks, through workshops and trainings, to give community members the tools to build a culture of nonviolence in their homes and social groups, in order to perpetuate a self-sustaining culture of restorative justice and nonviolence.

Wi’am often hosts international visitors as part of its Citizen Diplomacy and Advocacy Program. In 2011, Wi’am hosted over 1,400 international visitors from the United States, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Belgium, South Africa, South Korea, and many other places. Wi’am provides visiting groups with hospitality and information about the occupation and the situation in the Occupied Palestine. Wi’am’s goal is that groups will bring this information and their experience back to their home countries and disseminate awareness about the situation to increase international support and advocacy.

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